Djokovic battles as Murray sails through

The Wimbledon champ struggles for over two hours to take his winning streak to ten matches

Toronto

Wimbledon champions Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray warmed up their hardcourt games on Wednesday with victories in their opening matches at the Toronto ATP Masters.

Djokovic needed almost two and three-quarter hours to extend his winning run to 10 matches as he beat Frenchman Gael Monfils, with the top seed reaching the third round after a 6-2, 6-7 (4/7), 7-6 (7/2) victory.

Murray made light of an absence from the ATP Tour of over a month to defeat promising Aussie teenager Nick Kyrgios 6-2, 6-2 in less than an hour.

Djokovic, married last month, was playing for the first time since his All England Club triumph.

“I tried to take the positives from this long match, obviously the fact that I stayed over two and a half hours on the court and I have not played an official hard court match since Miami finals (in March),” Djokovic said.

“That obviously helps to play a little bit more, to feel the court, to feel the conditions. I’m not feeling tired. I’m not exhausted. I haven’t played a tournament for four weeks. I of course look forward to compete more.”

The Serb did have to struggle with the flashy Monfils, who put the Serbian under pressure with a break in the third set for a 3-1 lead.

The top seed got the break back a game later but showed his frustration as Monfils won a nine-minute 11th game, saving three break points to hold for 6-5.

Monfils was two points from completing the upset at 6-5 30-30, but Djokovic held on to force the tiebreaker in which he seized a 5-2 lead and converted on his first match point with a forehand winner. He goes through to a meeting with French 13th seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, who beat countryman Jeremy Chardy 7-6 (8/6), 6-4.

“I showed good stuff today, I think I was happy,” said Monfils. “This can just motivate me to work harder. Next time I will try to maybe be a bit further (along) and maybe beat him.” —AFP

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