TORONTO, July 28, 2016
World number one Novak Djokovic led a stellar line-up for Wednesday’s second round matches at the Rogers Cup in Toronto. The three time champion ousted Gilles Muller, winning 7-5, 7-6.
Djokovic withstood 11 aces, smashing three of his own and broke his opponent’s serve three times to prevail in one hour and 43 minutes. He will next take on Czech veteran Radek Stepanek.
“I actually think that Toronto is a great way for me to prepare for Olympic Games and what’s coming up after that,” Djokovic said. “ I enjoy Canada, both cities, Toronto and Montreal, and the past results in history shows that I have a good time on Canadian soil, so I try to get the best out of it.”
Milos Raonic, who will bypass the Rio Olympics to avoid exposure to the Zika virus, also started his title bid, beating Yen-Hsun Lu 6-3, 6-3. The fourth seeded local favourite saved the only break point he faced, converting three of his own to advance in 65 minutes.
“It’s a good way to start the tournament,” said Raonic. “I look to continue hopefully playing better the next match, which I know is going to be necessary. I would like to do well here. I probably put some extra pressure on myself there. I think I got that behind me very quickly, and I played a solid match start to finish.”
Raonic will face Jared Donaldson in the third round. The US-American surviving qualifier upset last week’s Umag champion Fabio Fognini 6-3, 6-3, 6-3. Donaldson won 73% of his first service points and 98 of the total 186 points played to seal victory in two hours and three minutes.
Shot of the day was executed by Canadian teenager Denis Shapovalov in his night session match against Grigor Dimitrov. The Wimbledon junior champion, however, lost the encounter 6-4, 6-3 in one hour and 13 minutes. Despite the loss, Shapovalov upbeat in press. “Next week is a new week.” Dimitrov will take on Ivo Karlovic next.