While Andy Murray narrowly avoided defeat on his 25th birthday and there were struggles for Maria Sharapova and Petra Kvitova in the women's event, Djokovic looked every inch the world number one on his way to a confident victory.
Dressed in matching shirt and shorts with the colours of the Serbia flag down one side, Djokovic took just 69 minutes to see off Tomic and erase the memories of his quarter-final defeat on the blue clay of Madrid.
The top seed surged to the first four games in succession, with the Australian unable to find his feet in time to stop the Serb from taking the opening set.
But despite falling by a three-game margin once more for a straight sets defeat, the teenager enhanced his reputation with some impressive play in an entertaining second set.
Djokovic will meet
"It was a good match for me to start with," said Djokovic. "(Tomic) has a lot of talent and he changes things up well, so you don't know what to expect - that's what makes him dangerous."