(Reuters) – Novak Djokovic opened his Monte Carlo Masters title defence with a 6-1 6-0 demolition of Spanish qualifier Albert Montanes yesterday to reach the third round.
In his first claycourt match of the season, the Serbian world number two won 11 games in succession from 1-1 in a 45-minute stroll on centre court.
Djokovic, bidding to become the first player to achieve an Indian Wells-Miami-Monte Carlo Masters treble in the same season, ended his opponent’s ordeal on his first match point with a volley, having broken five times and saved four break points.
Fifth seed Tomas Berdych of the Czech Republic was made to work hard to dismiss Russian Dmitry Tursunov 7-5 6-4, while Spain’s David Ferrer, the sixth seed, stormed into the third round with a 6-3 6-0 thrashing of Frenchman Jeremy Chardy.
But it was Djokovic who had the easier day.
“For the first match on clay, it was great. I lost only one game, so there were not too many flaws in my game that I could recall,” said Djokovic, who has been nursing a wrist problem for a week.
“I have a certain problem that I carry for the last week or so with the wrist,” he explained.
“The short match today helped definitely. So I’m going to have some time to heal it.”
Djokovic, who 12 months ago ended Rafael Nadal’s eight-year reign in the principality, has won the last four Masters events he has played, prevailing in Shanghai, Paris, Indian Wells and Miami and also won the 2013 ATP World Tour Finals.
Earlier, Frenchman Michael Llodra beat Polish 16th seed Jerzy Janowicz in first-round action and French ninth seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga struggled to secure a third-round spot in a 6-4 1-6 6-4 defeat of German Philipp Kohlschreiber.
Russian Mikhail Youzhny was the other seeded casualty to go down as the 13th seed was beaten by Italian Andreas Seppi 6-3 7-6(4) in the first round.
Top seed Nadal and former world number one Roger Federer, seeded fourth, enter the fray on Wednesday when they face Russian qualifier Teymuraz Gabashvili and Czech Radek Stepanek respectively in second-round matches.