French Open: Novak Djokovic beats David Goffin in first round
Last Updated: 29/05/13 10:35am
Novak Djokovic started his bid to win a first French Open title with a workmanlike 7-6 (7-5) 6-4 7-5 victory over Belgium's David Goffin in the first round.
The match finally got underway in the early evening gloom at Roland Garros following a day of downpours in Paris and world No 1 Djokovic found the 58th-ranked Goffin a stubborn opponent in the opening set.
Goffin took it to a tie-break and was holding his own at 5-5 when a fan yelled out "Allez, David!" on his second serve, causing him to double fault and giving Djokovic a set point which he won.
Australian Open champion Djokovic, who is bidding to become just the eighth man to complete a career Grand Slam, was 2-1 up with a break in the second set before Goffin levelled for 4-4.
The Serb clawed that break back immediately in the ninth game before going on to secure a two-sets lead.
A break in the 11th game of the third set was all Djokovic needed to secure victory in the next game with a swooping forehand, after two hours and 13 minutes.
Top-seed Djokovic, the runner-up to Rafael Nadal in 2012, now plays Argentinian Guido Pella, who defeated Ivan Dodig of Croatia 4-6 6-4 6-3 2-6 12-10, for a place in the last 32.
"Thanks to all the fans for waiting. It was a good match, David is a good player and has a lot of talent," said Djokovic. "I'm happy to win and hope to continue like this.
"It was a long day. I think I warmed up five or six times today and finally got to the court.
"Heavy balls, bad bounces, it's quite cold. So you need to step into the court and try to hit the ball. I needed to and played my best tennis when it was most important today."