Tennis: Djokovic destroys Fritz in solid Madrid start

Djokovic in action against US player Taylor Fritz.
Djokovic in action against US player Taylor Fritz.PHOTO: EPA-EFE

MADRID (AFP) - Novak Djokovic needed just 65 minutes to make a winning start at the Madrid Open on Tuesday (May 7), hammering Taylor Fritz 6-4, 6-2 to reach the third round.

The top seed and world No. 1 broke three times as he schooled the American in a tournament he had won in 2011 and 2016.

Djokovic will be chasing a fourth straight Grand Slam trophy at Roland Garros next month.

Unseeded treble Grand Slam champion Stan Wawrinka also began his Madrid campaign on a winning note, beating Pierre-Hugues Herbert 6-2, 6-3 to move into the second round.

"It was a great first match. I've been good on the practice court, feeling really good, so it was important to start well today," Wawrinka said.

"I hope my game is going to click soon. I'm patient enough to know that sometimes it takes time," said the Swiss player, who underwent two knee surgeries in August, 2017.

"I'm playing well and feeling well on the court. I still have some big result inside me so hopefully they can come sooner than later."

Wawrinka will next play Argentine Guido Pella, who put out Barcelona Open finalist Daniil Medvedev 6-2, 1-6, 6-3.

In the women's draw, third seed and two-time champion Simona Halep of Romania ended the hopes of Johanna Konta 7-5, 6-1 in the second round.

The Briton had made a dash to Madrid on Sunday evening after losing in the final of the Morocco Open.

Konta won her opening match against Alison Riske but could not match Halep, the defending French Open champion.

"I feel good every time when I come to Madrid and I'm happy to be back and winning matches," Halep said."It was a good match. Both of us played very well and, in the end, I was a bit stronger mentally and I found a rhythm."