ATP Roland Garros: Novak Djokovic downs Alex Molcan and reaches R3

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ATP Roland Garros: Novak Djokovic downs Alex Molcan and reaches R3

Novak Djokovic is through to the Roland Garros third round for the 17th straight year. The defending champion took down an in-form Slovak Alex Molcan 6-2, 6-3, 7-6 in two hours and 16 minutes on Court Suzanne-Lenglen for the 83rd Roland Garros victory.

Coached by Marian Vajda, a long-time Novak's trainer, Alex played well in the third set to stay in touch with world no. 1 and reach a tie break. Djokovic claimed it 7-4 to emerge at the top and move into the last 16. Novak fired ten aces and dropped serve once from two chances offered to his rival.

Djokovic turned 43% of the return points won into four breaks from eight opportunities, dominating the rallies in the opening two sets and staying composed in the third.

Novak Djokovic is through to the third round in Paris.

World no.

1 had 40 winners and 19 unforced errors, taming his strokes nicely and making the biggest difference in the mid-range exchanges with five to eight strokes. Novak was the only player on the court in the opener, dropping only a couple of points in his games and delivering two breaks for 6-2.

Djokovic grabbed the first break in the opener's fourth game to move 3-1 in front. Novak held at love in game seven to open a 5-2 gap and broke at love in the next one to wrap up the opener in 28 minutes. The second set saw only one break chance, and Djokovic seized it in the fourth game to control the scoreboard.

The Serb grabbed that break at 3-2 after Molcan's forehand mistake and held at 15 with a forehand winner in the next one for 5-2. Djokovic closed the set with a hold in game nine for 6-2, 6-3 in 70 minutes. Novak broke again in the third set's third game before spraying a forehand mistake in the next one to bring the rival back to 2-2.

Both players served well in the next four games to lock the result at 4-4. Molcan fended off a break point in game nine with a service winner, and the set went into a tie break after three more comfortable holds. Novak opened a 3-2 lead after Alex's forehand error and claimed the next point with a smash winner. Djokovic sealed the deal after the rival's backhand error in the 11th point to emerge at the top.