Ivan who? Nadal knocked out by Dodig

Rafael Nadal plays against Ivan Dodig at the Rogers Cup in Montreal, Que., Aug. 10, 2011. (CHARLES...

Rafael Nadal plays against Ivan Dodig at the Rogers Cup in Montreal, Que., Aug. 10, 2011. (CHARLES WILLIAM PELLETIER/QMI Agency)

BRIAN DALY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 11:56 PM ET

MONTREAL - Croatian Ivan Dodig wasn’t expected to give world No. 2 Rafael Nadal much of a challenge in the second round of the Rogers Cup, and that meant the underdog had the Spaniard right where he wanted him.

Dodig, ranked No. 44 in the world, blasted 19 aces to defeat Nadal 1-6, 7-6, 7-6 in the biggest upset of the tournament.

Dodig, who scored his first ATP tour win just this past February, played from behind the entire match but his huge serve made the difference.

The 26-year-old edged out Nadal in two consecutive tiebreakers and hit ten aces in the third and decisive set to move on to the third round of the Rogers Cup for the first time in his career.

“This is for me, really the biggest win in my career, in my life,” said Dodig.

“I keep fighting and I was playing it point by point and in the end I was a little bit more lucky and I’m real happy to be the in next round.”

The match initially had the makings of a Nadal cakewalk.

He twice broke Dodig to blow through the opening set in 33 minutes, but that was as easy as it got for the former world No. 1.

Nadal went up 3-1 in second set before Dodig roared back, broke Nadal’s serve and managed to take a 6-5 lead.

After Nadal tied up the set to send it to a tiebreaker, Dodig smashed two aces and scored three winners at the net, then won the tiebreak 7-5 to take the set.

Nadal again took a lead in the third set, going up 3-0 and breaking Dodig in the second game.

With Nadal leading 5-4, Dodig broke Nadal with two consecutive aces to tie it up.

Nadal took a 6-5 lead with an ace, and he scowled to the camera and pumped his fist, but his resilient opponent wouldn’t go down quite so easily.

Dodig won the next game to set up a deciding tiebreaker and hit a cross court winner to take the match.

Earlier Wednesday at centre court, former World No. 1 Roger Federer used poise and precise shotmaking to knock off Canadian Vasek Pospisil in straight sets.

The 16-time Grand Slam champion needed 77 minutes to dispatch the 155th-ranked Pospisil 7-5, 6-3 in the second-round match at a packed Uniprix Stadium.

Federer, the 2004 and 2006 Rogers Cup champion, moves on to face Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, who prevailed 6-3, 7-6 Wednesday over Bernard Tomic of Australia.

Earlier in the day at centre court, world No. 1 and top seed Novak Djokovic ran away in the second set to beat Russian Nikolay Davydenko 7-5, 6-1.

The Serb star, who won the tournament in 2007, advanced to the round of 16 despite a slow start that followed a lengthy layoff after his Wimbledon victory in early July. He moves on to face Croatia's Marin Cilic.

Djokovic has reached new heights this season. His 48-1 match record and eight titles vaulted him ahead of Nadal in the world rankings.

Other seeded players to advance to the third round were Switzerland's Stanislas Wawrinka (14th), who toppled American qualifier Michael Russell 6-3, 6-2. Wawrinka moves on to face South African Kevin Anderson, who upset defending Rogers Cup champion Andy Murray on Tuesday.

Czech Tomas Berdych, seeded seventh in the tournament, needed three sets to dispose of the Ukrainian Alexandr Dolgopolov 4-6, 6-2, 6-3. He'll face Croatian Ivo Karlovic in the third round.

Frenchman and fifth seed Gael Monfils also continued on by beating American Alex Bogomolov Jr. in straight sets 6-2, 7-6.

Two other seeded players, Frenchman Richard Gasquet (10th) and Spain's Nicolas Almagro (eighth), also won their second-round matches.

On the doubles side, Canadians Erik Chvojka and Pierre-Ludovic Duclos were beaten by Scottish brothers Andy and Jamie Murray. The Quebecers lost 2-6, 6-2 and 7-10 in a tiebreaker.

brian.daly@sunmedia.ca


Videos

Photos