Sharapova cruises, Kerber crashes out - Taipei Times
Fri, Aug 10, 2018 - Page 16 News List

Sharapova cruises, Kerber crashes out

WEATHER DELAYS:Several women’s singles matches were rescheduled due to rain in Montreal, while men’s play was suspended for two-and-a-half hours in Toronto

AFP, MONTREAL and TORONTO

In the men’s singles, top seed Rafael Nadal blew past patchy Frenchman Benoit Paire 6-2, 6-3 to begin his quest for a fourth Canadian trophy in Toronto.

The world No. 1 was untouchable as he schooled Paire for the fourth time without a loss, taking 74 minutes as he broke six times.

Nadal won the event in 2005, 2008 and 2013.

“I was not at my 100 percent today,” Nadal said. “It’s true that I did good work here the last five days, but at the same time it’s true that I didn’t work very hard at home.”

“So the first match is an important victory for me, for my confidence. It’s important that I have another match tomorrow too. So just try to keep going,” he said.

“I played a solid match, in the second set I had some troubles, but my return worked well. It was more about the mistakes from the baseline,” he added.

The 32-year-old will fight for a quarter-final berth for the first time since 2015 when he plays Stan Wawrinka, who staged another fightback in three sets, beating Marton Fucsovics 1-6, 7-6 (7/2), 7-6 (12/10).

Defending champion Alexander Zverev, seeded second and the winner in Washington last weekend, also advanced easily by beating Bradley Klahn 6-4, 6-4.

Former top-ranked Novak Djokovic, a four-time champion, sent Canadian Peter Polansky to a 6-3, 6-4 defeat.

Two generations of local players split the difference with 27-year-old Milos Raonic heading out while teenage gun Denis Shapovalov moved on.

American Frances Tiafoe beat Raonic 7-6 (7/4), 4-6, 6-1 in a match hit by a weather interruption of more than two-and-a-half hours.

Teenage prodigy Shapovalov eliminated Italian 14th seed Fabio Fognini 6-3, 7-5.

Djokovic expressed support for a new 25-second shot clock innovation designed to cut down on time wasted between points.

“I’m pretty comfortable with it — it’s good to have shot clock in the tournaments prior to the US Open,” Djokovic said.

The 13-time Grand Slam champion has now won 21 of his past 24 matches after a roller-coaster start to this year that saw him go 6-6.

Djokovic, the winner of 30 career Masters titles, is next to face rising Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas, who beat seventh seed Dominic Thiem 6-3, 7-6 (8/6).

It was the second straight opening defeat for the Austrian, who also lost last week at home.

Wimbledon semi-finalist John Isner defeated Pierre-Hugues Herbert of France 7-6 (7/3), 6-2.

Third seed Juan Martin del Potro was forced to withdraw prior to his opening match due to a left wrist injury.

Additional reporting by staff writer

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