Djokovic breezes into third round in France
In his first match since the birth of his first child, defending champion Novak Djokovic stayed on course to finish the season as No. 1 by defeating Philipp Kohlschreiber 6-3, 6-4 in the second round of the Paris Masters on Tuesday.
The top-seeded Djokovic took a 5-1 lead in the first set and broke his German opponent in the opening game of the second.
“Very good match considering the fact that I didn’t play indoors for a year,’’ Djokovic said. “I struggled a little bit physically. It was a pretty tough couple of weeks.’’
Fifth-seeded Tomas Berdych of the Czech Republic, Fernando Verdasco of Spain and Kevin Anderson of South Africa also reached the third round.
Berdych, the 2005 champion, overcame French wild card entrant Adrian Mannarino 6-4, 6-7 (3), 6-2; Verdasco outlasted Frenchman Gilles Simon 6-3, 3-6, 6-4; and Anderson fired 12 aces in his 6-4, 7-6 (8) win over Santiago Giraldo of Colombia.
Djokovic hit 23 winners to 14 for Kohlschreiber. He traveled to Paris with his wife, Jelena, and their baby boy, Stefan, who was born last week.
At the end of his match, the Wimbledon champion wrote some words in Serbian on the lens of the TV camera.
“I sent a message to my boy, that I love him and that I play for him,’’ a smiling Djokovic said.
Djokovic was congratulated by his parents after the match.
“I’m really glad that they are here,’’ Djokovic said. “I’m glad because usually they don’t come very often. First couple of years of my career, they were there pretty much at all the Grand Slams. But now they have too many things to do.’’
Meanwhile, Tommy Robredo of Spain, Belgium’s David Goffin and Pablo Cuevas of Uruguay won their first-round matches along with Frenchmen Gael Monfils, Jeremy Chardy and Lucas Pouille.
Robredo outlasted Vasek Pospisil of Canada 6-3, 4-6, 7-6 (5). Pospisil won nine more points than Robredo, but the Spaniard made 20 fewer unforced errors.
Goffin beat Lukas Rosol of the Czech Rpublic 6-4, 6-3.
Cuevas was leading 7-6 (3), 1-0 when Leonardo Mayer of Argentina retired because of a back injury. The Uruguayan player is enjoying the best season of his career after winning two titles this summer. AP