MONTREAL (Reuters) - Germany’s Florian Mayer defied his journeyman status to send Australian young gun Bernard Tomic tumbling in the first round of the Rogers Cup on Monday.
Mayer, ranked 50 in the world, came from a set down to win 5-7 6-3 6-3 as the year’s sixth Masters series event began under blue skies and warm conditions.
Tomic - who has endured an inconsistent few months since the ATP imposed a tour-wide ban on his father and coach, John, for allegedly assaulting Bernard’s practice partner in May - made a bright start with solid serving and accurate ground strokes.
But Mayer, playing in his first hardcourt match since March, capitalized on Tomic’s unforced error rate at the start of the second set, and his ability to impose his unorthodox backhand slice on the match was decisive.
The 29-year-old German needed just one break of serve to draw level before repeating the feat in the decider as he closed out victory in an hour and 37 minutes.
“I missed my chances, I didn’t focus early on in the second set and that’s when he took over,” Tomic said. “I dropped my concentration and he played very well.”
Mayer will face the top seed and defending champion Novak Djokovic in the second round.
Latvia’s Ernests Gulbis joined Mayer in the last 32 after a 7-6 6-4 win over Spanish left-hander Feliciano Lopez.
Gulbis has long been touted as a potential top 10 player and at times showed why, edging a tiebreaker against the former world number 15 before his big serve helped finish the job. Gulbis is a possible third-round opponent for Wimbledon champion Andy Murray.
Croata’s Ivan Dodig, who stunned Rafael Nadal in the second round at this tournament two years ago, crushed Slovenian Grega Zemlja 6-1 6-1 to set up a second-round meeting with in-form sixth seed Juan Martin Del Potro.
Del Potro defeated American John Isner to claim the Washington title at the weekend.
Pablo Andujar, who like Dodig only squeezed into the main draw following the withdrawals of Viktor Troicki and Marin Cilic, the former after his International Tennis Federation (ITF) ban for an anti-doping violation, made the most of his opportunity.
The Spaniard recorded a straight-sets triumph over Israeli qualifier Amir Weintraub to book a meeting with either Frenchman Gilles Simon or Russia’s Nikolay Davydenko.
Italian Andreas Seppi was also among the day one winners. He required three sets to break down Czech Lukas Rozol.
Editing by Stephen Wood