10/2/12 3:37 PM | Ricky Dimon
Novak Djokovic survives Michael Berrer in three sets on Tuesday in Beijing. Djokovic is joined in the second round by Richard Gasquet, who maintained momentum coming off his Bangkok title.
(1) Novak Djokovic d. (Q) Michael Berrer 6-1, 6-7(3), 6-2
Djokovic survived a second-set hiccup to get past Berrer in one hour and 58 minutes during first-round action at the China Open on Tuesday. The No. 1 seed started comfortably enough, breaking twice in the opener and saving the only break point he faced before wrapping it up on serve at 5-1. Berrer picked up the pace in set two and both players held the entire way.
By no means a stalwart of tiebreakers in 2012, Djokovic played another poor one to let his opponent back into the match. Berrer, for his part, served extremely well in the second and continued to do so in the 'breaker. The 32-year-old German, however, did not come close to going all the way and pulling off a shocking upset. Djokovic dominated on serve in the third and broke twice more, including at 5-2 to finish the match in style. Next up for the second-ranked Serb is Carlos Berlocq.
(Q) Matthew Ebden d. (5) Richard Gasquet 6-2, 6-4
Two days after capturing the Beijing title, Gasquet stayed on course and eased past Ebden in one hour and 21 minutes on Tuesday night. Gasquet held eight of his nine service games without facing a break point, with the only blemish coming at 4-3 in the second set. Ebden capitalized on his third break chance to get back on serve, but that was the Aussie's lone highlight of the proceedings.
Gasquet responded by winning a marathon return game in the ninth game of the set. The 14th-ranked Frenchman promptly served out the proceedings at 5-4, converting his second match point at 40-15. Gasquet wrapped up his effort with five aces and one double-fault while taking care of 86 percent of his first-serve points. He will go up against wild card Ze Zhang for a spot in the quarterfinals.
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