American Sampras, a 14-time Grand Slam winner, was at the racks because the Serb be at Fratangelo 7-6 (7-5) 6-2.
“It’s a thrill to see someone I looked around if I was a youngster,” said 31-year-old Djokovic.
“I had been pleasantly surprised but felt my nerves kick in. I do not get to see him often and wished to impress him.”
Djokovic was playing his first match since winning the Australian Open in January and conceded an early breakup to his 25-year-old American competition, ranked 128th.
He broke back when Fratangelo was serving to the group and, despite being 5-4 down at the tie break, won the next three points before you go on to complete a straight-set victory.
“I did not play my best. Credit to Bjorn for developing shooting from every corner,” said Djokovic, a 15-time important winner.
“I had been lucky to get the first set. From then on, things went better for me.”
Kyrgios out however Zverev through
Djokovic will play Philipp Kohlschreiber, who is ranked 39th, from the next version after the German beat Nick Kyrgios 64 6-4.
Kyrgios went in to the tournament on the back of winning the Mexico Open.
“I did not really have a problem becoming. I just did not play well today,” said that the Australian world number 33.
“He’s an amazing competitor. He also knows the way to win tennis games .”
German Alexander Zverev also advanced after a 6-3 2-0 triumph over Slovakia’s Martin Klizan, who had been forced to retire with a ideal ankle injury in the 2nd group.