Djokovic cruises into 2nd round
Tokyo: World number one Novak Djokovic blasted past qualifier Alexei Popyrin 6-4 6-2 on Tuesday to reach the second round of the Japan Open Tennis Championships in Tokyo.
Playing in his first singles match since retiring from his US Open fourth-round match with Stan Wawrinka due to a left shoulder issue, the Serb showed he was fighting fit as he fired seven aces and won 84 percent of points on his first serve.
Djokovic, now into his 271st week at number one having passed Ivan Lendl (270) for third place in the all-time list, takes on local favourite Go Soeda in the next round.
Japanese wildcard Taro Daniel stunned second seed Borna Coric 6-4 4-6 7-6(5), while compatriot Yasutaka Uchiyama took down French fourth seed Benoit Paire 6-2 6-2.
Seventh seed Taylor Fritz fell 6-3 6-4 to fellow American Reilly Opelka, while Radu Albot and Gilles Simon advanced.