Djokovic's victory a landmark

MONTREAL • Top-ranked tennis star Novak Djokovic began his preparation for the US Open by defeating Thomaz Bellucci 6-3, 7-6 (7-4) on Tuesday, advancing to the third round of Montreal Masters.

But there was no luck with the weather for Andy Murray, with the British second seed forced off court at 4-4 against Spain's Tommy Robredo when rain struck less than an hour before midnight, postponing the finish of the contest.

Serbian top seed Djokovic made his first appearance since winning Wimbledon more than a month ago. He also created a bit of personal history with his 250th win at the Masters 1000 level.

Djokovic is riding a win steak in the elite series, winning the last five he has contested in, dating to Paris Bercy last November. He remains undefeated in his last 27 matches at the Masters. Only three players have beaten him this year - Ivo Karlovic, Roger Federer and Stan Wawrinka.

The Serb will face the winner of the match between American Jack Sock and 14th seed Grigor Dimitrov in the next round.

"It was a very intense match for both players," Djokovic said of his fourth win over Bellucci and his first on hardcourt in the series. "There was a lot of tension and a very high quality.

"I managed to stay cool and mentally tough in the right moment. That's what I take out of this match - the ability to play my best and stay calm in the right moments and overcome this tough challenge."

Australian Nick Kyrgios began his hardcourt run with a 6-3, 4-6, 6-4 victory over Fernando Verdasco under the watchful eye of new mentor Lleyton Hewitt, 34.

Kyrgios, the world No. 41, is working alongside Australia's double Grand Slam winner in an informal capacity.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 13, 2015, with the headline 'Djokovic's victory a landmark'. Print Edition | Subscribe