Malisse gives Djokovic stern Basel test

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Old 03-Nov-2011
Harpreet Seehra
Malisse gives Djokovic stern Basel test

World number one Novak Djokovic narrowly beat Xavier Marlisse at the Swiss Indoors in Basel.
Djokovic was forced to battle before claiming a narrow 6-2 4-6 7-5 win over the veteran Belgian in a match lasting two hours and 12 minutes, and featuring six breaks of serve.
"I hoped that we would not get to the tie-break," Djokovic, who had lost his only previous meeting with Malisse, told the ATP World Tour's official website.
"It's really unpredictable in the third set tie-break who's going to win. He made a couple of mistakes. I made some returns in.
"Overall, it wasn't a great match for me. I played many, many better matches this year than this one, but under the circumstances, for me the most important thing now is that I feel good on the court physically."
Home favourite and world number 19 Stanislas Wawrinka joined Djokovic in the second round with a relatively routine 6-4 6-4 win over Croatia's Ivan Dodig in just under one and a half hours.
But fourth seed Tomas Berdych became the biggest casualty of the tournament so far as he blew a one-set lead and crashed 3-6 6-3 6-2 to the improving Japanese player Kei Nishikori.
Fifth seed Mardy Fish was forced to retire after just one game of his clash with fellow American James Blake due to a hamstring injury. Other winners were Michael Lammer, Andreas Seppi, Jarko Nieminen and Ivan Ljubicic.
Defeats for Berdych and Fish leave Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, playing in Valencia this week, in a good position to overtake them in the race for a place in the season-ending World Tour Finals in London.
Other winners were Michael Lammer, Andreas Seppi, Jarkko Nieminen - Roger Federer's next foe - and Ivan Ljubicic.

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