Djokovic up and running
Novak Djokovic admitted he was happy with his performance in beating Andreas Seppi in Monte Carlo to kick off his clay-court season.
The world number one had not played since beating Andy Murray in the final of the Sony Ericsson Open but he showed no signs of rustiness with a straight sets victory over the Italian.
The Serb raced into a 4-0 lead after just 19 minutes of the match before Seppi finally got on the board and, although the second set was a closer affair, Djokovic ran out a comfortable 6-1 6-4 winner in the Principality.
The five-time Grand Slam winner, who will next play Alexandr Dolgopolov, has never won the event and must break Rafael Nadal's seven-year stranglehold on the tournament to do so, but he was pleased with his opening salvo having made the transition from American hard courts to clay.
"I served really well when I needed to," he said afterwards. "That's encouraging for the clay, it's good to have a couple of free points there.
"I was really focused first set and played it well against a tough, quality opponent who plays good on clay. For the first official match since Roland Garros last year, it was satisfying."
Nadal was also in action and recorded a 6-4 6-3 triumph over Finland's Jarkko Nieminen to begin his quest for title number eight.
There were injury concerns over the Spaniard's knee ahead of the event but it did not prevent him recording his 38th consecutive victory - a run which stretches back to 2005.
And the six-time French Open champion was happy to give his body a work-out ahead of Thursday's clash with Mikhail Kukushkin.
"We need to see how all the sensations improve - the knees, the tennis, everything. I need practice, and today was a good practice," he told reporters. "Tomorrow is another tough match against an opponent who is dangerous."