SHANGHAI (AP) — Novak Djokovic, the hottest player on the men’s tour in the second half of the year, never faced a break point on serve in putting away Jeremy Chardy of France 6-3, 7-5 at the Shanghai Masters on Tuesday.
Djokovic’s second-round victory improved his perfect record against the 41st-ranked Chardy to 12-0 in matches played, and 28-0 in sets won.
“I’m very grateful to play on a high level,” Djokovic said. “I’m very close to my best.”
The Wimbledon and U.S. Open champion, Djokovic is hoping to win a record fourth Shanghai title this week.
Fifth-seeded Marin Cilic became the highest seed toppled in Shanghai when 48th-ranked Nicolas Jarry of Chile rebounded for a 2-6, 7-6 (6), 7-5 second-round win.
Cilic served for the match at 5-4 in the third set but couldn’t. Jarry won the next two games to advance to the third round.
Australian Matthew Ebden upset sixth-seeded Dominic Thiem 6-4, 6-7 (8), 7-6 (4) in a nearly three-hour encounter.
The win over the seventh-ranked Thiem is the best of the 51st-ranked Ebden’s career.
Thiem has played in Shanghai four times and has never advanced to the third round.
A couple of champions from last weekend also progressed.
Nikoloz Basilashvili, who downed Juan Martin del Potro for the China Open title on Sunday, won his sixth straight match after beating Denis Shapovalov 6-2, 6-2 to open his Shanghai account.
Up to a career-high ranking of 23, Basilashvili never faced a break point on his serve. The Georgian earned his first win in Shanghai after qualifying in 2015 and 2017.
Daniil Medvedev, who upset Kei Nishikori to win the Japan Open on Sunday, struggled but beat Chinese wild card Zhang Ze 3-6, 7-6 (6), 6-4.
Also, French qualifier Benoit Paire upset 15th-seeded Pablo Carreno Busta 6-3, 6-4.
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