Monte Carlo, April 18: Novak Djokovic turned in an improved display as he eased past Taylor Fritz 6-3 6-0 into the quarter-finals of the Monte Carlo Masters.
The world number one had made hard work of his opener against Philipp Kohlschreiber but, while still some way below his imperious best, he had far too much for Fritz.
Windy conditions on Court Rainier III aided neither player, yet Djokovic confidently picked off Fritz after a bright start from the American had hinted at another tough encounter.
Victory was secured in an hour and eight minutes to set up a surely trickier test against Daniil Medvedev, who dumped out Stefanos Tsitsipas.
Fritz went on the offensive early on and made Djokovic work for his holds, but this ambition led to unforced errors and the Serbian seized the first break point opportunity of the match.
A further gain followed as Djokovic dictated play and Fritz went long. There was a swift riposte, yet the 21-year-old's struggles on his serve saw him gift away the opener.
He was quickly in trouble at the start of the second, too, and immediately lost his serve as Djokovic again shifted onto the front foot and moved his opponent around the court.
Fritz was forced into the net to slip further behind and Djokovic's power was too much in the final game as he was broken once more, launching long to complete a routine win for the top seed.