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.
Djokovic dominated from the outset as Lajovic struggled, and despite some nervy moments on serve in the second set, wrapped up a victory in under an hour to book a second-round meeting with Borna Coric.
It was the 12-time Grand Slam champion’s first win at a regular ATP Tour event this season, after losing his opening matches in Indian Wells and Miami to Taro Daniel and Benoit Paire respectively.
Djokovic started strongly, dropping only three points on serve as he cruised to a first-set bagel which was sealed with a fierce return winner.
Lajovic had his chances in the second, creating break-point opportunities in three consecutive Djokovic service games as the two-time Monte Carlo champion threw in two double faults.
But the qualifier was unable to make the most of those openings, and Djokovic, who lives and trains in Monaco, broke in game four as Lajovic fired wide.
Djokovic had to save two break points when serving for the match but sealed the win to stay on course for a possible quarter-final meeting with old rival Rafael Nadal.