Novak Djokovic has advanced to the second round of the Monte Carlo Masters after recording a comfortable 6-0 6-1 win over Dusan Lajovic to whet appetites for a potential showdown against Rafael Nadal. "I haven't got a lot of matches this year".
Djokovic, a two-time victor at Monte Carlo, dropped just eight points as he wrapped up the first set with his opponent well off the pace.
Despite some near-misses and the occasional cooked shot, Djokovic looked a changed man to the player that succumbed to uncharacteristic early defeats in Miami and Indian Wells earlier this year. He's more like a brother, a father. "I'm practicing well; I am playing with the right intensity I think". I'm lacking matches and a bit of confidence on court. Djokovic dominated from the outset as Lajovic struggled, and despite some nervy moments on serve in the second set, wrapped up victory in under an hour to book a second-round meeting with Borna Coric.
Djokovic started strongly, dropping only three points on serve as he cruised to a first-set bagel which was sealed with a fierce return victor.
Djokovic was in a hurry to get the job done and Lajovic was put out of his misery when he drilled a backhand wide.
"Australia was a tough moment, of course, being in that quarter-final, winning the match and having that problem, having a good chance".
Earlier on Monday, Japan's Kei Nishikori fought back from a set down to see off Czech 12th seed Tomas Berdych and reach the second round. He has not won a Grand Slam tournament since the 2016 French Open.
The victory will not rank among his greatest, but it was no doubt a reaffirming afternoon for former world No.1 Djokovic, who was smarting from three successive losses and seems to have found some of his lethal form once more.
He was playing close to his best tennis despite calling for a medical timeout for his troublesome wrist. I always enjoy this Europe season.
"I wanted to share something simple I always try to remember: No matter how good you are at something, there is always more to learn, more to improve, more to explore.so keep your head in the game". The 21-year-old Russian could face Gilles Simon or 16th seed Adrian Mannarino next.
World number 51 Jared Donaldson confronted an umpire after disagreeing with a call made in his first-round defeat by last-year's finalist Albert Ramos-Vinolas.
Bookmakers Betfair have priced the 30-year-old at 16/1 for top honours while Nadal is the odds-on favourite at 8/13. He then sarcastically apologised, saying he was "sorry" to hurt Gabas' feelings.