There were still two first-round matches to be completed at the Rakuten Open, and both featured players who took part in last weekend’s finals, in Kuala Lumpur and Bangkok, a nice gesture by the tournament organisers to give an extra day’s rest to those players, whereas those who were in Beijing had to play their first match on Tuesday.
In the first match of the day, Juan Mónaco continued on his good run, defeating easily qualifier Grigor Dimitrov, 6-2 6-1, in a little over an hour, setting up an interesting and very tough second-rounder against Marcos Baghdatis.
The second match was a repeat of the Bangkok semi-final opposing Janko Tipsarevic to Gilles Simon. As we know, Simon is Tipsarevic’s bête noire, having won five of the six encounters between the two players. This match started no differently as most of them, as the Frenchman took the first set, 6-4.
Perhaps fatigue and a bit of a knee issue (which he had in Thailand) had the better of Simon, or perhaps the Serbian finally found the key to overcome his pesky opponent. In the end, Tipsarevic earned his second win over Simon, 4-6 6-3 6-1, in 2:24, and has a very good shot at reaching the quarter-finals, as he will face qualifier Marco Chiudinelli in the second round.
In the only two second-round matches that were played today, Andy Murray cruised to defeat Lukas Lacko, 6-1 6-2, in 57 minutes, whereas Stanislas Wawrinka had to fight for 2:37 to edge Jérémy Chardy, 7-6(1) 6-7(6) 7-5. Chardy still saved three match points in the second set tiebreak. Murray and Wawrinka will square off in quarter-finals.
Second round under way in Beijing
Three second-round matches were played at the China Open this Wednesday, as Jürgen Melzer defeated Alexandr Dolgopolov, 7-6(9) 2-6 6-1. Then Florian Mayer came back from a set down to defeat wild card Marius Copil, 3-6 6-3 6-2.
In the last match of the day, Novak Djokovic dominated Carlos Berlocq, and was headed towards a 6-1 6-0 win. However, the Serbian had a huge mental lapse, and Berlocq hung tough as he always does, which permitted the Argentine to recuperate two of the breaks in the second set. Djokovic ended up breaking on a double fault from the Chascomus native for a 6-1 6-3 win, but we were still treated to many very entertaining rallies throughout the match. It was clear that, seeing he had no chance to win, the Argentine was, just like he did at the U.S. Open 2011, enjoying the moment. Djokovic will face Melzer in the quarter-finals, Friday.