World no.1 Novak Djokovic began his Internazionali BNL d’Italia campaign in Rome on Wednesday, beating Italian wildcard Salvatore Caruso in straights sets, 6-3, 6-2, in his first clay-court match of the season.
The four-time titlist converted three of his eight break point chances, having denied his rival a single break point opportunity during the one hour, 24-minute clash.
Match statistics: aces (4-3), double faults (1-2), winners (12-13), unforced errors (18-29), total points won (65-45).
For a spot in the ATP Masters 1000 event quarter-finals, Novak will play his compatriot and Davis Cup teammate Filip Krajinovic (ATP #29, 0-1 H2H), who defeated Italian qualifier Marco Cecchinato in straight sets, 6-4, 6-1.
Having spent his 286th week at the summit of men’s professional tennis, the 33-year-old now ties Pete Sampras and has only Roger Federer (310) in his sights.