Former world No. 1 Novak Djokovic made a winning return to Australia on Tuesday, beating Constant Lestienne of France 6-3, 6-2 in the first round of the Adelaide International.

The Serb was given a warm welcome as he strode on to centre court and won comfortably in 74 minutes.

“For the first match I can’t complain, I played very well,” Djokovic said. “I thought the first probably six games were very competitive.

“I’ve never faced him before today’s match. He’s a counter-puncher. He doesn’t make too many mistakes and he kind of absorbs the pace from his opponent, kind of tricky serve, hits his spots.

“But once I made that break at 3-2 first set I felt like I stepped it up one or two levels and played really good tennis the rest of the match.”

Djokovic will play another Frenchman Quentin Halys next for a place in the quarter-finals.