Djokovic starts US Open buildup with Mon­treal win

The Pak Banker - - INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS/SPORTS -

Top-ranked Novak Djokovic be­gan his prepa­ra­tion for the US Open by de­feat­ing Thomaz Bel­lucci 6-3, 7-6 (7/4), ad­vanc­ing to the third round of the ATP Mon­treal Mas­ters.

The Ser­bian top seed made his first ap­pear­ance since win­ning Wim­ble­don more than a month ago. He also cre­ated a bit of per­sonal history with his 250th win at the Mas­ters 1000 level. Djokovic is rid­ing a win steak in the elite se­ries, win­ning the last five he has con­tested dat­ing to Paris Bercy last Novem­ber. He re­mains un­de­feated in his last 27 matches at the Mas­ters.

Djokovic will now wait for a win­ner from Amer­i­can Jack Sock and 14th seed Grigor Dim­itrov. Sock beat Adrian Man­nar­ino 6-2, 2-6, 7-6 (7/5) while Dim­itrov elim­i­nated Alexandr Dol­go­polov 6-4, 7-5. "It was a very in­tense match for both play­ers," Djokovic said of his fourth win over Bel­lucci and his first on hard­court in the se­ries. "There was a lot of ten­sion and a very high qual­ity. "I m happy to have earned the win, I played well on the big points."

In the first round, holder Jo-Wil­fried Tsonga, the French 10th seed, opened his cam­paign with a de­feat of Borna Coric 64, 6-4 while Czech Lukas Rosol up­set South African 12th seed Kevin An­der­son 7-6 (7/2), 7-6 (7-4)

Bel­gian 13th seed David Gof­fin put out Amer­i­can Steve John­son 6-2, 6-2. John Is­ner, the num­ber 16 and a fi­nal­ist last week in Washington, strug­gled past Ger­many s Ben­jamin Becker 6-4, 6-7 (6/8), 6-3.

Aus­tralian Nick Kyr­gios be­gan his hard­court run with a 6-3, 4-6, 6-4 vic­tory over Fer­nando Ver­dasco un­der the watch­ful eye of new men­tor Lley­ton He­witt. Kyr­gios, the world No. 41, is work­ing along­side Aus­tralia s dou­ble grand slam win­ner in an in­for­mal ca­pac­ity, with the 34-year-old el­der states­man of the cur­rent Aussie game happy to help out the 20-year-old young­ster.

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