PARIS (Reuters) - Novak Djokovic sees no reason for concern after wasting a few opportunities in his 7-5 6-4 6-4 second-round victory over Belgian qualifier Steve Darcis at the French Open on Thursday.
The world number one dropped serve twice when he seemed to be strolling towards a straightforward victory, his 50th at Roland Garros. That’s just part of the early-rounds set-up, the top seed said.
“Hopefully, that’s not going to happen in the following rounds. The matches will get tougher, and it’s kind of expected at the beginning that you are a bit rusty on the court, and hopefully things will get better,” Djokovic told reporters.
Darcis, the world number 161, fought back from a break down in the first and third sets as Djokovic seemed to lose focus.
The Serb raced to a 3-0 lead on Court Suzanne Lenglen, but Darcis broke back to level at 3-3 before he wasted a break point in the ninth game. Djokovic went on to take the set as the Belgian’s backhand sailed long.
An early break put the top seed ahead in the second set, which he won comfortably. However, Djokovic, who hopes to win the only grand slam missing from his collection, let Darcis fight back from 2-0 down in the third.
But the Australian Open champion, a runner-up at Roland Garros last year, accelerated again and wrapped it up on his first match point.
“I‘m pleased to get the job done in three sets, but there were things that I definitely didn’t like in my game today,” said Djokovic.
”Too many unforced errors from the first or second shot in the rally. But credit to Steve for playing a lot of variety and mixing up the pace.
“Very low slice. It’s not easy, because he’s very quick, and he anticipates the play very well.”
Djokovic next faces Britain’s Aljaz Bedene.
Reporting by Julien Pretot; Editing by Larry King