Dubai: Former three-time champion and world No 1 Novak Djokovic led three other seeds into the second round, though in contrasting styles, on the second day of the Dubai Duty Free Men’s Open here on Tuesday.
Djokovic needed just 67 minutes to send close friend and Davis Cup teammate Viktor Troicki packing off in straight sets 6-1, 6-4 even as fourth seed Juan Martin del Potro was stretched to the limit before crawling his way to a 2-6, 6-2, 7-6 (4) win over Cypriot Marcos Baghdatis.
Third seed Tomas Berdych skipped his way to an efficient 6-1, 6-3 win over wild card from the US, Rajeev Ram, while experienced campaigner Nikolay Davydenko scored the first ripple with an upset 6-0, 7-5 win over sixth seed Janko Tipsarevic.
In second round action, Djokovic will meet Spaniard Roberto Bautista Agut in the final match on centre court tonight, while second seed and five-time Dubai champion Roger Federer will fight it out with another Spaniard, Marcel Granollers at 7pm for a place in the quarter-finals.
Berdych will take on Germany’s Tobias Kamke in the first match on centre court at 2pm, while del Potro will be up against Indian Davis Cup player Somdev Devvarman at 4pm.
Djokovic was focused in his match against close friend and Davis Cup teammate Troicki. “I have been without tennis for the past three to four weeks, so I did not want to take any chances. I had extra focus and I was committed in doing well here tonight,” added the Serb.
Touted the match of the first round, del Potro and Baghdatis battled for more than two hours over three sets before the Argentinean won 4-6, 6-4, 7-6 (4) to set a second round meeting with Devvarman.
Meanwhile, it was Nikolay Davydenko who hogged much of the limelight earlier in the afternoon securing the biggest scalp with a clinical 6-0, 7-5 win over World No 9 Tipsarevic.
Davydenko will now play Victor Hanescu after the Romanian saw his Australian opponent Bernard Tomic withdraw while trailing 2-3 in the first set.