SHANGHAI – Novak Djokovic made a winning return following a month-long injury layoff, beating Fabio Fognini 6-3, 6-3 Tuesday in the second round of the Shanghai Masters.
Djokovic hadn't played a match since losing to Stan Wawrinka at the U.S. Open, pulling out of last week's China Open with an elbow injury.
The top-seeded Serb was rusty in his comeback in Shanghai — double-faulting four times and making 18 unforced errors with only 13 winners — but he had no trouble dispatching an even more erratic Fognini, who racked up 40 unforced errors of his own.
In other matches, former U.S. Open champion Juan Martin del Potro faded down the stretch against 11th-seeded David Goffin, dropping serve in the 11th game of the third set and losing 4-6, 6-3, 7-5.
The Argentine, on his own comeback from a series of career-threatening wrist injuries over the past several years, was trying to maintain the momentum that saw him win the Olympic silver medal in Rio de Janeiro and reach the U.S. Open quarterfinals last month.
"In the end of the match, I make mistakes with my forehands and in important moments, and I think he took all the chances to win the match," Del Potro said. "But for me, it has been a great season. (I'm) trying to do a good comeback after many injuries. This is just a match."
Nick Kyrgios made a quick turnaround after capturing his third title of the year at the Japan Open on Sunday, defeating Sam Querrey 6-4, 6-4.
"I was just feeling very tired today. Didn't have the greatest sleep last night and obviously got in late the day before," the 12th-seeded Australian said. "It was just tough."
Two other seeded players fell in the first round — No. 10 David Ferrer, who lost to Feliciano Lopez 7-6 (3), 4-6, 7-6 (4), and No. 14 Richard Gasquet, who was beaten by Grigor Dimitrov 6-4, 6-4. Dimitrov is coming off a runner-up finish at last week's China Open.
Bernard Tomic retired from his match against 15th-seeded Roberto Bautista Agut while trailing 6-3, 3-0 with an abdominal pain he said was exacerbated by his run to the China Open doubles final last week.