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No sweat for Djokovic in first round romp

Novak Djokovic began with a runaway win at the Rotterdam Open on Tuesday, crushing Sergiy Stakhovsky 6-2, 4-1 in his opening match.

By (AFP)

Published: Wed 10 Feb 2010, 11:47 AM

Last updated: Mon 6 Apr 2015, 8:51 AM

The top-seeded Serb is playing this week for the first time since a bout of indigestion cost him the match in the Australian Open quarter-finals to Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.

“I’m motivated, I want to do well this week,” said Djokovic, a semi-finalist in his last Rotterdam appearance in 2007.

“I did well at the Open and had a good end of season in 2009.

“My lifetime goal is to achieve number one. I’m used to the pressure but I’m trying to just enjoy my tennis’ I don’t think about it and try to give my 100 percent on the court.”

The world number two will next take on inspired Swiss Marco Chiudinelli, who upset 2008 champion Michael Llodra of France 6-1, 6-7 (5/7), 7-6 (8/6) in two and a half hours.

“He’s (Chiudinelli) an indoor player,” said Djokovic, “I beat him in four sets in Melbourne, it was a tough match. I will try and play aggressively and put on the pressure.”

Chiudinelli, a close friend of Roger Federer, was making his main draw debut at the Ahoy stadium after failing to qualify in 2005 and 2007.

Llodra unleashed 16 aces and broke twice. But the 54th-ranked Swiss got to the French serve on five occasions to make the winning difference.

Djokovic defeated Stakhovsky, ranked 69 in the world, for the second time in eight months after a victory in the Roland Garros second round last May.

The Serb won his fifth match of the season against one defeat, without having dropped a set against his opponent.

Djokovic managed breaks in the third game of each set to set up victory before Stakhovsky ended it early.

Frenchman Julien Benneteau claimed the week’s first seeded victim with his 6-3, 6-3,defeat of Ivan Ljubicic.

The number seven Croatian went out in 1hr, 39 min despite 11 aces, with Sydney semi-finalist Benneteau winning his second match from six in the series.

“I played pretty well, but it was tough to fight against his serve,” said the world number 38 still searching for a career-first title. “I waited for my chances and played with concentration.

“I was pleased with this victory.”

Turkish qualifier Marsel Ilhan of Turkey won his second match of the season with a defeat of Spain’s Guillermo Garcia-Lopez 6-1, 6-4.

Holland’s Theo de Bakker overcame Czech Jan Hajek 7-6 (7/5), 6-3

Two more French players have yet to play this week, with fourth seed Gael Monfils playing in the first round against Belgian Olivier Rochus and veteran Arnaud Clement facing German Michael Berrer, losing weekend finalist in Zagreb to Croatian Marin Cilic.

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