(CNN) -- Top-seeded Novak Djokovic was less than impressive as he opened his account at the Dubai Tennis Championships with a 6-3 6-2 victory over Italian qualifier Flavio Cipolla.
Top-seeded Novak Djokovic looked less than impressive in his opening match in Dubai.
"I think I didn't play as the crowd hoped," said the former Australian Open champion who needed 84 minutes to see off his rival. "However it was my first match, so I hope they will excuse me. Next time I will hopefully be better."
Djokovic broke early but took a long time to close out the first set against a rival who was not in the least bit overawed.
"He was changing a lot of pace," said Djokovic, "I am not used to playing such a player. I didn't play well, but I won."
Djokovic could well have been feeling a hangover from his run to the semifinals in Marseille and will expect to be refreshed when he faces Czech Jan Hernych on Wednesday.
However, Murray has a difficult half here, with a second round against one
Frenchman Arnaud Clement set up a meeting with second-seeded Andy Murray when he recovered to defeat experienced German Rainer Schuttler 1-6 6-3 6-3.
Compatriot Richard Gasquet won 6-3 5-7 6-3 against Marat Safin, the eighth-seeded former world number one who entered the tournament as a wild card.
Another Frenchman to reach the second round was fifth-seeded Gilles Simon, but he did not have it all his own way against Mohammed Ghareeb.
The Kuwaiti wild card player who is ranked outside the top 400 in the world took ohe opening set before losing 5-7 6-4 6-4.