Dancevic upsets Ancic to advance to second round at Rogers Cup tennis event

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TORONTO - Frank Dancevic made sure Monday night at least one Canadian made it through to the second round of the C$2.6-million Rogers Cup men's tennis tournament.
Dancevic, 23, of Niagara Falls, Ont., was the only Canuck to advance Monday, upsetting Croatian Mario Ancic 6-3, 6-4 before a partisan Centre Court gathering at the Rexall Centre. Frederic Niemeyer, of Deauville, Que., lost both his first-round singles and doubles matches.
Dancevic said his win brought back memories of his play in last year's event when the Canadian thrilled tennis fans in Montreal by reaching the quarter-final round before losing to Spain's Rafael Nadal.
"It's great playing at home, it only happens once a year a tournament like this," he said. "I was a little bit nervous not knowing exactly where my game was but it seemed like from the first ball when I started playing I felt the ball right away and felt pretty confident out there."
A big reason for Dancevic's apprehension was missing 3 1/2 months earlier this year with a back injury suffered at the Australian Open. But on Monday night, Dancevic was dominant on Ancic's second serve, winning stellar 71 per cent of the return points.
Dancevic also won a whopping 81 per cent of points on his first serve.
"I knew that just putting the ball back into the middle of the court wasn't going to do much because he was just going to run me to the other side," Dancevic said. "Basically, when I had my chances on his second serve I went for it.
"I happened to hit some returns at the right times and that's what got me ahead."
There was a tense moment in the seventh game of the first set with Dancevic leading 4-2. Ancic ran heavily into the umpire's chair while trying to track down a drop shot. Ancic took the brunt of the collision on his right shoulder, but required no medical attention. He quickly shook it off and continued playing but fell behind 5-2.
Dancevic, Canada's top singles player with a No. 82 world ranking, fell behind 2-0 in the second set before rallying to tie it 2-2. Dancevic broke Ancic, ranked No. 24, to take a 5-4 lead before serving out the match.
Dancevic doesn't have much time to savour his victory. He faces third-seeded Serbian Novak Djokovic on Tuesday night. Djokovic won this title last year in Montreal.
"Basically, there's no messing around," Dancevic said. "I have to go after it tomorrow and do the same thing I did today.
"The guy is No. 3 in the world and I'm going to have to try and keep my focus throughout the whole match and not have any lapses. I've never played the guy before so it's exciting for me and we'll see what happens."
Dancevic and American partner Jesse Levine will also play in doubles against Australians Paul Hanley and Jordan Kerr on Tuesday night.
Failing to take advantage of opportunity cost Niemeyer, who lost a 7-6 (4) 6-1 decision to 12th-seeded Spaniard Tommy Robredo. Niemeyer matched Robredo stroke for stroke in the opening set and blasted eight aces compared to three for his opponent. But Niemeyer recorded none in the second set - compared to four for Robredo - as his play dropped off quickly and dramatically.
Niemeyer said the second game of the second set was a pivotal one in the match.
"I was a little disappointed losing the first set because I felt I dominated that one and deserved to win it," he said. "At 0-1, I was serving and I had an ad . . . and I had an easy forehand and he guessed the right side and ended up winning the point.
"From then on he just started serving better with a few aces and his game was fast, he guessed a couple on my serve and hit a few good returns. All of a sudden I was down 4-0, then I tried to battle back but against those type of players you can't really get down that far. I played a bad tie-breaker but I thought I was playing good tennis in the first set. I really didn't expect to lose that second set that fast. I think a little bit better start would've helped me."
Niemeyer's misery continued in doubles, where he and partner Julien Benneteau of France lost their first-round match 6-4, 6-4 to Switzerland's Roger Federer and Stanislas Wawrinka.

Organizations: Centre Court, Rexall Centre, Australian Open

Geographic location: Montreal, TORONTO, Niagara Falls Canuck Deauville Spain Canada France Switzerland

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