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Juan Martin del Potro ousts World No. 1 Novak Djokovic in Rio.

Del Potro Shocks Djokovic In Rio

Argentine downs World No. 1

Argentine Juan Martin del Potro completed the upset of the Rio Olympics so far by downing top seed Novak Djokovic 7-6(4), 7-6(2) in the first round on Sunday. Del Potro, who was No. 4 in the Emirates ATP Rankings in 2010, had also ended Djokovic’s medal hopes in London four years ago, prevailing in the bronze medal match.

The Tandil native had been off the ATP World Tour for long stretches in the past three years due to wrist injuries and had often relied on a one-handed slice backhand since his 2016 comeback. Against Djokovic, del Potro’s wrist appeared fully healed as the Tandil native drove the ball with power off both wings, finishing with 41 winners in the two-hour, 27-minute contest. He will next face Portugal’s Joao Sousa.

Clad in Great Britain's red, white and blue, 2012 gold medalist Andy Murray picked up where he left off in London, prevailing past Serbian Viktor Troicki 6-3, 6-2 to start his Rio Olympics.

Murray, No. 2 in the Emirates ATP Rankings, improved to 8-0 against Troicki, World No. 35. The top Brit pressured Troicki throughout the first-round match, seeing 10 break points and converting four of them. Murray also extended rallies with the No. 2 Serbian, who finished with 40 unforced errors to 11 winners.

Murray, the second seed in Rio, will next face Argentine Juan Monaco, who beat Mirza Basic of Bosnia & Herzegovina 6-2, 6-2. Murray leads their FedEx ATP Head2Head series 3-2, including the last time they played, on the hard courts at the 2014 Shenzhen Open.

Rafael Nadal, 2008 gold medalist in Beijing, dropped only three games in his return to the Olympics, winning 6-2, 6-1 against Argentine Federico Delbonis. The third seed won 63 per cent of his service points and was almost equally as effective as a returner, winning 59 per cent of Delbonis' service points.

“I'm very happy,” Nadal said on NBC. “It's important for me to play well again and it was an unbelievable start. I played well mentally with strong concentration all match.”

Nadal will face Italy's Andreas Seppi in the second round. The Spaniard leads their FedEx ATP Head2Head series 6-1. “Seppi is a very tough player,” Nadal said. “He can play very well on all surfaces with great control from the baseline. I have to change the rhythm of the match to have success.”

Nadal's compatriot seventh seed David Ferrer opened his third Olympics with a 6-2, 6-1 win against Uzbekistan's Denis Istomin. The 34-year-old Ferrer, No. 12 in the Emirates ATP Rankings, hit five aces and was particularly effective attacking Istomin, winning 12/14 net points.

Ferrer will face Russian Evgeny Donskoy in the second round. Ferrer won their only previous FedEx ATP Head2Head match-up, a 6-1, 6-2, 6-0 sweep at Roland Garros earlier this season.

Home favourite Thomaz Bellucci advanced to the second round when German Dustin Brown retired because of a left ankle injury up 6-4, 4-5. The Brazilian will face 11th seed Pablo Cuevas of Uruguay or Nikoloz Basilashvili of Georgia. Bellucci's countryman Rogerio Dutra Silva prevailed against Thomas Fabbiano of Italy 7-6(4), 6-1. Dutra Silva will face Frenchman Gael Monfils.

Tenth seed Roberto Bautista Agut, playing in his first Olympics, advanced 6-7(4), 6-2 when Russian Andrey Kuznetsov retired. Luxembourg's Gilles Muller saved two match points in the third set tie-break to beat Poland's Jerzy Janowicz 5-7, 6-1, 7-6(10).