Novak advances to third round in Toronto!

Second-seeded Novak Djokovic opened his Toronto campaign with a 7-5, 7-5 victory over world no.33 Frenchman Julien Benneteau to reach the third round at the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 tournament on Wednesday.

There were three breaks of services in the first three games of the match, two for Benneteau. Djokovic earned himself a break back point but failed to take advantage of it and the Frenchman went on to hold with a forehand winner to consolidate the break for 3-1 lead. Novak managed to come back in the sixth game and leveled the score to 3-3. Djokovic allowed Benneteau to push him to deuce in the next game before holding to take the lead for the first time in the match with a forehand winner. The Frenchman was serving to stay in the set in the 12th game, when Novak used the only break point he had to take the first set in 60 minutes. Novak had more winners (20-7), but also more unforced errors (20-11) in the first set, and he made five double faults.

Benneteau broke Novak’s serve in the opening game of the second set and held for 2-0 lead. The world no.2 saved another break point in the third game with an inside out forehand winner across court and held for 2-1. He broke back in the next game to equalise the result, but the Frenchman made one more break in the fifth game and consolidated the break with an ace to increase his lead to 4-2. Benneteau was serving for the set at 5-4, but Djokovic earned two break points and broke back at the second attempt when Benneteau sent a forehand long after a lengthy rally. The 23-year-old Belgrade native broke his opponent’s service again in the 12th game to win the set and match 7-5.

“It was a big struggle,” said Djokovic after the match. “It was obvious that on the court I wasn’t feeling the best, but I overcame it. It was nothing unusual, just little heat issues that I have, but life goes on. I won another match, and usually when you win the tough opening match, now I get more confidence and hopefully I can be ready for the next challenge.”

Novak will next play against world no.54 Victor Hanescu. The Romanian beat no.207 in the ATP Rankings Canadian wild card Peter Polansky 6-4, 7-6.

Djokovic and Hanescu have met four times, Nole won in all four encounters.

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