Serbia’s Novak Djokovic, back in action for the first time in three weeks, didn’t get much of a test Monday in the first round of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships in the United Arab Emirates.
The tournament’s top seed routed Tunisia’s Malek Jaziri 6-1, 6-2 in exactly one hour.
Djokovic put 70 percent of his first serves in play and never faced a break point. Jaziri faced eight break points and lost four of them.
In other opening-round action, Gael Monfils continued his winning streak. The third-seeded Frenchman, who won tournaments in Montpellier, France, and Rotterdam, Netherlands, earlier this month, topped Hungary’s Marton Fucsovics 6-4, 7-5.
Sixth-seeded Andrey Rublev and seventh-seeded Karen Khachanov, both of Russia, also posted straight-set victories.
Chile Dove Men+Care Open
Sixth-seeded Hugo Dellien of Bolivia held off Italy’s Marco Cecchinato for a 6-3, 1-6, 6-3 victory in the first round at Santiago, Chile.
Dellien won 72 percent of his first-serve points despite serving just one ace. Cecchinati had 11 aces but offset those with seven double faults. He won just 60 percent of his first-serve points.
Also moving into the second round were two wild-card entrants, Marcelo Tomas Barrios Vera and Brazil’s Thiago Seyboth Wild, as well as Roberto Carballes Baena, who won an all-Spanish showdown with Jaume Munar.
Stan Wawrinka squandered three match points before getting forced into a third-set tiebreaker, but he emerged with a first-round win in Acapulco, Mexico.
The third-seeded Swiss player posted 6-3, 6-7 (4), 7-6 (1) victory over the United States’ Frances Tiafoe. Wawrinka had a break point to win the match at 4-5 in the third set, then had three more break points to close it out at 5-6, but Tiafoe survived each time.
The final tiebreaker was one-sided, though, as Wawrinka captured the final six points.
In other first-round matches, Serbia’s Miomir Kecmanovic, France’s Adrian Mannarino and the United States’ Tommy Paul all registered three-set wins.
--Field Level Media
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