Paris, May 21: Novak Djokovic started the defence of his French Open title with an emphatic straight-sets defeat of Yoshihito Nishioka.
The world number one, bidding to win a record-equalling 21st grand slam title, triumphed 6-3 6-1 6-0 in the first night session on Court Philippe-Chatrier a day after turning 35.
Djokovic was unable to play in the Australian Open after being deported from Melbourne, but hit the ground running in his first major match of the year under the lights at Roland Garros on Monday.
The top seed hit 35 winners as Japanese outsider Nishioka was given a lesson and will face Alex Molcan or Federico Coria in the second round.
Djokovic was gifted a first break when his left-handed opponent double-faulted to go 4-2 down and the Serb comfortably served out the set.
Nishioka had no answer to the two-time French Open champion and the crowd did not do the outsider any favours by booing one of the all-time greats, seemingly due to him being so superior to his opponent.
A fired-up Djokovic marched into a 5-0 lead in the second set and, although Nishioka was able to avoid a bagel, he could not take a game off the defending champion in another totally one-sided third set.
This was a statement victory for Djokovic on the back of his record-extending 38th ATP Masters 1000 crown in Rome.
Data Slam: Relentless Djokovic shows no mercy
This was another exhibition of returning from the favourite to win the title. Djokovic won 45 of 79 receiving points in a relentless display on day two.
WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS Djokovic – 35/32 Nishioka – 17/32
ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS Djokovic – 9/0 Nishioka – 6/3
BREAK POINTS WON Djokovic – 8/18 Nishioka – 1/6