Novak Djokovic wins at Italian Open

Updated: May 15, 2012, 7:43 PM ET
Associated Press

ROME -- Top-ranked Novak Djokovic made a solid return to red-clay courts, dominating Australian teenager Bernard Tomic 6-3, 6-3 Tuesday night to open his Italian Open title defense.

Coming off a quarterfinal loss to fellow Serb Janko Tipsarevic on the blue clay at last week's Madrid Open, Djokovic went ahead with two early breaks and faced minimal resistance from the 19-year-old Tomic, the youngest player in the top 50 at No. 32.

With the French Open less than two weeks away, Djokovic is looking to rediscover the form from his 43-match winning streak a year ago. Winning at Roland Garros is a top priority for him after taking the three other majors last year.

Fourth-ranked Andy Murray beat David Nalbandian of Argentina 6-1, 4-6, 7-5 in a strong return after taking last week off because of a bad back. Fifth-seeded Jo-Wilfried Tsonga cruised past Viktor Troicki of Serbia 6-3, 6-2, and Juan Carlos Ferrero defeated 13th-seeded Gael Monfils 7-5, 6-3 to improve to 3-0 against the Frenchman.

Sixth-seeded David Ferrer beat fellow Spaniard Fernando Verdasco 6-3, 7-6 (3); 10th-seeded Juan Martin del Potro downed Michael Llodra of France 7-5, 3-6, 6-4; and 14th-seeded Juan Monaco topped Romanian qualifier Adrian Ungur 6-2, 6-2. Marcel Granollers of Spain beat 15th-seeded Feliciano Lopez 6-4, 6-4, and 16th-seeded Richard Gasquet eliminated Jurgen Melzer of Austria 6-1, 7-6 (6).


Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press

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