Djokovic eases through opener

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He wobbled in the second set, having to pull out some of his sliding, rubber-limbed best to avoid going 5-1 down against the 33-year-old who had one previous victory against the Serb.

Once he saved a break point with a carved volley after a long exchange he reeled in his opponent who gave full value in an entertaining first-round encounter. ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ??

The world No 1 looked comfortable on court Philippe Chatrier, breaking the Nieminen serve in the very first game of the match and rarely having to move into top gear.

Nieminen, world No 87, pleased the crowd when he saved two match points in the seventh game of the third set, but Djokovic made sure in the next game to extend his current winning streak to 23. ?? ?? ?? ?? ??

By adding the French to his string of Slams in Melbourne, Wimbledon and Flushing Meadow, Djokovic, who turned 28 last week, would join an elite group of just eight men in history to have won all four tournaments.

Djokovic, who will face either Gilles Muller or Paolo Lorenzi in round two, is in line for a quarter-final blockbuster against nine-times champion Rafa Nadal. ????