The victory will not rank among his greatest, but it was no doubt a reaffirming afternoon for former world No.1 Djokovic, who was smarting from three successive losses and seems to have found some of his lethal form once more.
It was an impressive performance from the 30-year-old in his first match since splitting from coach Andre Agassi and starting to work again with long-time former coach Marian Vajda.
The Swiss spoke to The Telegraph after his Miami Open second round defeat to Thanis Kokkinasis, and claimed: "I wasn't feeling good, With my movement, things weren't absolutely working".
Despite some near-misses and the occasional cooked shot, Djokovic looked a changed man to the player that succumbed to uncharacteristic early defeats in Miami and Indian Wells earlier this year.
Quizzed on whether he was anxious about suffering another setback when he returns to the ATP Tour at the Monte Carlo Masters in the coming week, Nadal said: "Well it happened twice so you never know". But they always feel like crumbs stolen from the giant's table.
Djokovic started strongly, dropping only three points on serve as he cruised to a first-set bagel which was sealed with a fierce return victor.
But the qualifier was unable to make the most of those openings, and Djokovic broke in game four as Lajovic fired wide.
Berdych was the only seed to bow out on day two of the tournament in the Principality. Thiem the No. 5 seed and two-time French Open semi-finalist or Croatia's Coric, who made the semis and quarters in the opening two Masters 1000 events of the season, could also face Nadal in the last-eight.
He was playing close to his best tennis despite calling for a medical timeout for his troublesome wrist.
"Hope I can put more matches on clay".
The 36-year-old is now on a five-match winning streak against the 16-time Grand Slam champion, though they haven't done battle on clay since 2013.
'I'm looking to having good days of practice before the tournament starts and when the competition arrives I will be ready for it'.
Jared Donaldson ranted at the chair umpire over a line call during his 6-3, 6-3 loss to Albert Ramos-Vinolas in the first round of the Monte Carlo Masters on Monday.
The 21-year-old American received a code violation.
This is published unedited from the PTI feed.