ROME - Novak Djokovic was back on top form as he brushed aside rising Australian talent Bernard Tomic 6-3 6-3 to reach the third round of the Rome Masters on Tuesday.
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 manner of his victory was in stark contrast to that of Murray, who had to battle from 3-1 down in the final set to beat Argentina's David Nalbandian for his place in round three.
Britain's world number four, a semi-finalist here last year, romped through the first set but had to dig deep in the third to claim a 6-1 4-6 7-5 victory.
"After the last couple of weeks I have had, I am so happy to win," said Murray, who missed Madrid with a back injury.
"Getting the break back immediately in the third was important and I got a bit lucky at the end but I went for it and sometimes you make your luck."
The luck came on a dead net cord at 5-5 in the deciding set which gave him the break and he served out for victory before blowing out a candle on his birthday cake on court.