World No. 1 Novak Djokovic required just 51 minutes for his first match win of 2016.
Djokovic, who has finished year-end No. 1 in the Emirates ATP Rankings for four of the past five years, cruised past qualifier Dustin Brown 6-2, 6-2 on Monday at the Qatar ExxonMobil Open.
"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 is looking to capture his 60th tour-level title this week at the ATP World Tour 250 tournament. Since a loss to Ivo Karlovic last year in the Doha quarter-finals, he has reached 15 straight finals (11-4).
"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.
"If I start thinking too much about certain tournaments, it can present a kind of a distraction to me so you try not to do that. I try to actually be as much as I can in the present and work my way through and effect whatever I can effect. That's really working on my game, training myself to be strong and to play confident tennis. And I know as a consequence to that, the results will be positive, I'm hoping, obviously."
Fifth seed Feliciano Lopez bowed out in his first-round match, falling to fellow Spaniard Daniel Munoz de la Nava 3-6, 7-6(4), 7-5 in two hours and 25 minutes. Lopez, who fired 24 aces, managed to convert just one of his nine break point chances.
World No. 75 Munoz de la Nava was playing his first tour-level match since March 2014. He next meets qualifier Kyle Edmund, currently No. 102, who struck seven aces in a 6-2, 6-3 victory over No. 43-ranked Martin Klizan.
Earlier in the day, seventh seed Jeremy Chardy lost just seven of his service points for a 6-1, 6-1 rout ofMubarak Shannan Zayid in 46 minutes.