Novak Djokovic began his search for a 23rd Grand Slam title in style ©Getty Images

Novak Djokovic began his quest for a record 23rd men's Grand Slam singles title with a commanding victory at the French Open.

The Serbian, who is a two-time champion at Roland Garros, cruised past the United States' Aleksandar Kovacevic 6-3, 6-2, 7-6.

He was forced to play a third set tie-break against the world number 114 after being broken as he served for the match.

"I played well in the first two sets but then I missed opportunities and lost a little focus," said Djokovic, who will face Hungary's Márton Fucsovics in the next round.

"But it is also a sign of Aleks' level, which was getting better.

"When you get to a Grand Slam it is not the opponent who gives you the victory, you have to earn it."

Spanish US Open champion Carlos Alcaraz also advanced after dispatching Italy's Flavio Cobolli 6-0, 6-2, 7-5.

The 20-year-old is in the same half of the draw as Djokovic and the two are expected to meet in the semi-final.

Canada's Felix Auger-Aliassime became the first men's top-10 seed to be eliminated in Paris.

He lost 6-4, 6-4, 6-3 to Italy's Fabio Fognini in his fourth first-round defeat in five years in the tournament.

In the women's event, France's Caroline Garcia was the highest seed player in action.

The fifth seed came close to suffering a shock defeat to Xiyu Wang of China but eventually prevailed 7-6, 4-6, 6-4.

Olympic champion Belinda Bencic was eliminated by Russian Elina Avanesyan, who is competing as a neutral.

The 26-year-old was stunned by an opening game blitz from Avanesyan before regaining her composure.

However, she was unable to see out the win with the final score reading 6-2, 2-6, 6-4.

Switzerland's Bencic will have to wait another year before aiming to reach the French Open fourth round for the first time in her singles career, after first appearing in 2014.

Polish top seed Iga Świątek is due to begin her title defence tomorrow with a clash against Spain's Cristina Bucșa.