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Isner Upset By Dodig In Toronto Opener

Toronto, Canada

Dodig© Ron Turenne/Tennis CanadaIvan Dodig did not face a break point on serve.

John Isner began the Emirates Airline US Open Series by winning the Atlanta title, but dropped his opening match for a second straight week on Monday night in Toronto.

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The top American, who fell to Steve Johnson in a third-set tie-break at the Citi Open, lost to Croatian Ivan Dodig, 6-4, 6-7(4), 6-3 in the first round of the Rogers Cup. Dodig had claimed another notable victory on Canadian soil three years ago, when he upset Rafael Nadal in Montreal.

After extending the match to a third set, No. 10 seed Isner dropped serve in the sixth game. He did not earn any break point opportunities against Dodig, who won 86 per cent of his first serve points and served out the match to love with an ace.

"He's the guy who can beat everybody, as well a great player for many years, so I really tried to play my best," said Dodig. "We had a tight match [last year] in Miami. Today was again a tough match for both of us. Today I was a little bit more lucky, and I'm happy to finish." 

The 29-year-old Dodig was playing his first match since retiring in the first round of Roland Garros, having suffered a broken rib while serving during the Internazionali BNL d'Italia in Rome. He recorded his 10th match win of the season.

"I was really happy to play again after two-and-a-half months and to beat Isner is a great win for me, for sure," said Dodig. "I have to continue on the right way."

Two other Americans fared better in their first-round matches Monday. Tim Smyczek defeated German Tobias Kamke 6-3, 6-2 in a first-round meeting between qualifiers. Meanwhile, qualifier Michael Russell dismissed France’s Nicolas Mahut 6-3, 6-3 and next meets No. 5 seed David Ferrer.

South African Kevin Anderson avoided an exit in his opening match, coming back to defeat 18-year-old Australian qualifier Thanasi Kokkinakis 4-6, 6-2, 6-3 in two hours and six minutes.

PolanskyA day after Milos Raonic and Vasek Pospisil faced off in the first all-Canadian final on the ATP World Tour, Peter Polansky opened the home contingent's campaign at this ATP World Tour Masters 1000 tournament by defeating Poland's Jerzy Janowicz 7-6(5), 6-4.

"When you're around your peers and your peers start doing well, I think it pushes everyone and gives everyone a bit extra confidence, saying I'm training with this guy and maybe beating him a little in practice, and look where he's ranked," said Polansky.

The 26-year-old Polansky, currently No. 129 in the Emirates ATP Rankings, will next face Roger Federer, whom he has practised with on the Swiss's previous visits to Canada.

"It's really exciting to win today and will definitely have a lot of adrenaline for the rest of the night, but tomorrow's an even better experience and will probably be one of the highlights of my career thus far," he said. "He's a great guy, he's a great role model, and I'm just looking forward to a good battle tomorrow."

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