World number 10 and Wimbledon champion Novak Djokovic has earned his 26th win of the season and the 316th at Masters 1000 event after a 6-3 7-6 win over a lucky loser Mirza Basic in an hour and 28 minutes to reach the second round. In his first ever first round match at Canada Masters, Novak was supposed to play against Hyeon Chung but the Korean was forced to withdraw due to back problems, allowing Basic to enter the draw and make Novak run for his money, especially in the second set.
The Bosnian served at only 45% and he had to play against five break points, losing serve three times while earning two breaks on the other side from four opportunities Novak gave to him. The Serb has sailed through his service games in the opening set and he broke Mirza in game four to open up a 4-2 gap, closing the set with a hold at love in game nine.
Basic was there to play on the level terms with Novak in the first half of the second set before Djokovic grabbed a break on the return in game seven to move closer to the finish line. Mirza stayed in touch, breaking back after a break in the following game to level the score at 4-4 and they traded more breaks in games 11 and 12, with Novak hitting a double fault in game 12 to get broken and set up a tie break.
The Serb prevailed 7-3 in the tie break with three mini-breaks and he will now face Peter Polansky in the second round, playing his first matches on the hard courts since that early loss to Benoit Paire in Miami. Spending his first week in the Top 30, Stefanos Tsitsipas has continued where he left in Washington, beating Damir Dzumhur 6-3 7-6 in an hour and 27 minutes for his 26th win of the season and the fifth at Masters 1000 level. Last year in Istanbul Damir had scored straight sets win but Stefanos is a much better player now, proving his class in today's encounter as well after losing only 11 points on serve, saving the only break point he faced to keep the pressure on the other side of the net.
On the other hand, the Bosnian struggled on his second serve and he had to end on the losing side despite saving five out of six break points. Tsitsipas had 32 winners and just 17 errors and that wasn't something that Damir could repeat, firing 24 winners but also 30 errors, missing equally from both wings.
Stefanos had the advantage in the shortest points and an even bigger in the mid-range rallies, constructing the points nicely and controlling the pace from the baseline. The Greek saved a break point with a volley winner in the opening game of the match to avoid an early setback and Dzumhur fends off two break points with winners in game two to keep his serve intact as well.
The first break came in game four when Damir couldn't control a volley at the net and Stefanos sealed the deal with four service winners in game nine after 39 minutes. Tsitsipas saved the best for the last, losing two points on serve in the entire set and waiting for a chance on the return patiently.
He created two break points in the seventh game but Damir saved them all to stay in contention, serving well in the other games to set up a tie break. Stefanos opened it with a forehand down the line winner that gave him a mini-break and he moved 3-0 ahead with two service winners.
Two direct points kept the youngster in front and he clinched the win after forcing an error from Damir in the 10th point for the place in the second round with Dominic Thiem. First round results: