Djokovic, Tsonga cruise into Halle's second round | tennis | Hindustan Times
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Djokovic, Tsonga cruise into Halle's second round

tennis Updated: Jun 10, 2009 17:18 IST

AFP
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World number four Novak Djokovic cruised through to the second round of Halle's ATP tournament on Tuesday with a straight sets win over Italy's Simone Bolelli.

The 22-year-old Serb needed just one hour and 24 minutes to see off the big-hitting Italian 7-5, 6-2 and after a close first set where Djokovic had to work hard, he used his superior mobility to take the second set with ease.

"For my first game here, I was pretty happy," said Djokovic, who now faces France's Florent Serra in the second round.

"I was playing quite well, it is always difficult to come from clay where you are sliding around to grass where you need a totally different body movement.

"I knew he has a strong forehand and I kept him moving around the court, so I deserved the win."

Tournament organisers are still waiting to hear whether world number two Federer will decide to play here after last week's historic French Open success.

Federer beat Sweden's Robin Soderling in Sunday's Roland Garros final to win the last of the Grand Slam titles to evade him and second-seed Djokovic says he would like to face the top seed and defending Halle champion.

"I have no idea if Roger will come and if I face him it will be in the final, but it would be good to play him on the surface where he has been so dominant," said Djokovic about five-times Wimbledon champion Federer.

"But there are a lot of good players still here and the final is a very long way off."

Wimbledon begins on June 22 and Federer, who lost to Rafael Nadal in last year's final, traditionally uses the Halle tournament to prepare for the only grass-court Grand Slam tournament.

And with Nadal announcing his withdrawal from the Queen's tournament this week with a knee injury, Djokovic says he hopes the Spaniard makes it to SW19 to defend his Wimbledon title.

"I hope he makes it, it would be a shame for the tournament if the defending champion and world number one doesn't play through injury."

Earlier, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga needed just over an hour to reach the second round when he beat compatriot Fabrice Santoro 7-5, 6-2 in another easy win.

The 24-year-old Frenchman, ranked ninth in the world, is making his tournament debut, but had few problems in the straight sets victory against the 36-year-old Santoro who is retiring at the end of the season.

Tsonga faces a harder second round match against former world number two Tommy Haas after the German took Federer to five sets in the fourth round at Roland Garros last week.

And local favourite Mischa Zverev also booked his passage into the second round with a straight sets victory over Australia's Joseph Sirianni when he served out a 6-2, 6-4 victory.

Zverev will now play 2007 Halle champion Tomas Berdych in the next round.