Nadal, Djokovic advance; Nishikori out in French Open round one
PARIS (AP) - Novak Djokovic played through some rain and some rain delays Monday before reaching the second round at the French Open, while current No. 1 Rafael Nadal finished off his match in the sunshine.
Djokovic beat Joao Sousa of Portugal 6-1, 6-2, 6-4 despite being broken three times, including while serving for the match for the first time.
The second-seeded Serb was leading 4-1 when rain halted play on Court Philippe Chatrier, but it restarted about an hour later.
''Very heavy conditions. The court is not that great, in a great condition, at this moment,'' Djokovic said. ''But of course, considering the amount of the rain that we had in last four or five days, it is not easy for people to maintain the court in the right state. They are doing their best.''
In the second set, a short shower stopped play for only a few minutes. Djokovic, wearing a white rain jacket, used the time to entertain the crowd by chatting with a ball boy and letting the youngster sit alongside him on the bench.
At one point, Djokovic grabbed the umbrella out of the ball boy's hand and in return gave him a racket. Then Djokovic handed him a bottle of Perrier, and the two clinked bottles before taking a sip.
Djokovic can complete a career Grand Slam by winning the French Open.
Nadal has already won a record eight French Open titles, but he is looking to become the first man to win five times in a row in Paris.
On Monday, he improved his record at Roland Garros to 60-1 by beating Robby Ginepri of the United States 6-0, 6-3, 6-0.
''Always the same: To win against anyone I need to play at a good level and I need to be ready for fight and for everything that I will need to do to win,'' said Nadal, looking ahead to his next match. ''And with that I can see I need to be aggressive and need to find a rhythm on the legs and play solid points, find real ways to win the points. That's it.''
Nadal played his opening match on Court Suzanne Lenglen, the second biggest stadium at the French Open.
Ninth-seeded Kei Nishikori was knocked out at the first step, losing to Martin Klizan of Slovakia 7-6 (4), 6-1, 6-2.
Nishikori came into the tournament after winning his first clay-court title in Barcelona last month and then reaching the final in Madrid against Rafael Nadal where he had to retire with a back injury.
Nishikori, the highest-ranked Japanese man in history, is No. 10 in the world, one spot lower than his career high.
No. 25 Marin Cilic of Croatia and No. 29 Gilles Simon of France advanced.
Later Monday, Australian Open champion Stan Wawrinka is scheduled to play - weather permitting.
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