Toronto: Gael Monfils let Novak Djokovic know his honeymoon was over and it was time to get back to work by forcing the world No. 1 to battle for a 6-2, 6-7 (4), 7-6 (2) second-round win at the Rogers Cup on Wednesday.
Playing his first match as a married man, Djokovic, a three-time winner in Canada, needed two hours, 41 minutes and a third set tie-break to subdue the Frenchman and extend his perfect record over the feisty Monfils to 10-0.
Since losing in the quarter finals of the Australian Open, Djokovic had reached at least the semi-finals in all seven tournaments since, winning at Indian Wells, Miami, Rome and on the grass at Wimbledon where he reclaimed the top ranking.
But Monfils looked determined to end that run breaking Djokovic twice in the opening set and sweeping the last four games for a 1-0 lead. Monfils continued to press Djokovic in the second and in two consecutive service games was within two points of ending his winless drought against the Serb.
In the third, the Frenchman again went up a break but Djokovic would immediately break back forcing the set to a tie-break which he easily won.
Andy Murray, twice a winner of the Canadian crown, got his North American hard court campaign off to a much smoother start with a 6-2 6-2 win over Australian teenager Nick Kyrgios.
Seeing his first action since a quarter-final loss at Wimbledon, Murray looked confident and sharp, disposing of his 19-year-old opponent in 54 minutes on a sunny centre court under the watchful eye of new coach Amelie Mauresmo.
Fifth-seeded Spaniard David Ferrer was made to fight for his place in the third round battling to a 6-4, 2-6, 6-1 win over American qualifier Michael Russell while 12th seed Gasquet rallied past Croatia’s Ivo Karlovic 5-7, 7-6 (5), 6-3.