TORONTO (AP) — Lleyton Hewitt and Julien Benneteau had to deal with two rain delays during their Rogers Cup match on Monday. When it was finally over, Benneteau was headed to the second round.
Benneteau advanced with a 6-1, 6-2 victory over Hewitt. The 32-year-old Frenchman to adjust on the fly after the second rain delay, which lasted two hours.
“I tried to keep the same momentum and the same rhythm of the match,” Benneteau said. “I just tried to stay focused to be able to play the same way.”
Benneteau was leading 4-1 in the first set when the first brief rain delay occurred. He was up 4-2 in the second when storms moving through the Toronto area halted action across the tournament.
“The rain delay, it’s never easy but it’s for both players,” he said. “I had two break points before, 15-40 and then a deuce. So it’s never easy.”
Benneteau also said it’s never easy facing Hewitt, even though the Aussie is 42nd now and 11 years removed from being atop the world rankings.
“He’s a great fighter and to beat him you have to play solid,” Benneteau said. “You have to do a good match. It’s the kind of player that if your level is not good enough, you don’t win.”
No. 15 seed Marin Cilic also moved on with a 6-2, 4-6, 7-5 win against Denis Istomin. The Croatian said Istomin was dealing with a shoulder injury that led to some unpredictability.
“He had some shots were coming off good, some not, and it was difficult to know what was going to come,” Cilic said. “It got a bit complicated.”
Cilic will play the winner of a night match between Guillermo Garcia-Lopez and Malek Jaziri in the second round.
In other early action, France’s Jeremy Chardy beat Argentina’s Federico Delbonis, 6-3, 5-7, 6-4, French qualifier Benoit Paire defeated Colombian Alejandro Falla, 6-7, 6-4, 6-2, and American qualifier Tim Smyczek downed German qualifier Tobias Kamke, 6-3, 6-2.
The lengthy rain delay caused some changes to Monday’s schedule. No. 10 seed John Isner had his afternoon match against Ivan Dodig moved to the grandstand at night.
The Rogers Cup Hall of Fame induction ceremony was also postponed because of the weather. Stefan Edberg and former Rogers Cup Master of Ceremonies Don Goodwin will now be inducted Tuesday night.