Djokovic moving on at Italian Open

Djokovic moving on at Italian Open

Coming on the heels of a second round exit to Kyle Edmund last week in Madrid, Djokovic's win on Monday was just his fourth on clay this season and his seventh on any surface.

And it seems the city is having its magical effect on him once again, judging from Djokovic's encouraging 6-1, 6-3 opening round victory over Alexandr Dolgopolov that lasted just 55 minutes.

He next plays either Nikoloz Basilashvili or Filippo Baldi, both qualifiers, before a potential third round meeting with United States eighth seed John Isner.

Japan's Naomi Osaka powered her way past former world number one Victoria Azarenka of Belarus 6-0, 6-3 to set up a meeting with top seed Simona Halep of Romania.

Djokovic kept the points short and sharp, mixing up his approach expertly and showing no signs of being troubled by his elbow as he broke for a 3-1 lead in the second set with a cross-court victor following another thunderous return.

And expanding on the reasons for his successful history with the Masters 1000 event, Djokovic told reporters: "I think the conditions are pretty suitable to my game".

Having failed to reach the quarterfinals in six straight tournaments following a right elbow injury, the 12-time Grand Slam victor doesn't want to place too much pressure on himself - even though he is a four-time Rome champion.

"I would like to go all the way but at the same time, looking at my results, I have to be a little bit more modest with expectations".

"I have to understand where the level of my game is and to accept this reality and to accept that there is a process to get where I want to go", he said.

"It wasn't (an) easy match", Nishikori said.

He was far from convincing against Feliciano Lopez, but did enough to claim a 7-6 (7-5) 6-4 victory and set up an enticing encounter with Grigor Dimitrov. "It was windy. And he used a lot of slice and great serves".

"The first set could have gone both ways, luckily I got it and after that, I was more confident and I was playing better tennis".

Ninth seed David Goffin was far more comfortable in his 6-1 6-2 defeat of Leonardo Mayer.

Rome - Japan's Kei Nishikori eased into the second round of the ATP Italian Open in Rome on Monday as Italy's Roberta Vinci bowed out of her final WTA tournament with a first-round defeat to a qualifier.

Having already announced that this would be her final tournament, the 35-year-old Vinci was beaten by Serbian qualifier Aleksandra Krunic 2-6, 6-0, 6-3.

"Of course, I wanted to win and after the first set I thought I could do it", said Vinci. "I would have liked to do better but it doesn't matter that I lost".

American Madison Keys, seeded 13th, beat Russia's Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 6-4, 6-1, with Britain's Johanna Konta easing past Slovak 17th-seed Magdalena Rybarikova 6-4, 6-3.

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