TORONTO // Radek Stepanek of the Czech Republic was the only seeded player to fall on the opening day of the Toronto Masters. Spain's Feliciano Lopez proved to be Stepanek's conqueror, beating the 11th seed 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 on a day that was without the top three seeds Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic in action. All three, who are launching their North American hardcourt campaigns in Toronto, have been granted first round byes.
"Obviously this is the surface that suits my style of game most," said Djokovic, who will open his title defence against the Canadian player Frank Dancevic. "Defending this title I have a lot of responsibilities and expectations, but it is a challenge." While Stepanek tumbled out, five other seeds advanced to the second round of the tournament. The ninth seeded Swiss player Stanislas Wawrinka had a comfortable 6-4, 7-6 victory over Italy's Simone Bolelli.
Also through is the French tenth seed Richard Gasquet. He disposed of Davis Cup team mate Michael Llodra 6-2, 4-6, 6-3. The Spanish 12th seed Tommy Robredo, the 14th seed Fernando Gonzalez of Chile, and the Russian 15th seed Mikhail Youzhny all advanced through with emphatic straight set victories. Gonzalez outclassed France's Julien Benneteau 6-2, 6-1 while Robredo brushed past the young Canadian wildcard Frederic Niemeyer 7-6, 6-1 and Youzhny beat Italy's Andreas Seppi 7-6, 6-2.