It took until May, but former No. 1 Novak Djokovic picked up his first Top 20 victory of the season beating Kei Nishikori 7-5, 6-4 in the opening round of the Madrid Masters.
“It was strange, I must admit, playing Kei in the first round,” said Djokovic who improved to 12-2 against the Japanese. “Our rankings dropped due to injuries and everything else that was happening the last year. I mean, it can happen and it did happen here.
“I’m glad that match went my way, but it could have gone his way as well. It was a very few points that really decided a winner today. I managed to play the right shots in the important moments. In both first and second set I made breaks, you know, to win both sets at the really final stages of both sets.”
Djokovic, a 2-time Madrid champion, had lost his last two matches entering the affair. The Serb will have the day off Tuesday before returning to face Daniil Medvedev or Kyle Edmund.
Among the other notable winners were Milos Raonic who eased past qualifier Nicolas Kicker and Gael Monfils who was also a winner over a qualifier in Nikoloz Basilashvili 6-2, 3-6, 6-3.
Tuesday sees action from Juan Martin del Potro, Fernando Verdasco and Milos Raonic who meets Grigor Dimitrov in the match of the day.
TUESDAY MADRID SCHEDULE
Manolo Santana Starts At 12:00 Noon
2nd Rd 10 Petra Kvitova VS (WC) Monica Puig
2nd Rd 1 Simona Halep VS Elise Mertens
1st Rd Fernando Verdasco VS Paolo Lorenzi
Not Before 8:00 Pm
2nd Rd 4 Juan Martin del Potro VS Damir Dzumhur
Not Before 9:30 Pm
2nd Rd 3 Garbiñe Muguruza VS Donna Vekic
Arantxa Sanchez Starts At 12:00 Noon
1st Rd 11 Roberto Bautista Agut VS Jared Donaldson
1st Rd 9 Pablo Carreno Busta VS Borna Coric
Not Before 4:00 Pm
2nd Rd Carla Suárez Navarro VS 4 Elina Svitolina
2nd Rd Milos Raonic VS 3 Grigor Dimitrov
Not Before 8:00 Pm
2nd Rd Johanna Konta VS (Q) Bernarda Pera
You Might Like:
Dimitrov Beats Nishikori to Break 2-1/2 Year Title Drought
Nadal Handed Madrid Title by Nishikori
2-Time Champ Djokovic To Meet Nishikori In Madrid Opener; Nadal Seeks 6th Title
Nadal Downs Dimitrov, Faces Berdych In Madrid SFs; Murray Meets Nishikori
Rome Draw: Roger Federer Returns, Faces Brutal Road; Novak Djokovic-Rafael Nadal QF?