• Paris Masters

Djokovic begins title defence with victory

ESPN staff
October 28, 2014
It wasn't always conventional for Novak Djokovic in his second-round victory over Philipp Kohlschreiber © Getty Images

In his first match since the birth of his child, defending champion Novak Djokovic stayed on course to finish the season as world No.1 by defeating Philipp Kohlschreiber 6-3 6-4 in the second round of the Paris Masters on Tuesday.

Top seed Djokovic took a 5-1 lead in the first set and broke his German opponent in the opening game of the second.

Djokovic, who hit 23 winners to 14 for Kohlschreiber, travelled to Paris without his wife, Jelena, and their baby boy, Stefan, who was born last week.

At the end of his match, the Wimbledon champion wrote some words in Serbian on the lens of the TV camera.

"I sent a message to my boy, that I love him and that I play for him," a smiling Djokovic said.

Djokovic was congratulated by his parents after the match.

"I'm really glad that they are here," Djokovic said. "I'm glad because usually they don't come very often. First couple of years of my career, they were there pretty much at all the grand slams. But now they have too many things to do."

On the win, he added: "It was a very good match considering the fact that I didn't play indoors for a year. I struggled a little bit physically. It was a pretty tough couple of weeks."

Spain's Fernando Verdasco and South African No.1 Kevin Anderson also reached the third round.

Big-serving Anderson fired 12 aces in his 6-4 7-6(8) win over Santiago Giraldo while Verdasco outlasted Frenchman Gilles Simon 6-3 3-6 6-4.

In the first round, Tommy Robredo, who lost to Andy Murray in Sunday's Valencia Open final despite having five match points, is also through, seeing off Vasek Pospisil 6-3 4-6 7-6(5).

Elsewhere, David Goffin beat Lukas Rosol 6-4 6-3, Gael Monfils eased past Joao Sousa 6-1 6-4, and qualifier Lucas Pouille upset Ivo Karlovic by the same score.

In an all-French affair, Jeremy Chardy needed two tie-breaks to get past Kenny de Schepper 7-6(5) 7-6(4).

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