PARIS (Reuters) - World number one Novak Djokovic became the first man into the third round of the French Open on Wednesday when he defeated battling Slovenian Blaz Kavcic 6-0 6-4 6-4.
Djokovic, bidding to become the first man in 43 years to hold all the grand-slam titles at once, made a flying start, winning the first seven games.
The crowd sitting in the sunshine on the Suzanne Lenglen showcourt, however, began rooting for the underdog and when Kavcic won his first game, for 1-1 in the second set, they cheered him wildly.
Kavcic, ranked 99th in the world, took heart from their support and stepped up his game, breaking Serbian Djokovic for 2-1 before surrendering his own serve on the fourth breakpoint in a long, hard eighth game.
Though he ultimately lost the second set, Kavcic continued to battle and the crowd continued to cheer for him until the umpire ticked them off for making too much noise while the ball was in play.
Kavcic saved three matchpoints before putting a backhand long on the fourth to give Djokovic an appointment with French qualifier Nicolas Devilder.
Djokovic blamed himself for making heavy weather of the second and third sets.
“I stopped,” he told a news conference. “I gave him the opportunity to come back into the match after a perfect first seven games.”
The Serbian, though, was happy overall with his form, saying: ”Everything is working great, I am feeling better and better every match.
“I was working very hard on my serve in the last two years and I am happy to see that I have got my serve to a very high level even on clay courts.”
Editing by Martyn Herman and Pritha Sarkar