Djokovic joins tops seeds in Toronto quarters

Fri Jul 29, 2016 2:55am EDT
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TORONTO (Reuters) - Top seed Novak Djokovic breezed into the quarter-finals as the Rogers Cup continued pretty much according to script at the Aviva Centre on Thursday.

Djokovic beat Czech qualifier Radek Stepanek 6-2 6-4 in a friendly encounter, during which both players repeatedly hammed it up for the crowd.

Stepanek, at 37 the oldest player in the field, broke serve in the first game of the second set but it was merely a stay of execution against the world number one from Serbia.

Djokovic is the only member of the so-called "big four" competing in Toronto, with last year's champion Andy Murray, Roger Federer and Rafa Nadal all absent from the $4.7 million event.

In a tournament so far devoid of major upsets, the top five seeds advanced to the quarters, with Swiss Stan Wawrinka, Japanese Kei Nishikori, Canadian Milos Raonic and Czech Tomas Berdych booking last eight berths.

Only Berdych needed three sets to progress and the fifth seed's reward is a showdown against Djokovic, who leads their head-to-head by a staggering 24-2 margin.

Wawrinka won a hard-hitting battle with American Jack Sock, 7-6(3) 6-2.

Next up for the two-times grand slam champion is unseeded South African Kevin Anderson, who rallied for a 4-6 6-3 6-4 victory over the 12th seeded Australian Bernard Tomic.

Nishikori had little trouble getting by American Rajeev Ram, requiring just 68 minutes to register a convincing 6-3 6-4 win.   Continued...

Jul 28, 2016; Toronto, Ontario, Canada; Novak Djovak of Serbia plays a shot against Radek Stepanek of Czech Republic on day four of the Rogers Cup tennis tournament at Aviva Centre. Mandatory Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports