Monte Carlo : Former world number one Novak Djokovic showed signs of a return to form with a 6-0, 6-1 thrashing of fellow Serb Dusan Lajovic in the Monte Carlo Masters first round on Monday.
It was an impressive performance from the 30-year-old in his first match since splitting from coach Andre Agassi and starting to work again with long-time former coach Marian Vajda.
Ranked 13th in the world after lengthy spells off the court with an elbow injury, Djokovic is training with Vajda for the first time since last year’s Monte Carlo Masters.
“I train on this court, so I feel at home,” said Djokovic, who lives in Monaco.
“I’ve had a very difficult time in the last 12 months with the injury and everything else that’s happened.
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.
In a battle of two former Grand Slam finalists, Nishikori raced through the final two sets to progress with a 4-6, 6-2, 6-1 victory.
The former world number four, who is now ranked 36th, missed a large part of last season with a right wrist injury and started his 2018 campaign in American second-tier Challenger Tour events.
Elsewhere, American Jared Donaldson launched into an angry tirade at umpire Arnaud Gabas while squaring up to the Frenchman over a line call during his defeat by Albert Ramos-Vinolas.
Ramos-Vinolas, who lost last year’s final to Nadal, was leading by a set and a break at the time and went on to win 6-3, 6-3.
Former Wimbledon runner-up Milos Raonic had to come back from losing the first set to Monegasque wildcard Lucas Catarina, while French veteran Julien Benneteau bowed out of his final appearance in Monaco at the first hurdle with a straight-sets defeat by Coric.