Monte Carlo, Monaco-Ville, Monaco, 16 April 2018 | Reuters

Thanasi Kokkinakis’ claycourt season has got off to an inauspicious start after he was beaten in the first round of the Monte Carlo Masters.

The South Australian, who recorded the biggest win of his career when he beat Roger Federer in Miami last month, was handed a wildcard to the tournament, but lost 7-5 6-4 to Russian world No.40 Karen Khachanov.

In a match lasting almost two hours, Kokkinakis was unable to earn a single break point while being forced to face 13 of his own. Although he saved 11, the Russian broke twice to earn victory.

In other results, Mischa Zverev overcame a mid-match blip to defeat Canadian teenager Felix Auger-Aliassime 6-2 6-7(4) 6-1.

German Zverev converted six out of 14 break points against the world No.176 to prevail in two hours 34 minutes and set up a meeting with French seventh seed Lucas Pouille.

Former world No.1 Novak Djokovic, who is struggling to return to his best form since having elbow surgery earlier this year, takes on Serbian compatriot Dusan Lajovic on Monday.

The 12-time Grand Slam winner ended his collaboration with head coach Andre Agassi and coach Radek Stepanek earlier this month.

World number one Rafael Nadal, who returned to action from a hip injury in Spain’s Davis Cup win against Germany last week, is chasing a record-extending 11th title at the claycourt tournament.