Novak Djokovic went down in favour of the rising star Grigor Dimitrov last week in the second round of ATP Mutua Madrid Open, whilst Federer lost to Japanese Key Nishikori.
However, they went someway to repairing that damage by easing in to the last 16 of the Rome Masters yesterday evening.
Djokovic, who has been located in Rome for almost a week preparing for the event, was up against Spanish qualifier Albert Montanes in his first match of this event.
It was an inspired Djokovic entering the center court and it did not take long until the serve of Montanes was broken. Another break of serve at 5-2 closed the set.
The world number one then came out firing right from the beginning at the second set and got the better of the Spaniard’s serve immediately. From there on there was no point of return for Montanes who saw himself beaten in just over an hour, 6-2 6-3.
Djokovic afterwards spoke to the www.atpworldtour.com about his performance and quest of winning his third title here in Rome.
"It was a good performance for a start, even though I know I can do better," said Djokovic.
"I know my game has to be better in order to win my next challenge. But I’m heading in a good way because I didn’t have a great week in Madrid and didn’t have much practice.
"I came here very early; from Wednesday I spent a lot of hours on the court working hard, trying to prepare myself for what’s coming up this week and also after the tournament in Rome, two Grand Slams in less than a month time.
“It’s a very important period for all of us and I need to be physically, mentally, fresh and fit and I think I’m on the right way to be like that."
Italian wildcard Starace, who caused a huge upset in the first round beating Radek Stepanek, proved to be no match for Roger Federer.
The Swiss maestro, who just like Novak, has been in Rome for many days preparing, was ruthless throughout the whole match.
He lost only seven points on serve during the whole match, making a clear statement that his failures in Madrid have not affected him.
"It was a great first round, particularly against a local hero here," said Federer.
"I came out and was able to play my game and dictate at almost every point. That was a nice feeling to have. It was a very clean match, it was good from start to finish. I felt good, I moved well. Overall a great performance. I hope I can keep it up."
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