Novak Djokovic won his debut match at the China Open on Monday as the second seed stamped his authority on the opening round with a defeat of Victor Hanescu 6-3, 7-5.
The world number four Serb, seeded second behind Rafael Nadal, rained down 10 aces in his winning performance which lasted a shade under 90 minutes.
Djokovic was playing for the first time since losing in the US Open semi-finals to Roger Federer in straight sets. He took a rest the next week, skipping Serbia’a Davis Cup relegation match.
Philipp Kohlschreiber got in an opening-day win at the new combined event which features a blockbuster WTA draw.
The 22nd-ranked German, who lost the Metz final a week ago against Gael Monfils, defeated Croatian Ivo Karlovic, 7-6 (8-6), 4-6, 6-1, overcoming 27 aces from the biggest serving threat in the game.
Kohlschreiber won his 37th match of the season and next plays at the Olympic centre against one of two Russians, Kuala Lumpur winner Nikolay Davydenko or Igor Kunitsyn.
In women’s play, Canadian Aleksandra Wozniak claimed the first of the third-round spot with her defeat of France’s Alize Cornet 7-6 (7-0), 6-4.
In the first round, there were wins for Daniela Hantuchova, through in straight sets, and Francesca Schiavone who played only seven games before German Sabine Lisicki retired trailing 6-0, 1-0.
“I feel like it was a pretty good match for just arriving yesterday,” said Hantuchova. “I just tried to focus on trying to recover between the points and not waste much energy.
“I played a pretty smart match.
“I didn’t feel very good and felt a bit dizzy at times,” said last week’s second-round loser in Tokyo.
“I’ve had no time here to recover from a week which was quite emotional (her Japanese doubles partner Ai Sugiyama retired).” Hantuchova admitted the splitting of the partnership was more than she might have imagined.
“During the last few games, we were trying to hold the tears inside, but it was almost impossible,” said the number 22. “The whole week was very emotional.
“She felt like it was the right time and I think she did it in a great tournament in front of her home crowd. I think she chose the best time.”