Djokovic, Raonic win opening matches in Rogers Cup
Toronto, July 28 (IANS) World No.1 Novak Djokovic of Serbia and No.4 seed Milos Raonic of Canada were among the notable winners in the third day of Rogers Cup Main Draw tournament at Aviva Centre in Toronto on Thursday.
The 29-year-old Djokovic defeated Gilles Muller of Luxemburg in straight sets to advance to the third round of the tournament.
“I’m quite pleased with the way I held my serves and was focused,” said Djokovic following the match. “Overall performance was very pleasing considering it was the first hard court match for a long time.”
After an early third round exit in Wimbledon earlier in the month, the Serbian is looking to regain his form in time for the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro and US Open event in September.
With three of the top four ranked players in the world skipping Rogers Cup this season due to injury and personal reasons, Djokovic is the favourite to capture his fourth career Rogers Cup title.
Standing in Djkovic’s way is Canadian Milos Raonic, World No. 7, who won his opening match in straight sets over unseeded Yen-Hsun Lu of Chinese Taipei.
The other four Canadians in action during the day weren’t as fortunate, as Dennis Shapovalov, Vasek Pospisil, Peter Polansky and Steven Diez were all eliminated in their second round matches.
In a the tournament that began with six Canadians in the 56-player field, Raonic is now the last Canadian standing as the tournament dwindled down to 16 players as Tuesday’s evening session concluded.
Wednesday also saw seeded players Kei Nishikori (No. 3) of Japan, David Goffin (No. 7) of Belgium, Gael Monfils (No. 10) of France, Bernard Tomic (No. 12) of Australia and Jack Sock (No. 16) of US all advance in straight sets.
Meanwhile, Wednesday also featured three upsets. No. 8 seed Marin Cilic of Croatia fell to countrymen Ivo Karlovic in straight sets. No. 9 John Isner was also bounced, losing to fellow American Ryan Harrison in three sets. The final upset of the day was No. 13 Lucas Pouille of France falling to American Rajeev Ram in straight sets.
Austrian Dominic Thiem, the No. 6 seed was forced to withdraw from the tournament while leading 4-1 in the first set against South African Kevin Anderson due to a hip injury.
Play continues Thursday for all of the remaining 16 players, who will play down to eight by the end of the day and four by the end of Friday.
The winner will be crowned on Sunday and will receive the first place prize of $685,000 dollars and 1,000 ATP points.