Rome Masters: Novak Djokovic cruises through; Grigor Dimitrov beaten in straight sets
Novak Djokovic cruised into the third round of the ATP Rome Masters with a 6-2 6-3 victory over Albert Montanes.
Last Updated: 14/05/13 8:57pm
The top seed, looking to win the clay-court tournament in Italy for a third time in his career, bounced back from his surprise early exit in Madrid last week with a routine triumph that took 70 minutes to complete.
Montanes did lead early on thanks to a break of serve, but any hopes of a first win over a top-10 player since 2010 disappeared in a hurry after that.
"This win means a lot to me for several reasons," Djokovic - who lifted the trophy in 2008 and 2011 - told Sky Sports afterwards.
"I didn't have a great week in Madrid, I didn't feel good. I've been here for six days trying to work very hard and prepare myself for this tournament.
"I need to be physically and mentally fit and I think I'm going in the right direction. I still need to play better and hopefully I can elevate my game as the week goes on."
Grigor Dimitrov, the man who sensationally knocked Djokovic out in the Spanish capital, was unable to upset the odds against ninth seed Richard Gasquet, going down 6-4 6-4 to the Frenchman.
Roger Federer, a third-round loser himself in Madrid, opened his campaign with a 6-1 6-2 win over Italy's Potito Starace that saw the Swiss on court for less than an hour.
"I was not very happy with my performance in Madrid and I had no choice but to hit the practice courts," said Federer, who is a two-time losing finalist in Rome.
Tomas Berdych dismissed Denis Istomin 6-4 6-0 in second-round action, while Stanislas Wawrinka rallied past Carlos Berlocq of Argentina 5-7 6-3 6-3 in a highly-competitive first-round match.
However, Nicolas Almagro and Tommy Haas, seeded 12th and 13th respectively, both fell at the first hurdle. Almagro of Spain went down 7-6 (7/2) 6-4 to France's Julien Benneteau, while German Haas was beaten 6-4 6-3 by Mikhail Youzhny of Russia.
Marin Cilic was also on the wrong end of an upset, the 11th-seeded Croatian losing 6-3 7-6 (9/7) to South Africa's Kevin Anderson.
Meanwhile, a potential third-round clash between Rafael Nadal and Lukas Rosol, the man who stunned the Spaniard at Wimbledon last summer, disappeared when the Czech lost in three sets to Viktor Troicki.