Novak Djokovic moved through to the second round of the China Open after defeating Michael Berrer, but it wasn’t as easy as anticipated for the World No.2. He was pushed hard by his lowly ranked opponent but finally came through in a 6-1 6-7 (3) 6-2 victory in two hours.
Djokovic started well and after holding a marathon game three for a 2-1 lead, would go on to dominate the rest of the set as he won another four games in a row, taking his two break point opportunities in clinical fashion. Berrer had a chance to claw one of the breaks back but was stopped by the efficient Djokovic who would face no more break points in the day.
After Berrer held from three break points down, serve would be dominant in this set with Djokovic dropping just two points in the rest of the regular set. Unfortunately, it would all break down for the Serb in the tie break as he failed to consolidate an early mini-break and would drop serve points three times as he fell to a 7-3 defeat in the tie break.
An early break for a 2-0 lead in the decider would see Djokovic safely through but he was made to fight all the way to the end, breaking Berrer to love to seal a second round encounter with Carlos Berlocq. Djokovic dropped just two games in three sets last time the players met at the US Open in 2011.
Spaniard Feliciano Lopez is through to the next round after a three set victory over Ryan Harrison. His 7-6(3) 5-7 6-2 victory earns him a match with Yen Hsun-Lu in round two after David Ferrer was forced to retire in their match. Whilst a break up, Lopez failed to take advantage of extra break points for a potential *4-1 lead and would surprisingly be broken next time out. After that, the set would see no more break points so it would be up to a tie break to decide the first set winner.
The tie break would see the first seven points go on serve before Harrison buckled under the pressure, dropping both points and allowing Lopez to serve out for a 7-3 win and a one set lead. Both players stayed solid on serve in the second serve with both players having just one break point chance each. Lopez would fail to break at 4-3 and later be punished, as his younger opponent took his one chance and would then serve out the set to move to a decider.
After Harrison missed two break points in the opening service game he wouldn’t get a look on the Lopez serve, picking up just one more point in the next three service games. A break for 4-2 all but ended the match, but he would finish it off for sure, taking the third of three break points Harrison attempted to and failed in serving to stay in the match.