ROGERS CUP 2012
Djokovic Opens Title Defence; Querrey, Haas In Form
by ATP Staff|
Djokovic fought off all of Tomic’s six break point chances in the opening set, and stepped up his level in the second, dropping just three points behind his serve. He clinched the 71-minute victory with an ace to wrap up a love service game.
The 25-year-old Serbian was playing his first hard-court match since defeating Andy Murray in the Sony Open Tennis final this past April. He had concluded his four months in Europe with a loss to Juan Martin del Potro in the bronze-medal match last week at the London 2012 Olympics Tennis Event.
“For the first match it was a decent performance,” said Djokovic. “Obviously at the start we played very long opening four games, and I was struggling to find the rhythm… It’s totally different conditions, time zone, ball bounce, everything.
“But I love playing on hard court. It’s my favourite surface. Obviously when I needed to play well and be patient, I’ve done that really well today. Serve was working really good, so that’s a positive.”
Djokovic has reached the quarter-finals or better in his five previous appearances at this ATP World Tour Masters 1000 tournament, starting with the title win on his debut in 2007 (d. Federer). He will attempt to keep the streak going when he next plays American Sam Querrey.
The in-form Querrey produced an identical win to Djokovic earlier in the day, defeating Kei Nishikori of Japan 6-2, 6-3 in 71 minutes. He denied the No. 13 seed on all nine of his break point opportunities.
Querrey currently leads the 2012 Emirates Airline US Open Series Bonus Challenge standings, after winning the Los Angeles title and reaching the Washington semi-finals.
German Tommy Haas also kept up his run of form, knocking out ninth-seeded Frenchman Gilles Simon 6-2, 6-3 in one hour and 17 minutes. The 34-year-old Haas has reached the final in three of his past six tournaments, including last week in Washington, D.C. (l. to Dolgopolov).
“If you're still having success and still believe in yourself and your body allows you to play at 32, 33, 34 and you still have some success where you always feel like you can still do well, why not keep going?” asked Haas. “You might as well enjoy it while you can and make the best of it…
“I’ve had some injuries that obviously some of them were quite severe that I probably missed three, if not three and a half years in my career. You could say I’m in my early 30s, not mid 30s.”