Montreal, Aug 12 : Novak Djokovic had a good day at the Rogers Cup on Thursday, winning in straight sets then watching Roger Federer join Rafael Nadal and Andy Murray as an early casualty.
The 24-year-old Serb kept up his strong season with a 7-5, 6-3 victory over Marin Cilic of Croatia to reach the quarterfinals, when he will take on Gael Monfils, who progressed with a 3-6, 7-6 (0), 7-6 (5) win over Viktor Troicki.
He's now the last of the top four seeds left in the tournament after No. 3 Federer was beaten by 13th-seeded Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 7-6 (3), 4-6, 6-1.
The other seeded winners Thursday were Mardy Fish, Tomas Berdych, Nicolas Almagro and Stanislaw Wawrinka while Richard Gasquet was among the losers.
In his second match since taking over the No. 1 ranking with a victory at Wimbledon four weeks ago, Djokovic broke the lanky Cilic's heavy serve twice in the second set to improve to 50-1 this year—including 26-0 on hard courts.
He beat another former top-10 player, Nikolay Davydenko, in straight sets in the second round.
“Both of the matches I've played here were against good players, but I didn't get any rhythm in either match,” Djokovic said. “Conditions were quite different today.
“There was a lot of wind. It wasn't a beautiful match to play or watch, but I guess in the right moments I kept the ball in the court to make my opponent make unforced errors. I was just more patient and played well, so I guess that's the positive.”
Ivan Dodig, the 41st-ranked Croat who beat Nadal, had little left a day later as he was beaten 6-1, 6-4 by unseeded Serb Janko Tipsarevic.
Tipsarevic will face seventh-seeded Tomas Berdych in the quarter-finals on Friday. He is 2-0 in his career against the Czech. Berdych downed Ivo Karlovic 6-3, 7-6 (2).
Switzerland's Wawrinka ousted South Africa's Kevin Anderson—who had eliminated Murray in the second round -- 6-4, 4-6, 6-4 and his next opponent will be American Fish, who defeated Latvia's Ernests Gulbis 4-6, 6-3, 6-4.
Djokovic was not overly surprised at the early eliminations of Nadal, Federer and Murray, or Thurday's results at the women's Rogers Cup in Toronto where Maria Sharapova and French Open champion Li Na lost.
“For most of the top players who don't play for a few weeks it's normal to expect that the opening matches of the tournament will be tricky,” Djokovic said. “You're still trying to find the rhythm, trying to get used to the conditions and getting into tournament mode.
“But it's normal to have those (breaks) in a year. You have to have them. We had seven months of consistent competition, week after week. The schedule is so demanding that even these couple of weeks off is like a dream come true. Each year, most of the top players don't play anything between Wimbledon and (the Rogers Cup).” AP