Although Djokovic didn’t face a break point throughout the match, he couldn’t convert any of the opportunities to take his opponent’s serve in the first set. He only managed to break Starace at the beginning of the second set, but from then onwards, he was in full control of the match.
The Serbian, who lost to former world no.1 Federer in last year’s semifinal, has had an amazing run at the Grand Slams, winning last year’s Wimbledon, US Open and the 2012 Australian Open. The French crowd might see a potential Federer – Djokovic semifinal re-match, with Nadal in the other half of the draw, trying to work his way to the 7th French Open title.
Also through to the next round is no.7 seed Tomas Berdych of Czech Republic after beating Dudi Sela of Israel 6-3 6-4 6-1.
From the other first round matches: 19th seed Canadian Milos Raonic eliminated Spaniard Ruben Ramirez Hidalgo 6-4 6-2 6-2, 21st seed Croatian Marin Cilic defeated Spanish qualifier Daniel Munoz-De La Nava 6-4 6-4 7-5, 24th seed German Philipp Kohlschreiber dismissed Austalian Matthew Ebden 6-4 6-4 7-6 (4) and 25th seed Australian Bernard Tomic ousted Austrian qualifier Andreas Haider-Maurer in straight sets 7-6 (5) 6-3 6-3.