Djokovic canters as Federer makes winning return

Wed Oct 9, 2013 5:34pm EDT
 
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(Reuters) - Top seed Novak Djokovic launched his Shanghai Open title defence in fine style, breezing past Spain's Marcel Granollers 6-2 6-0 on Wednesday.

Roger Federer, playing his first singles match since a fourth-round exit at the U.S. Open over a month ago, made a brisk return to winning ways, beating Andreas Seppi 6-4 6-3.

The Swiss's long-time rival Rafa Nadal was among those who were eager to see the 17-times grand slam champion in full flight and after observing a few games courtside, the Spaniard showed his own class in a 6-3 6-2 thumping of Alexandr Dolgopolov.

"The court is fast, faster than the previous years," said Nadal, who narrowly missed out on winning his 11th title of 2013 by falling to Djokovic in the Beijing final.

"The serve worked great. Something that didn't happen last week. That's a very important thing."

Djokovic, who lost his world number one ranking to Nadal on Monday, needed treatment on his right foot during the second set of his match but it did not stop him from breaking his opponent three times to win at a canter.

"There's several tournaments left for me, this included, where I will try to go as far as I can... eventually have an opportunity to get back to No. 1 (but) it doesn't depend only (on) me, it depends (on) Nadal," said the Serb, who beat Nadal on Sunday in the China Open for his fourth title of the year.

"Now to build that confidence, try to (be more) aggressive on the court and get my game back to where it should be, that's the primary focus."

Federer, who is drawn to meet Djokovic in the quarter-finals, looked rusty at the start conceding a break in the fifth game against Seppi, who not beaten him in nine meetings.   Continued...

 
Novak Djokovic of Serbia reacts after winning a point during his men's singles tennis match against Marcel Granollers of Spain at the Shanghai Masters tennis tournament in Shanghai October 9, 2013. REUTERS/Carlos Barria