Top seed Novak Djokovic felt at home as he coasted past teenager Jannik Sinner in straight sets to book his place in the third round of the Monte-Carlo Masters on Wednesday.
World No. 1 Djokovic, making a first appearance since his Australian Open success two months ago, needed just over an hour-and-a-half to end the hopes of 19-year-old Sinner, runners-up at the Miami Open, with a 6-4, 6-2 victory, reports DPA.
“It feels great (to be back and) also playing in Monaco, where I reside,” Djokovic said in his post-match interview.
“I have used this as a training base for almost 15 years, so it feels like playing at home.”
Djokovic is chasing his third title in Monte Carlo. He added: “It was a very good encounter. I thought it was a great first match (and) a big challenge for me. Jannik is in form. He played the final (in) Miami and has been playing well. I just hung in there today and managed to find the right shots and the right game at the right time.”
Djokovic will next face Dan Evans after the British No. 1 defeated 13th seed Hubert Hurkacz in straight sets. The Miami Open champion looked to be struggling with illness as Evans completed a 6-4, 6-1 win in just over an hour.
Third seed Rafael Nadal, who last played in Melbourne on February 17, made quick work of his encounter with qualifier Federico Delbonis, winning 6-1, 6-2.
“It was a good start, always good to come back to competition with a victory,” the Spaniard said. “I think I played a solid match and I hope to keep going.”
Defending champion Fabio Fognini, the 15th seed, also progressed with a 6-3, 6-3 win over Australia’s Jordan Thompson.