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Djokovic destroys Fritz in Madrid Open.

Novak Djokovic needed just 65 minutes to make a winning start at the Madrid Open on Tuesday, while Naomi Osaka channelled her inner "zombie mode" to earn a place in the third round.

Top seed and world number one Djokovic hammered American Taylor Fritz 6-4, 6-2 to advance to the last 16 following a premature exit here a year ago.

"I thought my serve was very efficient today, that's a big advantage," Djokovic said.

"The match was close at the beginning, in the second set I read his serve better and just managed to put an extra ball in to the court.

"It was a solid opening match for me."

Djokovic won the Madrid title in 2011 and 2016. He will be chasing a fourth straight Grand Slam trophy at Roland Garros next month.

Third seed Roger Federer was making his clay return after two full seasons off the surface when he faced Frenchman Richard Gasquet later in the second round after a bye.

Djokovic was joined in the third round as ninth seed Marin Cilic rallied to overcome Germany's Jan-Lennard Struff 4-6, 6-3, 6-4.

Spanish sentimental favourite David Ferrer, who will retire after this event, extended his career by at least one match with a 6-4, 4-6, 6-4 defeat of compatriot Roberto Bautista Agut.

Ferrer, 37, will play German third seed and defending champion Alexander Zverev next.

Unseeded treble Grand Slam champion Stan Wawrinka started his Madrid campaign with a 6-2, 6-3 win over Pierre-Hugues Herbert to move into the second round.

"It was a great first match. I've been good on the practice court, feeling really good, so it was important to start well today," Wawrinka said.

"I hope my game is going to click soon. I'm patient enough to know that sometimes it takes time," said the Swiss player, who underwent two knee surgeries in August 2017.

"I'm playing well and feeling well on the court. I still have some big results inside me so hopefully they can come sooner than later.

"I'm ready to keep working the right way to get back in a better place and to win more matches and hopefully get later in the tournament."

Wawrinka will next play Argentine Guido Pella, who put out Barcelona finalist Daniil Medvedev 6-2, 1-6, 6-3.

Tenth seed Fabio Fognini beat Kyle Edmund 6-4, 6-3 to saddle the Briton with a fourth straight loss on clay.

Fognini was playing for the first time since winning Monte Carlo after withdrawing from Barcelona and Estoril with a thigh injury. (Agence France-Presse)

CAPTION(S):

Serbia's Novak Djokovic (OSCAR DEL POZO / AFP)

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Title Annotation:Tennis
Publication:Manila Bulletin
Geographic Code:4EUSP
Date:May 8, 2019
Words:431
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