"I'm going to try to use the time spent with him as best as I can, as best as we can", said Djokovic.
"It was a bit of a rusty start", said Djokovic, who while winning in straights needed eight set points to close out the first with new coach Andre Agassi looking on. "But what I was very impressed about was his honesty and transparency and willingness to share his life's experience that one human being goes through".
- The match was del Potro's first at Roland Garros since 2012, when he lost in the quarter-final to Roger Federer. "He's an uncomfortable opponent that already had some good victories this year", said Nadal.
The Serbian recovered from a set down to defeat Andy Murray and complete the Grand Slam of major titles in Paris past year.
Djokovic, playing for the first time under new coach Andre Agassi, cruised past Spain's Marcel Granollers 6-5, 6-4, 6-2 on the clay. "I'm patient. For us this is a great way to start off our collaboration and friendship and to get to know each other and then see where it takes us".
Djokovic, who lost his No. 1 ranking to Murray a year ago, has hired Agassi as part of his bid to win Roland-Garros and become the first man in the Open era to win each of the four majors twice.
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Former French Open runners-up Sam Stosur and Sara Errani, the latter coming through qualifying, also moved into round two.
Seeded winners in the women's first round: No. 2 Karolina Pliskova, No. 4 Garbine Muguruza, No. 11 Caroline Wozniacki, No. 13 Kristina Mladenovic, No. 14 Elena Vesnina, No. 16 Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, No. 18 Kiki Bertens, No. 23 Sam Stosur, No. 27 Yulia Putintseva, No. 29 Ana Konjuh, No. 32 Zhang Shuai.
"I pulled my back yesterday and specialists were saying I needed 48 hours, I was nearly sure I could not take it to court today", said Mladenovic, who burst into tears after a two-hour-59-minute tussle. "That's the only thing that wasn't great for me". When I look back on some videos, I heard her name.
- Switzerland's Stan Wawrinka, the men's third seed, beat Jozef Kovalik of Slovakia 6-2 7-6 (6) 6-3.
Fourteenth seed Jack Sock was dumped out by Jiri Vesely but there was an emotional two-day win for his fellow American Steve Johnson, who defeated Yuichi Sugita in five sets.
Ninth-seed Alexander Zverev's first-round match against Spain's Fernando Verdasco was suspended due to rain and poor light.
Fifth-seeded Elina Svitolina hit a crosscourt forehand victor on match point to win the first match on Court Suzanne Lenglen and seal her spot in the second round of the French Open.