Novak Djokovic prevails, but in pain
PARIS -- Novak Djokovic dismissed Ivan Dodig of Croatia 6-4, 6-3 in the Paris Masters second round on Wednesday, showing no signs of the shoulder injury that bothered him last weekend at the Swiss Indoors.
The top-ranked Serb had complained of shoulder pain in his semifinal loss to Kei Nishikori in Basel. But he said he was fine after practice on Tuesday.
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"I took the necessary measures in the last couple of days in order to recover (and) play in this tournament," Djokovic said. "I'm feeling good on the court and that's what matters."
If Djokovic hadn't played in Paris, he would have lost a $1.6 million bonus paid to the year-end No. 1 player for appearing in seven of the eight mandatory Masters events. The Serb didn't play in the Shanghai Masters last month because of injury.
He looked good on Wednesday. Dodig dropped serve at 5-4 with a backhand error to lose the first set. Djokovic hit a crosscourt backhand winner on the line for a 4-2 lead in the next set, clinching the victory with an ace.
"It's obvious that I'm still not on top of my game," Djokovic said. "But I'm taking things quite slowly, step by step, knowing that the form will improve each day that I play."
"I thought it was a decent start," Murray said. "I mean, I didn't lose my serve. I don't think he had any break points, so that was good."
Murray last lost to Rafael Nadal in the U.S. Open semifinals, winning 26 of 27 matches since mid-August. He jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the first set, and in the second broke serve at 2-2 on a double-fault from Chardy and held on to win when the Frenchman sent backhand volley wide.
"He is playing at a higher level," Chardy said. "He's playing the right shots. He's everywhere."
Murray played solid tennis, making only nine unforced errors compared to 35 for Chardy. He will next play Andy Roddick.
While some players have complained about the slowness of the surface, Federer wasn't among them.
"In Paris, it's faster than (four) years ago when I lost against (David) Nalbandian," Federer said. "It was almost like the French Open No. 2."
The seventh-seeded American did not face a break point, and won seven straight games to take the first set and lead 2-0 in the second.
The 11th-seeded Tipsarevic defeated Alex Bogomolov Jr. of the United States 6-1, 6-0 and Isner ousted Igor Kunitsyn of Russia 6-4, 6-4. Bogomolov won the first game, then dropped the next 12 in the loss.
"I'd say Isner probably has got the best serve I've played against," Murray said. "For me, Isner has got the best serve in tennis."
Nicolas Almagro of Spain and Frenchmen Gael Monfils and Gilles Simon were the only seeded players to lose Wednesday. Andreas Seppi of Italy downed No. 9 Almagro 6-3, 7-5, No. 8 Monfils lost 6-3, 6-4 to Feliciano Lopez of Spain, and Juan Monaco of Argentina ousted No. 10 Simon 6-4, 6-0.
Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press
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