Gael Monfils eased past 20-year-old Spanish wildcard Carlos Gimeno Valero 6-3, 6-0 at the Madrid Open on Monday to book a second-round meeting with world No 1 Novak Djokovic.
It was a tough ATP main draw debut for Gimeno Valero, who was sent packing by the French former world No 6 in 55 minutes.
Monfils has never beaten Djokovic in 17 meetings but insists he is not obsessed with idea of trying to get the better of the Serb at least once.
“It’s only for people, the people they really want me to (beat him),” said Monfils, who is contesting his first clay-court tournament of the season.
“The guy is better than me. Every match is an opportunity to win it. I try to take some lesson in everything, but I don’t really care. He can beat me tomorrow. He can beat me in Rome. He can beat at Roland Garros. Maybe I will get once and that’s it. Who cares at the end?”
Italian No 10 seed Jannik Sinner squandered a 5-2 lead in the opening set and fought back from the brink in the second en route to a 6-7 (4/7), 7-6 (7/4), 6-3 victory over former French Open junior champion Tommy Paul of USA.