Novak Djokovic showed signs of rediscovering his form with a dominant 6-0 6-1 victory over Dusan Lajovic in the opening round of the Monte Carlo Masters on Monday.
There were no signs of the Serb's recent struggles which has seen him disrupted by elbow surgery followed by consecutive first-round defeats at Indian Wells and Miami.
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But he kick-started his clay-court campaign in fine style to record his first victory since January by thumping fellow countryman Lajovic in just 57 minutes.
"I've had a very difficult time in the last 12 months with the injury and everything else that's happened," Djokovic said. "I'm lacking matches and a bit of confidence on court. But I'm looking ahead.
"It's a great start, but it's only one match."
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Djokovic dropped just eight points as he wrapped up the first set with his opponent well off the pace.
Lajovic, ranked 93 in the world, offered resistance in the second set to level at 1-1 but failed to capitalise on a break point as the 12-time Grand Slam winner roared back to book a second-round meeting with Borna Coric of Croatia, who beat French veteran Julien Benneteau 6-2 6-3.
Austrian Dominic Thiem opens his campaign against Andrey Rublev on Tuesday, live on Sky Sports Arena from 10am.
"To me it's really natural so I don't have any problems," Thiem said about his return to playing on clay. "I step on the clay and I'm feeling really home because I grew up on it. But of course there's some transitions - you can go a little bit further back on the baseline, you can slide, you can grind a little bit, all things which are tougher and hard."
Coverage of the ATP Monte Carlo Rolex Masters gets underway from 10am on Sky Sports Arena every day this week.
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