Djokovic Up And Running In Toronto
In his first match since winning his 13th Grand Slam title at Wimbledon, Novak Djokovic began his bid for a fifth Rogers Cup crown with a 6-3, 7-6(3) victory over Mirza Basic.
Djokovic hit nine aces and converted three of five break points to overcome the lucky loser in 90 minutes. The Serbian was originally due to face reigning Next Gen ATP Finals titlist Hyeon Chung. But Basic, who fell in the final round of qualifying to American Bradley Klahn, entered the draw after Chung’s withdrawal (back pain).
Djokovic improved to 36-6 at the event and will face wild card Peter Polansky for a place in the third round. The Canadian beat Matthew Ebden of Australia 7-6(3), 6-4 on Monday.
The former World No. 1 looked solid on serve in the opening set, winning 75 per cent of service points to establish a one-set lead. But, despite earning the first break of the second set at 3-3, Djokovic ran into trouble closing out the match.
In the following game, back-to-back double faults opened the door for Basic, who earned his first break of the match with a ripped backhand winner down the line. The pair traded breaks once more at 5-5, after a series of loose errors, to force a tie-break. It was there that Djokovic re-established control and charged to victory.
#NextGenATP Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas also progressed to the second round by exactly the same scoreline as Djokovic, beating Turkish Airlines Open Antalya champion Damir Dzumhur 6-3, 7-6(3).
“I was serving unbelievably today. I felt very comfortable with my serve from the beginning of the match and it played a big role in my game today,” said Tsitsipas. “I managed to win lots of easy points with my serve.”
Tsitsipas landed 11 aces and dropped only five points behind his first serve to book a second-round clash against seventh seed Dominic Thiem. The Austrian and Tsitsipas have already met on four occasions this season, with the Thiem leading their FedEx ATP Head2Head series 3-1.
“I feel pretty high with my [level],” said Tsitsipas. “I feel like I’m around 80-90 per cent. I feel there’s 10 per cent more which I can for sure improve and beat even higher-ranked players.”
Did You Know?
In 2007, Novak Djokovic defeated Andy Roddick, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer in successive matches to win his maiden Rogers Cup title.