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Novak Djokovic opened his 2018 Italian Open campaign with a bang on Monday and needed less than an hour to defeat Alexandr Dolgopolov 6-1, 6-3 and take his spot in the second round of the competition.
Seeded stars David Goffin and Pablo Carreno Busta also advanced in the men's singles following wins over Leonardo Mayer and Jared Donaldson, respectively, while Kei Nishikori progressed after beating Feliciano Lopez in straight sets.
Home favourite Fabio Fognini ousted Gael Monfils from the Italian Open running with a 6-3, 6-1 win later on Monday, after Richard Gasquet bested Benoit Paire 6-4, 6-4 in a clash between French compatriots. Kyle Edmund survived a mid-match wobble to beat Malek Jaziri 6-3, 3-6, 6-3.In the women's singles, Carla Suarez Navarro and Magdalena Rybarikova were among the first-round casualties after losing to respective opponents Donna Vekic and Johanna Konta.
Naomi Osaka defeated Victoria Azarenka 6-0, 6-3 to move into the second round, and Madison Keys will face Vekic in the next phase of the tournament after she downed Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 6-4, 6-1. Later, Anett Kontaveit hammered 12th seed CoCo Vandeweghe 6-1, 6-1.
Read on for a round-up of Monday's results from the Foro Italico sports complex in Rome.Nadal has dropped to second in the men’s rankings after failing to claim victory at the Madrid Open last week.
But the Spaniard can swiftly regain his top spot this week in the Italian Open.
He will have to contend with a field that consists of Novak Djokovic, Juan Martin del Potro, Marin Cilic and Alexander Zverev to name but a few.
Djokovic is still trying to find his best form since returning from injury and will be hoping to hit the ground running in time for the French Open next week.
For Nadal though, his defeat to Dominic Thiem last time out was a momentary blip on what has otherwise been a phenomenal career to date on clay.
The 31-year-old has won 55 titles in the surface and he will be looking to claim his first Italian Open since 2013.The countdown to the French Open is on and the cream of the crop in world tennis will be keen to head into the tournament in top form.
This week's Italian Open in Rome will be fiercely contested with the second Grand Slam of the season getting underway on Sunday May 27.
Rafael Nadal is the favourite to win, despite his shock quater-final exit at the Madrid Open last week to Dominic Thiem.
Alexander Zverev, who went on to beat Thiem in the final, also plays this week in Roma.
Other star names to keep an eye on are Britain's Kyle Edmund, Tomas Berdych and Novak Djokovic.The Serbian – who has reached eight of the last 10 finals in Rome, winning four – needed just 56 minutes to see off the world No 54.
Djokovic dropped to 18th in the rankings as of Monday morning, but brushed off that slide down with an assured display in the Italian capital.
"Today's match encourages me to move forward and hopefully I can get a few more matches in Rome than I have in the last couple months," said Djokovic.
The 12-time Grand Slam champion broke Dolgopolov three times in the opening set, while a further break in the second helped him wrap up the match.
Djokovic has a real chance at a run in Rome, with Nikoloz Basilashvili or Filippo Baldi up next in the second round, though John Isner could prove a stern test as a potential