Tennis

Coachless Djokovic through to third round

Novak Djokovic started life without long-time coach Marian Vajda by beating Spaniard Nicolas Almagro 6-1, 4-6, 7-5 last night to reach the third round of the Madrid Open.

Second-seeded Djokovic, who parted with Vajda last Friday, had said he will be looking to hire a highly successful ex-player as coach.

He will next meet the winner of the Gilles Simon-Feliciano Lopez match, which was played later.

Meanwhile, Nick Kyrgios could face Rafael Nadal in a blockbuster third-round clash after easily seeing off Ryan Harrison 6-3, 6-3 yesterday.

Nadal began his quest for a fifth title in Madrid against Italy's Fabio Fognini late last night.

Kyrgios and Nadal have met only twice with the Australian making his breakthrough with a four-set win over the 14-time Grand Slam champion at Wimbledon in 2014.

KING OF CLAY

Nadal, though, edged their only previous meeting on clay at last year's Rome Masters.

Fifth seed Milos Raonic is also into the last 16 as he won the battle of big servers, beating Gilles Muller 6-4, 6-4.

Raonic will face Belgium's David Goffin next.

David Ferrer made it into round three without having to hit a ball as Jo-Wilfried Tsonga withdrew with a shoulder injury.

Sixth seed Kei Nishikori was forced to produce some of his best tennis yesterday to subdue the baseline power of Diego Schwartzman.

In a high-quality encounter, belying the scoreline of the first two sets, Nishikori recorded his 15th match win at Madrid with a 1-6, 6-0, 6-4 victory in two hours.

Yesterday morning (Singapore time), world No. 1 and top seed Andy Murray beat Romanian Marius Copil 6-4, 6-3 to reach the third round.

He will face either France's Pierre-Hugues Herbert or Croatia's Borna Coric in the last 16 next. - WIRE SERVICES

novak djokovicSpain