Novak Djokovic opened his 2015 hardcourt summer swing with a tough 6-3, 7-6(4) win over Brazilian lefty Thomaz Bellucci in the second round at the Montreal Masters.
The Serb collected his 250th career Masters 1000 victory, but it wasn’t easy on a day that was delayed by early showers.
“I thought the conditions were, because of the rain, quite heavy and slow,” said Djokovic. “So I think it suited Bellucci very well. Nevertheless, credit to him for playing some really solid, resilient tennis, not giving up, getting a lot of balls back, serving well. Match could have gone either way, honestly, especially in the second set. But we both had our chances to break. We got to the tiebreak, which I thought was fair, then it was anybody’s game.
“I managed to stay cool and mentally tough in the right moment.”
Two-time champion Andy Murray was on in the evening but rain halted his match with Tommy Robredo at 4-4. They’ll resume this afternoon.
Also in the evening, Ivo Karlovic registered his 10,000th career ace in a 7-6(1), 7-6(1) mild upset win over Canadian favorite Milos Raonic.
“Yeah, it’s very disappointing,” said Raonic. “I wish I could have done better today, given myself an opportunity to do better in the next round, just give myself a chance to progress. You know, it is what it is. Take them as they come. Try to sort of carry it through. A poor week this week doesn’t mean it’s a poor week next week. So just try to turn that around.’
Grigor Dimitrov began the day with a nice win over Alexandr Dolgopolov. Defending champion Jo-Wilfried Tsonga handled Borna Coric 6-4, 6-4 and Lukas Rosol scored the lone seed upset on the day knocking out No. 12 Kevin Anderson 7-6, 7-6.
Ernests Gulbis also beat his friend and practice partner Dominic Thiem in three sets. And Nick Kyrgios took down Fernando Verdasco in three.
Today, 3-time champion Rafael Nadal begins his hardcourt campaign against Sergiy Stakhovsky.
“He can play his best tennis again. He lacks regularity and needs to improve some aspects of his game [such as] movement and foot speed but he’s able to do it,” said Nadal’s assistant coach Francisco Roig.
“He’s not worse these days due to a lack of strength, mobility or mental toughness. He can turn things around, be competitive and try to win Grand Slam trophies [which is] his ultimate goal.”
American big man John Isner meet Canadian No. 2 Vasek Pospisil. Kyrgios will test French Open champion Stan Wawrinka and Kei Nishikori is first on Center against Pablo Andujar.
“He plays unbelievable tennis,” said Kyrgios of the Swiss. “He’s pretty much got big everything: big serve, forehand, backhand. He’s a great athlete as well. I’m just going to go out there and play my game and see how it goes.”
Djokovic and Nadal also return in doubles player later this evening.
Showers are again forecasted for Wednesday in Montreal.
WEDNESDAY MONTREAL SCHEDULE
COURT CENTRAL start 12:30 pm
P. Andujar (ESP) vs  K. Nishikori (JPN)
Not Before 2:30 pm
 R. Nadal (ESP) vs S. Stakhovsky (UKR)
T. Robredo (ESP) vs  A. Murray (GBR) 44
Not Before 6:30 pm
[WC] V. Pospisil (CAN) vs  J. Isner (USA)
 S. Wawrinka (SUI) vs N. Kyrgios (AUS)
BANQUE NATIONALE start 12:30 pm
[Q] M. Youzhny (RUS) vs  G. Simon (FRA)
 G. Monfils (FRA) vs G. Muller (LUX)
[Q] D. Young (USA) vs  T. Berdych (CZE)
R. Bautista Agut (ESP) vs  J. Tsonga (FRA)
P. Cuevas (URU) / D. Marrero (ESP) vs D. Nestor (CAN) / E. Roger-Vasselin (FRA)
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