Djokovic progresses at French Open as he backs ATP stance on Wimbledon

Rafael Nadal sinks Jordan Thompson to launch bid for 14th title at Roland Garros

Novak Djokovic reached the second round in Paris with a 6-3, 6-1, 6-0 win over Japan’s Yoshihito Nishioka. Afterwards, despite acknowledging that he is likely to lose his world No 1 ranking as a result, Djokovic threw his support behind the ATP’s decision to revoke its points from Wimbledon.

Djokovic called Wimbledon’s ban the “wrong decision” and he suggested that All England Club had more options within the UK government guidance than stated.

He said: “I think collectively I’m glad that players got together with ATP, the governing body of the men’s tennis, and showed to the grand slam that, you know, when there is a mistake happening, and there was from the Wimbledon side, then we have to show that there is going to be some consequences.

“So I support the players, unification always. I have always done that. I will always do that.”

Eleven short days after Rafael Nadal limped out of the Italian Open with a bitter flare-up of his chronic foot injury, he was a picture of comfort on Monday afternoon as he returned to the tournament of his life with a calm opening victory. Nadal moved into the second round without incident, defeating the Australian player Jordan Thompson 6-2, 6-2, 6-2.

“[It] is a good start, of course, straight sets. That’s it. I mean, I played good for a while. Then things that I could do better and I need to do better. But is a positive start, and that gives me a chance to have one more day on practice tomorrow and then another chance after tomorrow.”

As he chases his 14th French Open title, the coming encounters for Nadal will carry some unusual urgency as he continues to attempt to rebuild his form after his fractured rib in March and the foot issues that further hurt his preparation for Paris. This is the first time that Nadal has contested the French Open without reaching a prior clay court Masters 1,000 final.

“How is my level of confidence, how would things be if I didn’t get injured? I don’t know,” he said. “We never know. So I’m not a big fan of thinking about the things that could happen if – ‘if’ is a dangerous word.

“[This] is the moment to accept the moment, to accept the situation, and to have the confidence to put all my effort in every single day, to get better and better. Let’s see how far I can keep going.”

Nadal will next face the French wildcard Corentin Moutet, who defeated Stan Wawrinka 2-6, 6-3, 7-6 (7-2), 6-3 as the Swiss continues his comeback from injury.

Shortly after the top seed Iga Swiatek sealed her 6-2, 6-0 win against Ukraine’s Lesia Tsurenko, her 29th win in a row, the Polish player was understandably unconcerned about playing a Wimbledon without points after her recent exploits.

She said, to laughter from her audience: “I think that when I’m going to step out on court it’s going to be normal for me, because I don’t mind points. I already have so much points this season that it’s really, it’s going to be fine for me.”

“It’s a hard one, because I also know that all the Russian and Belarusian players are not responsible in what’s going on in their country, but on the other hand, the sport has been used in politics and we are kind of public personas and we have some impact on people,” she said. “It would be nice if the people who are making decisions were making decisions that are going to stop Russia’s aggression. But it’s a tricky one. I don’t know if I can say any more.” – Guardian