Tennis

Novak Djokovic cruises as second seed Karolina Pliskova crashes out

World No. 1 Novak Djokovic stormed to his 70th win at Roland Garros yesterday with a 6-1, 6-2, 6-2 demolition of Lithuania's Ricardas Berankis.

The top seed went level with Roger Federer for career victories at the tournament, but is still 25 behind Rafael Nadal's French Open record.

Djokovic, the 2016 champion who is chasing an 18th Grand Slam title, will face Colombia's 153rd-ranked Daniel Elahi Galan, who beat American Tennys Sandgren 6-2, 6-2, 6-3.

"It was difficult for Ricardas in the third set as he had an injury and couldn't move very well," said Djokovic, whose quick-fire 83-minute win was eased by his opponent needing treatment on a back injury after the second set.

"But I felt good just as I did in the first round and I want to continue like that."

Djokovic also dropped only five games in his first-round match against Mikael Ymer, who likened facing the Serb to a "shark killing its prey".

There was also victory for another former French Open champion as Jelena Ostapenko ousted second seed Karolina Pliskova 6-4 , 6-2 in the second round, after an error-ridden performance from the Czech.

Ostapenko, who won the 2017 title as an unseeded player, played aggressively and hit 27 winners, rediscovering her love for the drop shot in the colder and slower conditions of this year's delayed Roland Garros.

"I kind of forgot that I have this good shot, because I think I do good drop shots, sometimes winners, and it's tough for girls. I think in these conditions the ball is bouncing super low, so it's even tougher to get it back," said Ostapenko.

Pliskova's twin sister Kristyna also crashed out, losing 6-3, 6-2 to Garbine Muguruza. - AFP, REUTERS

Tennis