Alexandr Dolgopolov, who just won the Citi Open title in Washington, fell in the first round of the Rogers Cup held in Toronto to Czech player Radek Stepanek 6-3 6-1. The world number 40 started the match strong, breaking the Ukrainian’s serve in the fourth game of the first set. Winning 71% of points on serve in the first set, Stepanek was then able to hold serve for the rest of the set to serve it out at 6-3 after saving 3 break points in the ninth game. In the second set, Stepanek got an early lead after breaking Dolgopolov twice before the Ukrainian ranked no. 16 in the world managed to win a game, but he got broken for a third time, eventually losing the set 6-1. Stepanek will now face Argentine Del Potro, who just won a bronze medal at the 2012 Olympic Games. Although the Czech leads the head to head 2-1, the Argentine is the one to win their last encounter, which was their only one on an outdoor hard court.
Dolgopolov’s opponent in the Washington final, Tommy Haas, had a tough mission too, but managed to get through to the second round of Toronto, defeating David Nalbandian 6-2 6-7 6-3. Although the German player’ first serve percenteg in the first set was down at 38%, he broke the Argentine’s serve three times on his way to win it with a 6-2 scoreline. In the second set, both players were solid on their serves and they didn’t face any break points on their way to a tiebreak. Nalbandian had to save four match points before winning the tie break, forcing a decider. Haas looked better in the final set, breaking Nalbandian’s serve twice, in the fifth and the ninth game, to advance to the second round. The German ranked no. 25 hit 36 winners and 45 unforced errors throughout the match, while the Argentinean ranked no. 38 hit 23 winners and 42 unforced errors. Next up for Haas will be Frenchman Gilles Simon. Haas leads the head to head with 3-1, defeating the world no. 14 on three different surfaces. They met twice on hard courts with each player winning one match.
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