Roquebrune-Cap-Martin, France (SportsNetwork.com) - Reigning champion Novak Djokovic was an easy second-round winner Tuesday at the $4 million Monte Carlo Masters tennis event.
The red-hot second-seeded Serbian stalwart enjoyed an opening-round bye before drubbing helpless Spanish qualifier Albert Montanes 6-1, 6-0 in a mere 45 minutes on the red clay at the beautiful Monte Carlo Country Club.
"For the first match on clay, it was great," said Djokovic. "I lost only one game, so there were not too many flaws in my game that I could recall. On the other side, I've had an opponent who is a specialist on this surface, but he hasn't played even close to his highest level. He was making a lot of unforced errors."
Djokovic recently captured back-to-back Masters 1000 titles in Indian Wells and Miami.
The former top-ranked star beat current world No. 1 Rafael Nadal in last year's marquee Monte Carlo finale, putting an end to Nadal's record eight- year reign at this prestigious tournament.
Djokovic is also a two-time runner-up at this tournament. He and Nadal currently hold all nine Masters titles between them, as well as the ATP World Tour Finals.
Also in the second round on Day 3, fifth-seeded Tomas Berdych topped Russian Dmitry Tursunov 7-5, 6-4, sixth-seeded French Open runner-up David Ferrer flattened Frenchman Jeremy Chardy 6-3, 6-0 and ninth-seeded French slugger Jo- Wilfried Tsonga held off tough German Philipp Kohlschreiber 6-4, 1-6, 6-4 at the first clay court Masters event of the year. Ferrer was the Monte Carlo runner-up three years ago.
In opening-round play involving seeds, No. 12 rising Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov held off Spaniard Marcel Granollers 6-2, 4-6, 6-2; dangerous Italian Andreas Seppi upended No. 13 Russian Mikhail Youzhny 6-3, 7-6 (7-4); flashy Frenchman Gael Monfils ousted No. 14 South African Kevin Anderson 6-4, 7-6 (7-4); No. 15 Spaniard Nicolas Almagro handled Frenchman Paul-Henri Mathieu 6-3, 6-2; and left-handed French qualifier Michael Llodra took out No. 16 Pole Jerzy Janowicz 6-4, 6-2. Almagro was last week's runner-up in Houston, while Granollers was a runner-up in Casablanca two days ago.
Additional first-round wins came for Spaniards Guillermo Garcia-Lopez and lucky loser Pablo Carreno Busta, Croat Marin Cilic, Frenchman Julien Benneteau, Taipei's Yen-Hsun Lu, and Russian qualifier Teymuraz Gabashvili. Garcia-Lopez is fresh off his clay title in Casablanca.
The second round will conclude Wednesday, including matches for a top-seeded Nadal, third-seeded Australian Open champ Stan Wawrinka and three-time Monte Carlo runner-up Roger Federer. The eight-time champion Nadal will encounter Gabashvili, while Wawrinka will meet Cilic and the fourth-seeded former No. 1 great Federer will be opposed by Czech veteran Radek Stepanek.
The 2014 Monte Carlo winner will collect $760,000.