Djokovic, Federer win openers

Top seed Novak Djokovic launched his Shanghai Open title defence in fine style, breezing past Spain’s Marcel Granollers 6-2, 6-0 on Wednesday.

Roger Federer, playing his first singles match since a fourth-round exit at the US Open over a month ago, made a brisk return to winning ways, beating Andreas Seppi 6-4, 6-3.

The Swiss’ long-time rival Rafael Nadal was among those who were eager to see the 17-times Grand Slam champion in full flight and after observing a few games courtside, the Spaniard showed his own class in a 6-3, 6-2 thumping of Alexandr Dolgopolov.

Djokovic, who lost his world number one ranking to Nadal on Monday, needed treatment on his right foot during the second set of his match but it did not stop him from breaking his opponent three times to win at a canter.

Federer, who is drawn to meet Djokovic in the quarterfinals, looked rusty at the start conceding a break in the fifth game against Seppi, who not beaten him in nine meetings.

But the Swiss, who is trying to garner enough points to book his place for next month's ATP World finale in London, got the break back in the next game to level the match at 3-3 and broke the Italian's serve once more to take out the first set.

The second set was far more comfortable for the 17-times Grand Slam winner, who teamed up with little-known Chinese Zhang Ze for doubles action on Monday, as he held on to an early break without facing any problems on his serve.

Sixth seed Juan Martin del Potro overcame a slow start to beat German Philipp Kohlschreiber 3-6, 6-3, 7-6 (7-4). France’s Jo-Wilfried Tsonga had a much easier start to his campaign as he brushed aside Pablo Andujar 6-3, 6-2 in 65 minutes.

Tomas Berdych of Czech Republic, currently sixth in the race for London, also took a positive step towards sealing his berth by defeating Spain’’s Feliciano Lopez 7-6 (7-5), 6-2.

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