Novak Djokovic wins first match since US Open disqualification
Rafael Nadal was also back with a bang.
Novak Djokovic made a winning return to competition in his first match since he was defaulted at the US Open.
The world number one, sensationally booted out of Flushing Meadows last week for striking a line judge with a ball, beat Salvatore Caruso at the Italian Open.
Djokovic was on his best behaviour as he wrapped up a routine 6-3 6-2 victory to reach the third round.
“I was in control of the match. I served well when I needed to come up with a big serve and I moved well.
“I constructed the points as the clay courts demand, because it’s obviously a completely different surface in terms of building the point tactically. Everything went well. I’m very pleased.”
World number two Rafael Nadal, who skipped the US Open due to safety and scheduling concerns, began his preparations for the defence of his French Open title by racing through his first match in seven months.
The 12-time winner at Roland Garros beat fellow Spaniard Pablo Carreno Busta 6-1 6-1.
But third seed Stefanos Tsitsipas was an early casualty in Rome, going down 6-1 6-7 (9) 6-2 to 19-year-old Italian Jannik Sinner.