Djokovic takes aim at his first French title
PARIS -- Novak Djokovic does not try to hide his ambitions. He makes it perfectly clear that he wants to win a French Open title more than anything.
Embarking on a bid to complete a career Grand Slam and fill the only glaring hole on his resume, the top-ranked Djokovic pulled out a tight first set en route to a 7-6 (5), 6-4, 7-5 victory Tuesday in the first round against David Goffin, a Belgian who was the surprise of Roland Garros a year ago.
"I love this Grand Slam," Djokovic said. "I really want to do well here."
The key moment came in the first-set tiebreaker, with the 58th-ranked Goffin serving at 5-all. After he faulted once, a fan yelled, "Allez, David!" The 22-year-old Goffin then proceeded to miss his second serve, too, for a double-fault that gave Djokovic a set point.
"That's what happens sometimes. When you play in Davis Cup, you see that on every serve, basically," Goffin said. "Anyway, it was up to me to focus my mind. This is the type of thing that can happen and can happen to anybody. So tough luck."
His backhand into the net then gave the set to Djokovic, who had won fewer total points until then, 39-36.
After that, though, there were not too many hiccups for Djokovic, although he did get broken at love by Goffin, evening the second set at 4-all. Djokovic broke right back and was really on his way.
In 2012, Goffin got into the French Open field as a "lucky loser" -- someone who loses in qualifying but is put in the main draw because another player withdrew -- and made it all the way to the fourth round. That's when he got to face Roger Federer, Goffin's idol. He even took a set off the owner of the most career major titles before losing the match.
"He has a good chance to have a good future," Djokovic said. "He likes playing here, obviously. He likes playing on a big stage."
There was a delay of more than 2? hours before play could start, and then after only 1? hours of action, another stop of more than an hour. Only 26 of 40 scheduled singles matches were completed, three were suspended in progress, and organizers wound up postponing others entirely. That means players such as Victoria Azarenka, the reigning Australian Open champion, will be slated for first-round action Wednesday, the fourth day of the tournament.
Those who did get to play Tuesday included 2010 French Open runner-up and 2011 U.S. Open champion Sam Stosur, who beat 42-year-old Kimiko Date-Krumm of Japan 6-0, 6-2.
"I was happy to get out there and start," she said. "It was spitting a little bit when we went out there. You think, 'Oh, are we going to start or are we not?' Lucky for me, I was able to finish the match before this last downpour came."
Another Australian, Bernard Tomic -- whose father was barred from Roland Garros after being accused this month of head-butting Tomic's hitting partner -- stopped because of a torn right hamstring while trailing Victor Hanescu 7-5, 7-6 (8), 2-1.
American Jack Sock, a 20-year-old qualifier ranked 118th, made a successful Roland Garros debut by beating Guillermo Garcia-Lopez 6-2, 6-2, 7-5. Sock wore initials on his shoes in honor of two friends who he said recently died.
"Kind of hits you out of nowhere," Sock said. "I was definitely thinking of them out there."