MONACO, April 14: Novak Djokovic swept past promising Italian teenager Jannik Sinner in two sets in Monte Carlo on Wednesday on the Serbian world number one’s first appearance since claiming the Australian Open in February.
Sinner, 19, shot to prominence by making it into this month’s Miami Open final.
The world number 22 had seen off Spain’s Albert Ramos-Vinolas in straight sets 6-3, 6-4 at this Masters 1000 event to book his first ever date with Djokovic.
But it proved a one-sided contest at the Monte Carlo Country Club, with Djokovic sweeping into the next round 6-4, 6-2 in one hour and 34 minutes.
The 18-time Grand Slam champion will next face either Briton Daniel Evans or Hubert Hurkacz, Sinner’s Miami conqueror, for a place in the quarter-finals.
The man he is seeded to meet in the final, Rafael Nadal, takes his first steps towards what he hopes will be a 12th title in the Principality against Federico Delbonis.
Nadal was in action three days after practising with Daniil Medvedev, the Russian second seed who was forced to withdraw after testing positive for Covid-19 on Monday. (AFP)