Djokovic beats Sinner in straight sets in Monte Carlo

Top seed Novak Djokovic felt at home as he coasted past teenager Jannik Sinner in straight sets to book his place in the third round of the Monte-Carlo Masters on Wednesday.

World No. 1 Djokovic, making a first appearance since his Australian Open success two months ago, needed just over an hour-and-a-half to end the hopes of 19-year-old Sinner, runners-up at the Miami Open, with a 6-4, 6-2 victory, reports DPA.

“It feels great (to be back and) also playing in Monaco, where I reside,” Djokovic said in his post-match interview.

“I have used this as a training base for almost 15 years, so it feels like playing at home.”

Djokovic is chasing his third title in Monte Carlo. He added: “It was a very good encounter. I thought it was a great first match (and) a big challenge for me. Jannik is in form. He played the final (in) Miami and has been playing well. I just hung in there today and managed to find the right shots and the right game at the right time.”

Djokovic will next face Dan Evans after the British No. 1 defeated 13th seed Hubert Hurkacz in straight sets. The Miami Open champion looked to be struggling with illness as Evans completed a 6-4, 6-1 win in just over an hour.

Third seed Rafael Nadal, who last played in Melbourne on February 17, made quick work of his encounter with qualifier Federico Delbonis, winning 6-1, 6-2.

“It was a good start, always good to come back to competition with a victory,” the Spaniard said. “I think I played a solid match and I hope to keep going.”

Defending champion Fabio Fognini, the 15th seed, also progressed with a 6-3, 6-3 win over Australia’s Jordan Thompson.