Novak Djokovic got back to playing his brand of tennis Monday in his Rome opener, crushing Alexander Dolgopolov 6-1, 6-3.
Though the Ukraine has been limited by injury this year, Djokovic was sharp all around, especially with his serve losing just 11 points total on his delivery.
“It was a great start. I always feel very comfortable in Rome. I think the conditions are quite suitable to my game,” Djokovic said. “I always look forward to coming back to Rome.”
“The last three, four weeks have been better on the practice courts and in matches,” Djokovic added. “Today’s match encourages me to move forward and hopefully I can get a few more matches in Rome than I have in the last couple months.”
Djokovic has made the Rome finals the last two years, and an early loss this week would send him farther down the rankings.
Looking for more wins, Djokovic awaits the qualifier battle between Nikoloz Basilashvili and Filippo Baldi.
Kei Nishikori edged by Feliciano Lopez in straight 7-6(5), 6-4.
“It wasn’t easy match,” said Nishikori. “It was windy and he used a lot of slice and great serves.
“Luckily I [won the] first set and after that I was more confident and I was playing better tennis.”
Next for Nishikori is Grigir Dimitrov on Wednesday.
Philipp Kohlschreiber beat Karen Khachanov for a second time this year in a final set breaker. On a good day for Italians, Fabio Fognini cruised past a returning Gael Monfils 6-3, 6-1.
Tomorrow, the action is headlined by Tomas Berdych battling Madrid semifinalist Denis Shapovalov. Marin Cilic, Lucas Pouille and Jack Sock are also in action.
TUESDAY ROME SCHEDULE
1st Rd 16 Lucas Pouille VS (WC) Andreas Seppi
1st Rd Denis Shapovalov VS 15 Tomas Berdych
2nd Rd Petra Martic VS 4 Elina Svitolina
Not Before 7:30 Pm
2nd Rd Shuai Zhang VS 5 Jelena Ostapenko
Not Before 9:00 Pm
2nd Rd Ryan Harrison VS 4 Marin Cilic
NEXT GEN ARENA Starts At 11:00 Am
1st Rd (Q) Nikoloz Basilashvili VS (Q) Filippo Baldi
1st Rd Maria Sharapova VS 16 Ashleigh Barty
1st Rd 15 Anastasija Sevastova VS Kristina Mladenovic
2nd Rd Peter Gojowczyk VS (WC) Lorenzo Sonego
Not Before 7:00 Pm
2nd Rd Philipp Kohlschreiber VS 13 Jack Sock
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