Madrid, May 11 (IANS) Serbian tennis ace Novak Djokovic got off to a ragged start in his first match at the Madrid Masters, while Rafael Nadal needed almost three hours to advance to the third round.
Djokovic, the defending champion, who was handed a first-round bye in this year’s tournament, recovered from a 0-3 deficit in the third set to close out a 6-1, 4-6, 7-5 second-round victory over Spanish wild card Nicolas Almago here on Wednesday.
Nadal was pushed hard for his opening win of the tournament, saving 12 of 16 break points, as he outlasted Fabio Fognini 7-6 (7-3), 3-6, 6-4. The world number five was also given a bye in the first round.
Canadian fifth seed Milos Raonic defeated Gilles Muller of Luxembourg 6-4, 6-4, while Japanese sixth seed Kei Nishikori rallied to a 1-6, 6-0, 6-4 victory over Diego Schwartzman.
Asia’s top player next faces Spain’s David Ferrer, who advanced when Jo-Wilfried Tsonga withdrew prior to their match with a right shoulder injury.
Czech Tomas Berdych advanced past Dutchman Robin Haase 7-6 (7-5), 6-3, while 16th seed Nick Kyrgios beat Ryan Harrison 6-3, 6-3.
In another match, Frenchman Benoit Paire upset third-seeded Swiss Stan Wawrinka 7-5, 4-6, 6-2 to reach the round of 16 of the tournament.
The unseeded World No. 52 struck five aces in the final set and lost only three points over his final four service games, while Wawrinka won just two of his seven second-serve points in the third and was broken twice.
He will next take on Uruguay’s Pablo Cuevas, who defeated Frenchman Nicolas Mahut.
In the women’s third round, Canadian Eugenie Bouchard had another victory as Angelique Kerber quit with a hamstring problem trailing 6-3, 5-0.
Russian eighth seed Svetlana Kuznetsova defeated Wang Qiang of China 6-4, 7-5 and Latvian Anastasia Sevastova beat Spain’s Lara Arruabarrena 7-5, 6-2.
Meanwhile, Romanian holder Simona Halep beat Australian Samantha Stosur 6-4, 4-6, 6-4.