Novak Djokovic. Picture: AFP
Novak Djokovic. Picture: AFP

Monte Carlo — Former world No1 Novak Djokovic showed signs of a return to form with a 6-0 6-1 thrashing of fellow Serb Dusan Lajovic in the Monte Carlo Masters first round on Monday.

It was an impressive performance from the 30-year-old in his first match since splitting from coach André Agassi and starting to work again with his long-time former coach, Marian Vajda.

Ranked 13th in the world after lengthy spells off the court with an elbow injury, Djokovic is training with Vajda for the first time since the Monte Carlo Masters in 2017.

Djokovic dominated from the outset as Lajovic struggled and despite some nervy moments on serve in the second set, wrapped up victory in less than an hour to book a second-round meeting with Borna Coric.

Earlier, Japan’s Kei Nishikori fought back from a set down to see off Czech 12th seed Tomas Berdych. In a battle of two former Grand Slam finalists, Nishikori raced through the final two sets to progress with a 4-6 6-2 6-1 victory.

The former world No4, who is now ranked 36th, missed a large part of last season with a right wrist injury and started his 2018 campaign in American second-tier Challenger Tour events. But he was close to his best against Berdych, despite making a slow start.