Djokovic juggernaut powers on at French Open

Novak Djokovic of Serbia stretches to hit a forehand during the men's singles first round match against Thiemo De Bakker of Netherlands on day two of the French Open at Roland Garros on Monday in Paris. (GETTY)

Second seed Novak Djokovic breezed into the French Open second round with a 6-2, 6-1, 6-3 defeat of Dutchman Thiemo De Bakker on Monday, extending his unbeaten start to the season to 38 matches.

The in-form Serbian, a semi-finalist here in 2007 and 2008, is on course to depose Rafael Nadal as world number one and is also closing in on John McEnroe's unbeaten season start record of 42 consecutive matches.

Djokovic will play either French wild card Benoit Paire or Romania's Victor Hanescu for a place in the last 32.

"It's my favourite Grand Slam, even though I haven't won it yet," said Djokovic.

"I've been playing really well on clay. I've won three (claycourt) tournaments (Belgrade, Madrid and Rome) in the last few weeks, so I'm trying to build on that confidence."

Wearing strapping below his right knee, Djokovic broke De Bakker's serve at the first attempt and then broke again to take the first set with an inside-out forehand winner that left the off-balance De Bakker rooted to the spot.

The world number 71 offered belated resistance in the second set, falling 5-0 down before holding serve and then bringing up a break point that he looked to have converted with a flashing forehand return.

The umpire overturned the line call, however, and moments later Djokovic had established a two-sets lead after his opponent found the net with a return.

Djokovic, whose seven titles this season include the Australian Open and four Masters events, continued to have his own way in the third set and completed the win on his third match point when De Bakker dragged a backhand into the net.

Print Email