Andy Murray wins opening match of Rogers Cup, Djokovic beats Tomic
TORONTO - Andy Murray of Great Britain has had no time to rest since winning the Olympic gold medal on Sunday.
But after doing extensive media interviews over the past few days, he was able to catch a flight to Toronto on Tuesday and played his first Rogers Cup match on Wednesday.
He had an easy time of it against Italy's Flavio Cipolla, winning 6-1, 6-3 but the degree of difficulty will soar on Thursday when he takes on Milos Raonic of Thornhill, Ont., in a third-round match.
Raonic defeated Murray in the semifinals of the Barcelona Open nearly four months ago.
"Yeah, it will be tough," Murray said after Wednesday's match, his voice and body language showing that he was still obviously tired. "He'll obviously be motivated playing in his own country. You know he's improved a lot over the last year, year and a half. He's playing really, really good tennis. Very big guy with a big game. Serves well and hits the ball very hard."
Murray has had a whirlwind schedule since defeating Roger Federer at Wimbledon in straight sets to win the gold medal. But he decided to come to the Rogers Cup to at least give it a try.
"You know, it's just not when I finished the match and played the mixed (doubles). It doesn't end there. We just don't relax on Sunday night and Monday and then get ourselves ready to come.
"I wasn't back at home until 2:30, did press for about two and a half, three hours after the match and the next morning started again at 8 for about another three, four hours. So it was a long, busy couple of days."
He said he decided to come to Toronto to see how he felt when he arrived and had a practice on the courts. "I felt okay this morning when I practiced and decided to give it a go," he said.
Murray was also adjusting from grass courts to a hard court when he played on Wednesday.
"I feel a little sore in the joints and stuff a little bit. I mean I feel tired mentally. I haven't really slept much in the last few days so that's probably catching up to me a little bit.
"But I hit the ball pretty well. After playing for eight weeks on grass pretty much, it's very different here. The ball is very quick compared with Wimbledon. It also bounces much higher. The court is much slower as well. So there are a lot of things to change."
During the second set, Murray had some problems with a sore knee.
"It's okay," he said. "Just a little sore. I haven't played a match on a hard court for four months and haven't practiced on a hard court for four months, either … on the hard courts the knees and the ankles and the hips take quite a fair pounding. I haven't had enough days to adjust to the surface, that's probably why there were a few aches and pains."
Murray, ranked fourth in the world and the second seed in the Rogers Cup, had little trouble with Cipolla, 28, who into the week ranked 97th in the world.
Cipolla tried to make a match of it in the second set. Leading 2-1, Cipolla had break point in the fourth game but Murray rallied to even the set at 2-2.
But the 25-year-old Scot came back to break Cipolla's serve to go ahead 3-2. Cipolla again had a break point in the sixth game but couldn't finish it off. Murray broke Cipolla's serve to end the match.
It kept his run of winning sets going, following Sunday's his 6-2, 6-1, 6-4 victory over Federer, who is not at the Rogers Cup this year.
Murray said Raonic will present a different style of play from Cipolla.
"My opponent today was serving around 150, 160 kilometres an hour and Milos can serve 100 kilometres faster than that," said Murray. "My opponent today was hitting with a lot of slice. Milos doesn't hit that much slice and goes for a lot of power."
It's been non-stop for Murray and it continues Thursday where he will be playing in front of a charged-up crowd cheering on their home-town player.
But Murray admits to still being on Cloud 9.
"The last few days have just gone so quick. I've been not really sleeping much in the evening at all. Normally I sleep for nine, 10 hours a night. Maximum I've been sleeping four hours a day. That suggests I'm still fairly excited about it.
"The tournament was the best tournament of my life. To win a gold medal in your home Olympics, not many people get a chance to do that. And to do it against Roger on Wimbledon Centre Court made it even more special. It was a great week."
Later, top-seeded Novak Djokovic of Serbia defeated Bernard Tomic of Australia 6-2, 6-3 on Wednesday to advance to the third round of the Rogers Cup.
The 25-year-old Djokovic is trying for his third Rogers Cup championship having won the event last year and in 2007.
"Obviously for the first match it was a decent performance," said Djokovic. "I was struggling to find the rhythm, obviously, as most of the players who came late from London do and did. You had some surprising losses today. (Juan Martin) Del Potro and (Jo-Wilfried) Tsonga out.
Djokovic entered the tournament ranked second in the world while 19-year-old Tomic was ranked 49th.
After breezing through the first set, Djokovic met a little more resistance in the second set from Tomic. But Djokovic broke Tomic's serve in the eighth game and won the match on his serve.
"It's really difficult," said Djokovic. "We're not even two days here, a couple of practices and it's totally different conditions, time zone, ball bounce, everything.
"But I love playing on hard court. It's my surface."
In other second-round matches, fourth-seeded Tomas Berdych edged Julien Benneteau 6-7 (10), 6-4, 6-4; Jeremy Chardy upset third-seeded Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 6-4, 7-6 (4); fifth-seeded Janko Tipsarevic beat Mikhail Youzhny 7-6 (2), 6-4; and Radek Stepanek topped sixth-seeded Juan Martin del Potro 6-4, 7-6 (5).
Last changed: August 08. 2012 9:41PM