Novak Djokovic started his 2023 singles season with a straight sets win over Constant Lestienne at the Adelaide International.
Djokovic began his build-up for this month’s Australian Open, where he will be chasing a record 10th men’s singles title, with a 6-3 6-2 victory over Frenchman Lestienne.
“For the first match I can’t complain,” Djokovic said after beating the world number 65.
“I played very well. I thought the first six games were very competitive and I have never faced him before.
“He is a counter-puncher, he doesn’t make too many mistakes. He has a tricky serve, hits his spots.
“But once I made that break at 3-2 in the first set I thought I stepped it up and played really good tennis for the rest of the match.”
The 35-year-old Serb, who is making his first tour-level appearance in Adelaide since 2007, plays France’s Quentin Halys next.
The other seeded player in Djokovic’s quarter of the draw is Denis Shapovalov.
Seventh seed Shapovalov recovered to beat Australian qualifier Rinky Hijikata 2-6 6-4 6-3.
Jannik Sinner began his season with a 6-3 6-2 victory over Great Britain’s Kyle Edmund, while Karen Khachanov advanced by beating Pedro Cachin 6-2 6-4.
Daniil Medvedev moved into the last 16 with a 7-6 (6) 2-1 win over Lorenzo Sonego, the Italian having to withdraw through injury in the second set.
American Sebastian Korda booked his place in the round of 16 by beating Great Britain’s Andy Murray 7-6 (3) 6-3.
Korda will meet Spain’s Roberto Bautista Agut, who caused an upset by knocking out fourth seed Andrey Rublev 4-6 6-3 6-4.