Montreal: Banned Serbian tennis player Viktor Troicki was “innocent” of a doping violation and the country’s Davis Cup team supported him, world No. 1 Novak Djokovic said on Tuesday.
The 27-year-old Troicki was suspended for 18 months by the International Tennis Federation (ITF) in July for not providing a blood sample at the Monte Carlo Masters in April.
The ban, which runs until January 24, 2015 means he will miss Serbia’s Davis Cup semi-final against Canada in Belgrade next month and the opportunity of a second Davis Cup title.
Troicki’s defining career moment came when he clinched Serbia’s first Davis Cup in an emotional fifth rubber in the 2010 final against France in Belgrade, after which he and Djokovic were lauded in the Balkan state.
“We’re not sure what's going to happen with Viktor,” Djokovic said after his 6-2, 6-1 second-round win over Florian Mayer at the Rogers Cup before adding he doubted Troicki would be eligible for the Davis Cup tie.
“We all give him big support because he’s definitely innocent ... Hopefully he is going to be able to be on the court very soon.”
The Serbian, meanwhile, renowned for his sense of humour and reputation as an entertainer, celebrated his victory with some impromptu dancing in the centre of the main arena.
“It’s the first game (for me) since Wimbledon, I had four weeks off ... but it was a great performance,” Djokovic said.
The return of the two-time defending champion after a month off had followed Rafa Nadal’s first competitive match since his shock first-round exit at Wimbledon.
It proved to be a successful, yet tense, one for Nadal as he and his doubles partner Pablo Andujar saved two match points before they beat Spanish compatriots David Ferrer and Feliciano Lopez 6-7(2), 6-1, 12-10.
The second day's play, however, belonged to the understated locals, including three wildcard entries who stunned their more highly-fancied opponents as they basked in the home support.
World No. 71 Vasek Pospisil produced the biggest upset when he surged to an unlikely first-round win over in-form American John Isner.
Pospisil came from a set and a break down to claim a 5-7, 7-6(5), 7-6(4) victory in bright and sunny conditions, thrilling a parochial home crowd who cheered his every winner.
Isner, who won the Atlanta title two weeks ago before being beaten by Juan Martin Del Potro in the Washington final last week, was left wondering how he had failed to get the job down.
Frank Dancevic, another local wildcard, also rallied to beat Taiwan’s Lu Yen-Hsun in three sets while Felip Peliwo became the fourth Canadian to reach the last 32 when Finland’s Jarko Nieminen retired with a pulled hamstring trailing 3-1 in the deciding set.
Canada’s top-ranked player Milos Raonic then completed a memorable day for the hosts with a 6-3, 4-6, 7-5 triumph over Jeremy Chardy of France to become the fifth local into the second round.