PARIS - First-round victories at the French Open put Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic in reflective mood on Monday, with the Swiss chalking up a new landmark and the Serbian world number one considering the pressure of always trying to win.
Federer equalled Jimmy Connors' record of 233 grand-slam match wins with a 6-2 7-5 6-3 defeat of German Tobias Kamke, the first step, he hopes, on the road to a record 17th title at one of the big four tournaments.
Djokovic, though, has a record of his own on his mind and, after a mostly straightforward, 7-6 6-3 6-1 win over Italian Potito Starace, turned his thoughts towards trying to complete his grand-slam collection and becoming the first man in 43 years to hold all four titles at once.
"The situation that I found myself in this year before Roland Garros is to make history eventually if I go all the way through," Djokovic told a news conference.
"But, look, it doesn't give me an extra negative pressure; I really think it's a challenge and something to embrace and to enjoy."
Djokovic will now play Blaz Kavcic of Slovenia, who ended former U.S. Open and Wimbledon champion Lleyton Hewitt's tournament with a 7-6 6-3 6-7 6-3 win after the injury-hit Australian had been given a wildcard.
Federer took time to look back on his long career as he began his 50th consecutive grand slam event.
"I obviously love the big tournaments," the Swiss said. "I have been so successful for such a long time and to already tie that (Connors') record, (at) 30 years old is pretty incredible, so I'm very happy.
"When you look at the tournaments like this and you step back, you realise you have been playing for quite a long time.
"When I started, I loved playing against those famous players I used to see on TV. Now I'm playing against younger players, a new generation. It's also very nice."
Federer, on course to meet Djokovic in the semi-finals if both men survive, will now meet Adrian Ungur of Romania, who knocked out Argentine David Nalbandian 6-3 5-7 6-4 7-5.