MONTE CARLO – Novak Djokovic began the defense of his Monte Carlo Masters title in flamboyant style Tuesday, taking only 45 minutes to beat Albert Montanes 6-1, 6-0 and maintain his perfect record against the Spaniard.
The second-ranked Serb won 11 consecutive games and improved to 6-0 against Montanes, who has taken only one set off Djokovic.
“For the first match on clay, it was great. There were not too many flaws in my game,” Djokovic said. “I was just trying to use the court well, not allowing him to get into the rhythm. I was changing the angles, coming to the net, being aggressive.”
The speed and ease of the win reminded him of when he beat Czech player Jan Hernych 6-0, 6-0 five years ago in the second round at Basel, Switzerland.
“It’s great that you have a chance to finish your work on the court in such a short time,” he said. “On the other (hand), I would like to have a little bit more longer rallies, bigger challenge so I can test myself, see where I am, where my game is at this moment on clay.”
The only small drawback for Djokovic is that he has some soreness in his right wrist.
“I have a certain problem that I carry for the last week or so,” he said. “The short match today helped definitely. So I’m going to have some time to heal it.”
Djokovic has won two Masters titles this year, beating Rafael Nadal in Key Biscayne and Roger Federer at Indian Wells. He is also looking for his fifth straight Masters title after winning Paris and Shanghai at the end of last year.
He faces Frenchman Gael Monfils in the next round, who beat 14th-seeded Kevin Anderson of South Africa 6-4, 7-6 (7-4), or Spaniard Pablo Carreno Busta.
French Open runnerup David Ferrer of Spain needed a bit longer to reach the third round, taking just over one hour to beat Frenchman Jeremy Chardy 6-3, 6-0 after dropping his opening service game.
Ferrer, who lost the final here to Nadal in 2011, next plays 12th-seeded Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria or Albert Ramos of Spain.
Fifth-seeded Tomas Berdych of the Czech Republic and ninth-seeded Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France also advanced to round three.
Berdych won 7-5, 6-4 against Russian Dmitry Tursunov and Tsonga beat Philipp Kohlschreiber of Germany 6-4, 1-6, 6-4.
In the first round, Dimitrov beat Marcel Granollers of Spain 6-2, 4-6, 6-2 and 15th-seeded Nicolas Almagro of Spain beat Frenchman Paul-Henri Mathieu 6-3, 6-2, while 13th-seeded Mikhail Youzhny of Russia lost to Andreas Seppi of Italy 6-3, 7-6 (7-4) and No. 16 Jerzy Janowicz of Poland was beaten by Michael Llodra of France 6-4, 6-2.
Teymuraz Gabashvili of Russia beat Gilles Simon of France 4-6, 6-4, 6-4 and will next play Nadal on Wednesday, while Croat Marin Cilic beat Australian Marinko Matosevic 6-1, 3-6, 6-2 and faces Australian Open champion Stanislas Wawrinka of Switzerland, the third seed.
IN FIVE EASY PIECES WITH TAKE 5