Novak Djokovic through to the third round of the Monte-Carlo Masters

Novak Djokovic through to the third round of the Monte-Carlo Masters

Novak Djokovic eased past Roman Safiullin 6-1 6-2 at the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters on Tuesday, reaching the third round in the Principality for the 14th time.

The Serb played his first match since Indian Wells after choosing to skip Miami and then parting ways with long-time coach Goran Ivanisevic.

With former Serbian doubles specialist Nenad Zimonjic guiding him from the stands, Djokovic, now the oldest men's singles number one in history, eased to a 6-1 6-2 victory over Russia's Roman Safiullin.

"I am very pleased, said the 36-year-old.

"I think even the games that I lost I had break points in those games. It is a really great first match at the start of the clay season. It is always been a little bit up and down. Last year as well I started off well at this tournament and the second match I lost, so I hope to maintain this rhythm. I have a day tomorrow of training and I hope to come out in a few days time with the same attitude and quality of tennis."

In other action, Djokovic's countryman Miomir Kecmanovic ended Matteo Berrettini's winning run. Kecmanovic dispatched the Marrakech champion Berrettini 6-3, 6-1 in 75 minutes to set a third-round clash against Grigor Dimitrov.

Tomas Martin Etcheverry also advanced. The Argentine beat Nicolas Jarry 6-4, 7-5 and will next play two-time champion Stefanos Tsitsipas.

Jack Draper took on 10th seed Hubert Hurkacz and for the second year in a row lost a very tight contest.

The British number two forced a deciding set and then broke Hurkacz, champion on clay in Estoril last week, when he served for the match at 5-4 but the Pole played a brilliant tie-break to win 6-4 3-6 7-6 (2). Draper's exit ends British interest in singles, with Cameron Norrie and Dan Evans also losing in the first round.

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