Novak Djokovic cruises past Alexandr Dolgopolov to reach Rome Masters second round

Novak Djokovic produced a dominant display to thrash Alexandr Dolgopolov and reach the second round of the Rome Masters.

The four-time champion at the Foro Italico is building up his form and confidence ahead of this month’s French Open and looked impressive against his unpredictable opponent in a 6-1 6-3 victory.

Djokovic has struggled to recover since his return from a six-month lay-off over a long-standing wrist injury, but could enjoy a good run in the Italian capital thanks to a favourable draw with Nikoloz Basilashvili or Filippo Baldi waiting in the second round.

The 12-time Grand Slam champion lost to British No 1 Kyle Edmund in the Madrid Masters second round last week, but the Serbian never looked likely to lose back-to-back matches as he broke Dolgopolov in the opening game of the match.

Two further break of serves enabled the 30-year-old to wrap up the first set in 20 minutes before Djokovic continued to keep the pressure on his opponent, who was broken twice more, as the former world No 1 celebrated victory after 55 minutes.

Kei Nishikori recorded a hard-fought 7-6(7-5) 6-4 victory over Feliciano Lopez to book a second-round tussle with third-seed Grigor Dimitrov, who received a bye through the first round.

Feliciano Lopez demonstrated some incredible spin to win a rally against Kei Nishikori in Rome

David Goffin, seeded ninth, made short shrift of the challenge from Leonardo Mayer as the Belgian raced to a 6-1 6-2 against the Argentinean and will next face either Italian wildcard Marco Cecchinato or Pablo Cuevas.

Former British player Aljaz Bedene secured an accomplished 6-4 6-4 win over veteran Gilles Muller to reach a second-round encounter with big-hitting South African Kevin Anderson.

Spanish 10th-seed Pablo Carreno Busta was made to sweat as American Jared Donaldson forced the three-time winner on tour to a deciding set before easing over the finishing line for a 6-4 3-6 6-0 success.

The Masters 1000 Series continues with our coverage of the ATP Italian Open on Sky Sports Arena throughout the week. Check TV schedules for times.

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