By Chris Oddo | Wednesday, August 6, 2014
Novak Djokovic survived a wild one on Wednesday in Toronto with magical, mystical Gael Monfils, prevailing in a third-set tiebreaker.
Photo Source: Ronald Martinez/ Getty.
Novak Djokovic called his draw “terrible” the minute he saw it, but his three-set romp with Gael Monfils in Toronto this afternoon was anything but.
The Frenchman was at his best in the second set, as he connected on several electric winners to steal the momentum from Djokovic. Eventually Monfils would force a tiebreaker and use his down-the-line backhand to great effect to take four of the last five points after the changeover to steal the set.
Video: LaMonf Flies High for Tweener on Incredible Point
For two hours and forty minutes, the newly married Wimbledon champ was tested by the flamboyant Frenchman, but eventually Djokovic hung on for the 6-2, 6-7(4), 7-6(2) victory.
Though Djokovic lacked focus off the ground for much of the afternoon, he played his best tennis when it mattered most to overcome 49 unforced errors and ten break points faced (uncharacteristically, Djokovic had 26 unforced errors on the backhand side, against only four winners). The victory is Djokovic’s tenth in ten tour-level tilts against Monfils, and it improves the world No. 1’s record in Masters 1000 matches to 29-1 since his lost to John Isner in Cincinnati in 2013.
Monfils, as he typically does, stole the show and won the crowd with a variety of trick shots, dives, lunges and theatrics, but his best-laid plans to steal the match against the top seed went down the drain in the third-set tiebreaker, when he struggled to find the court and fell behind quickly.
Monfils quickly moved ahead a break in the decider, but when one of his 30 unforced errors from the forehand side sailed wide, Djokovic would have the break he needed to push the final set to a tiebreaker.
Djokovic, playing in his first event since winning the Wimbledon title a month ago, will face Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the third round.
Tsonga came through on Wednesday with a 7-6(6), 6-4 victory over compatriot Jeremy Chardy.
Murray on Point in Kyrgios Beatdown
Two-time Rogers Cup champion Andy Murray got his week started with a bang, as he defused powerful 19-year-old Aussie Nick Kyrgios with a smothering defensive display, 6-2, 6-2. Murray, seeded 8th in Toronto, wasn’t too bad on the offensive side either, as he only lost one first serve point and didn’t face a break point all afternoon.
Murray will face Richard Gasquet in the third round. The Frenchman came back from a set down to defeat Ivo Karlovic, 5-7, 7-6(5), 6-3.