TORONTO (AP) – Top-ranked Novak Djokovic survived a scare to beat Gilles Muller 7-5, 7-6 (3) on Wednesday in the Rogers Cup, his final event before the Rio Olympics.
“I actually think that Toronto is a great way for me to prepare for the Olympic Games and what’s coming up after that,’’ Djokovic said. “But also, you know, I enjoy my time in this tournament that I always love playing.’’
The Serbian star noted that he had extra time off after falling in the third round at Wimbledon. The Rogers Cup rotates between Toronto and Montreal, with the women playing in Montreal this week.
“I enjoy Canada, both cities, Toronto and Montreal, and the past results in history show that I have a good time on Canadian soil, so I try to get the best out of it,’’ said Djokovic, the tournament winner in 2007, 2011 and 2012.
Djokovic struggled against Muller in his first hard-court match since March, both with his serves and his short game.
Ultimately, unforced errors were Muller’s undoing, with both sets easily in reach of the unseeded player from Luxembourg.
“Gilles Muller is a very difficult player to play against in quick conditions,’’ Djokovic said.