Novak Djokovic faced little resistance from Polish qualifier Lukasz Kubot in a 6-0, 6-3 win at the Italian Open on Wednesday that stretched the Serb's unbeaten start this year to 33 matches.
Coming off an impressive straight-sets victory over Rafael Nadal in the Madrid Open final Sunday, Djokovic has a chance to claim the No. 1 ranking from the Spaniard if he wins this clay-court warmup for the French Open, which starts in 11 days.
Djokovic's streak trails only John McEnroe's 42-0 start in 1984.
Nadal was up next on center court against Italian qualifier Paolo Lorenzi, while Roger Federer, who has never won this tournament, could be challenged by Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in a night match at the Foro Italico.