Novak Djokovic shook off an early rust to see off Sam Querrey 7-5 6-1 at the Cincinnati Masters on Tuesday as the world No 1 returned to competition for the first time since beating Roger Federer in last month’s epic Wimbledon final.
Seven-time Cincinnati champion Federer, also playing his first match since Wimbledon, was quicker to get back in the groove, needing just 61 minutes to dispatch Juan Londero 6-3 6-4 in their night match, which was halted in the second set due to rain.
Defending champion Djokovic fired his 15th ace on match point to defeat Querrey but his serve had been an issue earlier in their second-round encounter.
“I made three double faults in my opening game and lost the break. I was quite nervous at the start,” he said after falling behind 2-0 to the American.
“I’m really glad to overcome a challenge like this and get myself going.”
Djokovic will face either John Isner or Pablo Carreno Busta in the next round, with a potential quarterfinal meeting with Australian Nick Kyrgios.
Federer will take on Swiss compatriot Stanislas Wawrinka or Andrey Rublev in the third round.
Wawrinka overcame Bulgaria’s Grigor Dimitrov 5-7 6-4 7-6(4) in a roller-coaster first-round match.
American Frances Tiafoe beat Frenchman Gael Monfils 7-6(7) 6-3 and Canadian Denis Shapovalov came from behind to see off Portugal’s Joao Sousa 2-6 6-3 6-2.