Djokovic, Federer off to winning starts

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Paris, May 23 (AFP) Novak Djokovic took his unbeatenrecord in 2011 to 38 wins today before Grand Slam king RogerFederer demonstrated to the unstoppable Serb that he is stilla French Open force.

Second seed Djokovic enjoyed a 6-2, 6-1, 6-3 dismissal ofhapless Dutchman Thiemo De Bakker in the first round before16-time Grand Slam title-winner Federer romped to a 6-3, 6-4,7-6 (7/3) win over Spain''s Feliciano Lopez.

Also going through on a sweltering day at Roland Garroswas former US Open champion, and 2009 semi-finalist here, JuanMartin del Potro, a winner in four sets against Croatia''s IvoKarlovic.

But sixth seed Czech Tomas Berdych, a semi-finalist lastyear, wilted in the heat, losing in five sets to Frenchqualifier Stephane Robert, the world number 140.

One day after his 24th birthday, the red-hot, worldnumber two Djokovic comfortably saw off the 71st-ranked DeBakker in just 92 minutes.

Djokovic, who is likely to depose Rafael Nadal as worldnumber one by the end of the tournament, is also favourite tosnatch the Spaniard''s French Open title, having seen off hisrival in the Madrid and Rome claycourt finals.

His win today took him to within four victories ofequalling John McEnroe''s 1984 record for a winning seasonstart of 42 triumphs.

"It''s my favourite Grand Slam, even though I haven''t wonit yet," said Djokovic, a semi-finalist in 2007 and 2008. MORE(AFP)

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