ATP Rogers Cup: Novak Djokovic needs deciding-set tie-break to defeat Gael Monfils
Last Updated: 07/08/14 7:04am
Novak Djokovic was pushed all the way by Gael Monfils but eventually secured a 6-2 6-7 (4-7) 7-6 (7-2) win to reach the third round of the Rogers Cup.
The world No 1 was playing his first match since being crowned Wimbledon champion and almost suffered a shock defeat in Toronto.
Things went to plan in the first set as he broke his French opponent’s serve twice, but Monfils eventually hit his stride and levelled the match after an entertaining second set.
The pair traded breaks in the third set to take the match into a deciding tie-break, which Djokovic dominated from the start to book a clash with Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the last 16.
“The start of the match was really good. I felt comfortable on the court, penetrating the ball through the court, coming to the net and serving efficiently,” Djokovic told Sky Sports.
“I had a couple of break points at 1-1 or 2-2 in the second set and then suddenly he was back in the match. I allowed him in with some unforced errors – I didn’t capitalise on the opportunities which were presented.
“It was a true fight and it could have gone either way, we both tried our best. I wasn’t happy with way the last hour and 20 minutes or so (went).
“But I’m glad to be able to win against Gael. It was probably the toughest draw (I could get) in the second round.”
Home favourite and returning finalist Milos Raonic also survived a scare after rising American star Jack Sock stormed to a first set victory.
The 60th ranked Sock claimed the lone break of the match to win the opening set 6-4, before world No 6 Raonic fought back to win the following sets 7-6(2) 7-6(4) to wrap up victory in just short of two-and-a-half hours.
Elsewhere in round two, fifth seed David Ferrer recovered from a second-set blip to clinch a 6-4 2-6 6-1 victory against Michael Russell.
World No 5 Tomas Berdych lost a first set tie-break to Taiwan's Yen-Hsun Lu but the Czech eventually booked his place in the round of 16 with a 6-7(4) 6-4 6-4 triumph.
Wimbledon semi-finalist Grigor Dimitrov came back from a set down to reach the third round with a 4-6 6-2 6-3 win over Donald Young, while Julien Benneteau sent 11th seed Ernests Gulbis crashing out as he clinched a 7-6 (7-4) 6-3 win over the Latvian.
No 16 seed Fabio Fognini was also eliminated after being defeated 7-5 6-2 by Kevin Anderson but 15th seed Marin Cilic and 17th seed Tommy Robredo progressed after beating Malek Jaziri and Gilles Simon respectively.