French Open title hopefuls Novak Djokovic and Francesca Schiavone gave the Roland Garros crowd a glimpse only of their abilities on Monday as they sped into the second round on a hot, sunny day.
Second seed Djokovic extended his winning streak to 40 matches with a 6-2 6-1 6-3 dismissal of Dutchman Thiemo de Bakker while defending champion Schiavone raced past American Melanie Oudin 6-2 6-0.
Djokovic’s path ahead became less challenging after possible quarter-final opponent Tomas Berdych became the first big casualty in the men’s singles. The Czech sixth seed, a semifinalist last year, slumped to a shock 3-6 3-6 6-2 6-2 9-7 defeat against French qualifier Stephane Robert.
Berdych appeared to be in control before the world number 140 began to sprinkle Court Two with forehand winners.
“That’s tennis. That’s what can happen in the long matches. Sadly it happened to me today,” said Berdych, who wasted a match point.
Third seed Roger Federer was given a decent workout before seeing off Spaniard Feliciano Lopez 6-3 6-4 7-6.
“I thought I played a good match, even though it was a tough match. He had a couple of small chances but could not convert those,” said the Swiss.
Djokovic, unbeaten this year, made light work of the talented De Bakker, peppering the court with forehand winners and mixing his game with cunning drop shots.
The Serbian, who has beaten five-times French Open champion Rafael Nadal twice on clay this season, faces a possible third-round encounter with 2009 US Open champion Juan Martin del Potro.
The Argentine, who has been recovering from a torn hip muscle, recovered from a shaky start to down Croatian Ivo Karlovic 6-7 6-3 7-5 6-4.
Schiavone was as convincing as Djokovic.
Following a low-key start to the tournament with none of the top six seeds in action on Sunday in both draws, the fifth seed was the first on court and she wasted no time.
The Italian needed just over an hour to dispatch world number 88 Oudin, quickly finding her groove after conceding an early break.
Fans were still queueing outside Roland Garros and the Philippe Chatrier stands were far from full when Schiavone waved the crowd goodbye with a big smile on her face.
“I’m still shaking a little bit. A lot of adrenaline. I felt really happy to be there,” the 30-year-old said.
World number one Caroline Wozniacki begins her bid for a first Grand Slam title when the Dane faces Japan’s Kimiko Date Krumm on Court One.
Date Krumm, 40, caused a stir last year at Roland Garros when she knocked out former world number one Dinara Safina.