"It's been six weeks since I played the last match, so I was very excited to go back to the court and compete and see how I go," said Djokovic. "Obviously you never know how you're going to start from the blocks. You can do your best to prepare yourself well, which I did. I think I used the off season very well to train to get my body in the right shape, and I think it was a very good start."
The Serbian has reach 15 consecutive finals and seeks his 60th career tour-level tournament title this week.
"I think the biggest challenge is, as it is in any of the previous years for me, is to really be consistent with my success throughout the year, try to stay healthy and try to maintain the high level of performance," he said. "That's what I try to focus my mind on."
Seventh-seeded Jeremy Chardy from France beat Qatar's Mubarak Shannan Zayid 6-1, 6-1, while fifth-seeded Feliciano Lopez from Spain was upset by countryman Daniel Munoz de la Nava in three sets, 3-6, 7-6(4), 7-5. It was Munoz de la Nava's first tour-level match since 2014, and he will next play qualifier Kyle Edmund, who beat Martin Klizan 6-2, 6-3.
Other results included Andrey Kuznetsov (Russia) beating Marsel Ilhan (Turkey) 6-2, 6-4; Robin Haase (Netherlands) over Aslan Karatsev (Russia) 5-7, 6-1, 7-5; Kyle Edmund (Britain) beating Martin Klizan (Slovakia) 6-2, 6-3; and Damir Dzumhur (Bosnia and Herzegovina) taking out Marco Cecchinato (Italy) 6-4, 6-2.
Second-ranked Andy Murray opened his season with a 6-2, 6-2 victory over France's Kenny de Schepper at the Hopman Cup in Perth, Australia. Murray, who led Britain to its first Davis Cup title in 79 years to close out 2015, will play top-ranked Australian Nick Kyrgios in the next round.