Djokovic advances, nagging injury causes Del Potro to withdraw from Rogers Cup

Novak Djokovic, of Serbia, returns a shot to Peter Polansky, of Canada, during the Rogers Cup men's tennis tournament in Toronto, Wednesday, Aug. 8, 2018. (Mark Blinch/The Canadian Press via AP)

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AP

TORONTO (AP) — Four-time champion Novak Djokovic advanced to the third round of the Rogers Cup on Wednesday, defeating Canadian wild card Peter Polansky 6-3, 6-4.

Djokovic, coming off his fourth Wimbledon title last month, fired seven aces and never faced a break point in the 1-hour, 25-minute match.

A former world No. 1, Djokovic is seeded ninth at the Toronto tournament. He last won the Rogers Cup in 2016.

It was only the second time the two veteran players had met and the first in nine years. Djokovic beat Polansky at a Rogers Cup in 2009.

Heavy morning rain delayed the match by about an hour. Milos Raonic of Canada was scheduled to follow Djokovic’s win on center court, but that match was delayed by rain. Top seed Rafael Nadal of Spain had the prime court to open the evening session.

Earlier Wednesday, tournament officials announced that Juan Martin del Potro of Argentina had withdrawn from the Rogers Cup with a left wrist injury.

“Sorry to my fans in Toronto, but I have to pull out of the tournament since my left wrist needs some days of rest,” Del Potro said in a tweet.

Del Potro, who had a bye in the first round, was set to play Robin Haase of the Netherlands on Wednesday. Haase instead faced Russian veteran Mikhail Youzhny, who pulled out of his second-round qualifying match on Sunday.

Polansky, a 30-year-old from nearby Thornhill, Ontario, reached a career-high No. 110 in June but entered the week at No. 121.

“I thought it went really well out there,” said Polansky, who’s never made it past the second round of a Rogers Cup. “6-3, 6-4, (it was) probably a little closer than the score line said. I’ll take it as a good experience and look forward to the next event.”

Canada’s Daniel Nestor, the oldest player at the tournament at 45, was scheduled to play a first-round doubles match in the late afternoon. Nestor is retiring following the Davis Cup in September. He will have played in 30 Rogers Cups since his first as a 16-year-old wild card in 1989.