Serb Novak Djokovic began his campaign for a record 23rd major tournament title by reaching the second round of French Roland Garros on Monday by defeating American Aleksandar Kovacevich.
World No. 3 won 6-3, 6-2, 7-6 against his 114th opponent on the court, Philippe Chatrier.
Djokovic has not lost a first-round major match since the 2006 Australian Open.
“I’m motivated to stay in the league for the long haul, this is just the beginning now,” Djokovic said after winning his 19th consecutive Roland Garros entry.
He continued: “I’m happy, I started well and I hope to improve in the next match.”
In the second round, the 36-year-old will take on Hungarian Marton Fuchovic, hoping to continue his flawless record against him in head-to-head matches and achieve his fifth straight win.
Djokovic is only third in the rankings at Roland Garros this year, despite the absence of archrival and 14-time defending champion Rafael Nadal due to injury, behind his last compatriot Carlos Alcaraz and Russian Daniel Medvedev.
Djokovic, along with Nadal, holds the men’s record in major tournaments with 22 titles each, and they are one title behind retired American Serena Williams and two titles behind Australian record holder Margaret Court.