- ATP Tour
Djokovic bullies Troicki in Dubai opener
Novak Djokovic moved into the second round of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships with a typically comfortable victory over compatriot Viktor Troicki on Tuesday.
Troicki, who has an overwhelmingly poor record against his fellow Serbian, was punished early on by his opponent for attempting to wrong-foot the multiple-grand slam champion with some poorly-implemented serve and volley tactics - as Djokovic laid the groundwork for a comfortable 6-1 6-4 victory that took little more than an hour.
Djokovic, who had lost to Troicki just once in their 13 prior meetings, made sure to claim control of the contest at the earliest possible opportunity - breaking the world No. 44 in his first service game to put himself in the driving seat.
A second break followed soon after, as the world No. 1 dominated on his own serve - dropping just three points all set - to move within a frame of victory.
The second set was more competitive; with Troicki taking more chances and Djokovic struggling with his first-serve percentage, it proved difficult for either player to move into the ascendancy.
In truth, however, it seemed Djokovic was always playing within himself, striking only when necessary. The Australian Open champion was actually broken at one point by his opponent, but struck back twice to ensure the match did not go on any longer than required.
However, there was disappointment for a winner last week, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, who was knocked out in straight sets by Michael Llodra.
Tsonga, who won last year's Open 13 event in Marseille, was perhaps tired by those exploits - looking short of his usual unpredictable self as he dropped to a 7-6(3) 6-2 defeat.
Elsewhere, Juan Martin del Potro moved into the second round with a three-set victory over Marcos Baghdatis, the Argentinian eventually winning 4-6 6-4 7-6(4) in a contest that took two-and-a-half hours.
"Marcos also deserved to win but the luck was behind me and I played better in the big moments," Del Potro said immediately afterwards. "In the tiebreak I was solid."
Elsewhere, there were victories for Janko Tipsarevic, Tomas Berdych and Marcel Granollers.