Rafael Nadal fluffed his lines on the return from five-week break when the Spanish world No. 2 was stunned 1-6, 7-6, 7-6 by unheralded Croatian Ivan Dodig in his opening match of the Montreal Masters.
Back in action for the first time since losing to Novak Djokovic in the Wimbledon final on July 3, Nadal had looked poised for a routine comeback victory after storming through the opening set of the second round encounter.
However, the 41st ranked Croatian had other ideas and would not be bullied by the muscular Mallorcan, matching Nadal shot-for-shot before ending the three-hour thriller with a backhand cross-court winner
It was Nadal’s first opening match defeat in a tournament since Rome 2008. The loss will be a blow to Nadal’s Flushing Meadows preparation, where the Spaniard will launch the defence his US Open crown later this month.
Djokovic’s reign as world No. 1 got off to a sluggish start as the Serb scrambled to a 7-5, 6-1 win over Russian Nikolay Davydenko, while Roger Federer entered his 30s with a clinical 7-5, 6-3 victory over Canadian Vasek Pospisil.
Bopanna-Qureshi enter third round
Rohan Bopanna and Aisam-ul-Haq Qureshi defeated Australia’s Paul Hanley and Bruno Soares of Brazil in straight sets to advance to the third round of the men’s doubles event of the Rogers Cup.
The fifth-seeds, who got a first round bye, registered a 6-4, 7-6(6) victory. They will next play the winners of the match between top seed Americans Bob and Mike Bryan and Spanish duo of Feliciano Lopez and Fernando Verdasco.
Wozniacki ousted, maria passes test
World No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki headlined the parade of seeded players to fall at the Toronto Cup with a shock loss while Maria Sharapova and Serena Williams moved into the last 16.
Defending champ Wozniacki rarely looked comfortable on court and did not live up to her top seeding with seven double faults and a slew of errors during a 6-4, 7-5 loss to Italy’s Roberta Vinci in windy conditions that played havoc with her game.
Sharapova, who had a first-round bye, jumped out to a fast start but needed to dig deep for a 6-1, 7-5 win over Bojana Jovanovski after the Serbian qualifier gained a 4-2 lead in the second. Third seed Vera Zvonareva of Russia dumped compatriot Nadia Petrova 7-5, 6-4, earning herself a matchup against Agnieska Radwanska in the last 16.