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Djokovic struggles to win in China Open

Djokovic struggles to win in China Open
An out of sorts world number two Novak Djokovic extended his unbeaten record at the China Open in Beijing on Tuesday, but needed three sets to defeat qualifier Michael Berrer of Germany.

The Serb, playing his first match since losing to Andy Murray in the US Open final last month, progressed to the second round with a 6-1, 6-7 [3/7], 6-2 victory, however it was a performance that was far from impressive.

Djokovic, 25, took the first set with ease but lost the second on a tie break after hitting several unforced errors against the left-hander, ranked 123rd in the ATP standings, before improving his groundstrokes for the decider.

‘I had a tough time to really return his serve in the second, because he went for precision more than the speed of his first serves,’ Djokovic said.

‘He had a very high percentage of first serves in and he put a lot of pressure on my serves. I tried to stay closer to the line in the third, and it worked.’

Elsewhere, third seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France battled to a three-set victory over Uzbekistan’s unseeded Denis Istomin. The world number seven lost the first set but came back to win 4-6, 6-1, 7-6 [7/3].

Tsonga’s countryman Julien Benneteau, who lost in the final of the Malaysian Open just two days ago, was forced to retire two games into the second set, handing Italy’s Andreas Seppi the easiest of routes to the second round.

In the women’s event, Chinese star Li Na brushed aside on-form Nadia Petrova 6-1, 6-2 of Russia in straight sets to progress to the last 16.

Eighth seed Samantha Stosur of Australia suffered a shock second-round exit to Julia Goerges with the German winning 7-6 [7/2], 4-6, 7-5.

Dane Caroline Wozniacki fought back from a set down to defeat Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-Wei 6-7 [5/7], 7-6 [7/3], 6-0.

Angelique Kerber of Germany beat Lara Arruabarrena-Vecino 6-2, 6-0, while Agnieszka Radwanska defeated China’s Zhang Shuai 6-2, 6-3.   
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