Andy Roddick launched his hard-court campaign last night with a battling 6-1, 6-7, 6-3 second-round win over Nicolas Mahut in the Toronto Masters. Back in action for the first time since a second-round defeat at Wimbledon, Roddick had looked eager to make quick work of the Frenchman as dark clouds gathered above centre court.
But after overwhelming Mahut in an opening set interrupted for 30 minutes by a rain delay, the world No 6 was unable to carry any momentum into the second as the 26-year-old Frenchman fought back to level the match in a tie-break, 8-6.
In the third set, Roddick was quickly back to his dominating form, the 2003 Toronto champion breaking Mahut at the first opportunity on the way to a 3-0 lead, then closing out the match with his 18th ace. "I moved well and most importantly I felt well physically," said Roddick, who has been hampered by a sore right shoulder. "Physically, I feel good for the first time since our Davis Cup tie in April. Hopefully, my problems are behind me."
Gilles Simon continued to ride the momentum from his championship win at Indianapolis on Sunday by crushing the 18-year-old American qualifier Donald Young 6-1, 6-3. Simon's reward will be a second-round meeting today with Roger Federer.
After a first-round bye, the French Open and Wimbledon champion Rafael Nadal also learnt the identity of his first opponent when the American qualifier Jesse Levine stopped the Canadian wild card Peter Polansky 6-2, 6-4.
Andy and Jamie Murray opened their doubles campaign as they build up to the Olympics with a 7-6, 6-2 victory over Mahut and Richard Gasquet.