Novak Djokovic on Thursday earned an easy 6-1, 6-3 triumph over Denis Shapovalov in the second round of the 2019 Italian Open tournament.

The top-ranked Serb needed only 66 minutes to secure his spot in the third round of the ATP Masters 1,000 event held in the Italian capital Rome, where he was crowned champion four times (2008, 2011, 2014 and 2015).

Djokovic retained his victorious record versus Shapovalov, as the ATP's first-ranked player prevailed over the Canadian at the 2019 Australian Open in their first career encounter.

The Serb has just won the 2019 Madrid Masters trophy, which was his career 33rd ATP Masters title, a record-tying him with Spain's Rafael Nadal.

Djokovic is set to next take on 56th-ranked Germany's Philip Kohlschreiber, who edged an easy 6-3, 6-3 win against Marco Cecchinato of Italy after 69 minutes.

Although the Serbian has a 9-2 win record against Kohlschreiber, both players traded a win in their two most-recent encounters this year, with the German winning at the Indian Wells Masters and then losing to Djokovic at Monte Carlo.

Meanwhile, the 2019 Madrid Open finalist and eighth seed at Rome, Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece, made it through to the third round at the expense of 17-year-old Italian Jannik Sinner, who participated in the event with a wild card.

It took Tsitsipas, 20, an hour and 17 minutes to edge Sinner 6-3, 6-2, winning four out of six break points he created against the Italian.

The Greek is now set to face off against Fabio Fognini of Italy, the 2019 Monte Carlo winner, who finished off Moldova's Radu Albot 7-6 (8-6), 6-3 after an hour and 45 minutes of competition.

This will be Tsitsipas' and Fognini's second career encounter, as Tsitsipas was the winner of the first match, a semifinal showdown in the 2018 Stockholm Open.

In other second-round action, Croatian Marin Cilic, the 2018 semifinalist at Rome, was eliminated from the tournament at the hands of Jan Lennard Struff of Germany 6-2, 6-3 after only 68 minutes of play.

Struff, who reached the semifinals at the 2019 Auckland Open, will clash against Japan's Kei Nishikori, sixth seed, who got past Taylor Fritz of the United States 6-2, 6-4 after one hour and 12 minutes.

It will be the first head-to-head clash between Struff and Nishikori. EFE