No. 9 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga was the lone seed in action on Monday at the Shanghai Masters, easing past German Florian Mayer to set up a second-round encounter with injury-comeback player Janko Tipsarevic of Serbia.
It was the 31-year-old Tsonga’s first match since the US Open after knee surgery.
But the story of the day were teens and qualifiers.
Nineteen-year-old Alexander Zverev, qualifier and 21-year-old Kyle Edmund and qualifier and 18-year-old Taylor Fritz all posted wins at the Qizhong Tennis Center, as did fellow qualifiers Vasek Pospisil and Micha Zverev.
Alexander Zverev beat John Isner 6-4, 6-2, almost doubling the American’s ace tally. He will next meet No. 8 seed Marin Cilic.
“Both very tough matches, a lot of tiebreaks in those matches,” said Zverev of his 1-1 record against Cilic. “It’s going to be a difficult match, but I have been playing pretty well for the last few weeks. If I can continue playing like I did the last few tournaments…I have a good chance.”
Fritz beat Frenchman Stephane Robert 7-6(2), 2-6, 6-3, dropping 14 aces, and will next meet the winner of Aussie Bernard Tomic and No. 15 seed Roberto Bautista Agut. Edmund outlasted Argentine Federico Delbonis 6-3, 5-7, 6-4, and his reward is a meeting with No. 3 seed Stan Wawrinka. Pospisil topped “Dr. Ivo Karlovic 7-6(5), 6-4, and Micha Zverev saw little resistance from Chinese wildcard Ze Zhang.
Other unseeded winners on the day were Viktor Troicki handling qualifier Lukas Rosol 6-2, 6-4; Frenchman Benoit Paire outlasting Joao Sousa 6-3, 5-7, 6-1; veteran Nicolas Almagro outdueling qualifier Mikhail Youzhny 3-6, 6-2, 6-2; and American Steve Johnson defeating Martin Klizan 6-4, 6-3.
Highlights of Tuesday matches in Shanghai are (1) Novak Djokovic vs. Fabio Fognini, (11) David Goffin vs. (WC) Juan Martin del Potro, (8) Marin Cilic vs. Alexander Zverev, (12) Nick Kyrgios vs. Sam Querrey, and (14) Richard Gasquet vs. Grigor Dimitrov.
“My approach is just different,” Djokovic said pre-tournament. “The last three months were up and down, a little bit with oscillations, but generally I didn’t find that kind of satisfaction on the court, which is the very reason and the source of my motivation to play tennis…So that’s my priority now, to get back into that inner joy and really feeling happy for being on the court, and everything else comes second and behind that.”
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