Djokovic struggles in China Open

Djokovic struggles in China Open

BEIJING - Agence France-Presse
Djokovic struggles in China Open

Men’s second-ranked tennis player Novak Djokovic of Serbia has advanced to the second round of the China Open. EPA Photo

An out of sorts world number two Novak Djokovic extended his unbeaten record at the China Open in Beijing yesterday, requiring three sets to defeat qualifier Michael Berrer of Germany.

The Serbian, 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 third.

The number one seed has won China’s Open on the two occasions he has entered, in 2009 and 2010, but missed last year because of injury.

Elsewhere, 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).