World number one Novak Djokovic of Serbia defeated Andreas Seppi of Italy 6-1, 6-4 in the third round of the Monte Carlo Masters.
The opening stages underlined the gulf in class between Djokovic and his 44th-ranked opponent as he raced to a 4-0 lead in 19 minutes.
Djokovic appeared to ease off in the second set after he forced an early break of serve, and was happy to edge towards a seventh career win against Seppi.
The 24 year old top seed secured the victory in one hour 27 minutes in his debut clay court outing of the season.
The Serb will now play Alexandr Dolgopolov of Ukraine after the Ukrainian beat Bernard Tomic of Croatia.
After Djokovic missed last year’s tournament because of fatigue, he is hoping to take the title of reigning champion Nadal, who has won the event for the last seven years.
Meanwhile, defending champion Rafael Nadal beat Finland’s Jarkko Nieminen 6-4 6-3.
The Spaniard was in action for the first time since he had to pull out of the Miami Masters with a knee injury .
The 25-year-old held off a determined challenge from Nieminen to win in straight sets.
Nadal will be facing Kazakhstan’s Mikhail Kukushkin in the third round, who has beaten Italy’s Filippo Volandri.
British number one Murray, who beat Viktor Troicki of Serbia in the second round, will play Julien Benneteau of France in the third round.