Novak Djokovic opened his Paris title defense with a tough 7-5, 6-3 win over Brazilian lefty Thomaz Bellucci.
“Bellucci is someone who likes these particular conditions, likes to create spin, especially from forehand side and plays pretty well,” said Djokovic. “It wasn’t easy to make a lot of winners. He was reaching out and covering the court well. So it was a good test, first indoor match for me.”
Djokovic’s win extended his recent wins streak to 18 including 24 straight sets. And this week he’s to become the first player in Masters history (since 1990) to win six Masters titles in a singles season. This was also his first indoor match in almost a year!
“The last match I played indoors was last year in London,” Djokovic added. “So that’s why it’s always tricky to start out well. I mean, I had a few things that I could have done better tonight. But again, all in all, it was a very solid match. I played against a player who was on form and who is playing well and gave me a hard time. It’s always good to have a test like this.”
The Serb will faces Gilles Simon on Thursday in the third round.
Elsewhere, French Open champion Stan Wawrinka was a winner over Bernard Tomic 6-3, 7-6. Wawrinka is trying to become the only active player to win both the French and the Indoors in the same season.
“Whatever happens, the season will be very good,” Wawrinka said. “It was an exceptional season for me, that’s clear, whatever happens now. As to assessing the whole year, the year is not over yet. There’s here and the Masters. I want to have very good results. I want to try to get something. I would like to finish this year well.”
David Ferrer also won over Alexandr Dolgopolov to reach the third round.
First round winners included Edouard Roger Vasselin handing Ivo Karlovic his 10th loss in a final set breaker in as many tries this year, Viktor Troicki over Jack Sock, Roberto Bautista Agut beat Pierre-Hugues Herbert, Jeremy Chardy ousted Lucas Pouille and Borna Coric got past Fernando Verdasco 6-4, 6-4.
Coric will face Andy Murray tomorrow in the second round.
On a very busy Wednesday, Rafael Nadal and Lukas Rosol will collide once again.
“I played well last week,” Nadal said. “I finished the tournament feeling good. I’m just happy about the last three weeks playing two finals and one semifinal. Both matches that I lost were in three sets. I’m competing well against very good players. I’m happy about the way that I am practicing. It’s important for me to compete well and last week I competed well again.”
Kei Nishikori faces Chardy in a rematch of the Frenchman’s stunning US Open win, Grigor Dimitrov duels Marin Cilic and Roger Federer meets Andreas Seppi.
“It’s always a tournament that I really enjoyed winning a few years ago,” 2008 champ Federer said of the event. “But I have been 10 times in the final in Basel, so it always affects my preparation when I come into this tournament in Paris. So I do the best I can. That’s why the first rounds are always tough for me in this tournament.”
French stars Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Richard Gasquet are also on court.
WEDNESDAY PARIS SCHEDULE
COURT CENTRAL start 10:30 am
 K. Nishikori (JPN) vs J. Chardy (FRA)
L. Mayer (ARG) vs  R. Gasquet (FRA)
B. Coric (CRO) vs  A. Murray (GBR)
[Q] L. Rosol (CZE) vs  R. Nadal (ESP)
Not Before 7:30 pm
A. Seppi (ITA) vs  R. Federer (SUI)
Not Before 8:30 pm
 J. Tsonga (FRA) vs R. Bautista Agut (ESP)
COURT 1 start 10:30 am
 D. Goffin (BEL) vs [Q] D. Lajovic (SRB)
G. Dimitrov (BUL) vs  M. Cilic (CRO)
 J. Isner (USA) vs [Q] A. Bedene (GBR)
[Q] E. Roger-Vasselin (FRA) vs  T. Berdych (CZE)
V. Troicki (SRB) vs  F. Lopez (ESP)
 K. Anderson (RSA) vs D. Thiem (AUT)
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