Wednesday, 26 September, 2018

Cincinnati Masters: Federer opens with win over Gojowczyk

Rafa Nadal 2008 32 straight wins for a dream Andy Murray’s US Open under cloud after defeat in Cincinnati
Kristopher Love | 17 August, 2018, 20:00

"I think I knew what I had to do", Federer said.

Murray, returning from January hip surgery, was unable to get past the French 16th seed, hampering his preparations for the US Open starting on August 27.

Andy Murray, of Great Britain, chases down a return from Lucas Pouille, of France, in the first round at the Western & Southern Open, Monday, Aug. 13, 2018, in Mason, Ohio.

"I just love talking about it because I feel like a lot of people have those same emotions and they don't have the same platform that I have. I still have a lot of work to do, but I'm really positive with where I am right now". It's like a mental game, as well, you know, still staying there and be focusing on every point.

Roger Federer said he has "turned the page" after winning on his return to action at the Cincinnati Masters on Tuesday.

The 23-time Grand Slam champion showed full recovery in her first match since suffering the worst defeat of her career two weeks ago in San Jose when she was crushed 6-1, 6-0 in 51 minutes by British No. 1 Johanna Konta.

"As the year goes on, I'll be able to get a little bit more consistency like on the practice court and on the tennis court".

But he could not edge ahead and Pouille held his serve in the 10th game of the final set to claim a deserved victory. He has missed the last two editions of this tournament because of injury.

In the women's draw, Czech ninth seed Karolina Pliskova made a personal breakthrough as she beat Agnieszka Radwanska for the first time after seven previous straight-sets losses to the Pole, winning 6-3, 6-3.

Federer played in 12 best-of-five ATP Masters finals and several more at other tournaments before their disappearance.

Asked by Tennis Channel to outline the one rule change he would make if he were in charge of the ATP for a day, Federer said he'd like to see all finals played in best-of-five format.

Kyrgios, a finalist a year ago in Cincinnati, overcame physical problems to fight off the qualifier Denis Kudla for a 6-7 (2), 7-5, 7-6 (9) victory.

Nishikori awaits in the next round after the Japanese star beat Rublev 7-5 6-3.

"It was a tough round for me because I've never beaten her, never even taken a set", said Pliskova. Sixth-seeded Caroline Garcia also reached the third round with a 6-4 6-5 win over wild card Victoria Azarenka, but 12th-seeded Daria Kasatkina suffered a first-round upset at the hands of qualifier Petra Martic, 4-6 6-4 6-3.

Greece's Maria Sakkari edged 20-year-old Naomi Osaka in a closely contested second-set tiebreak to dispatch the Japanese 6-3 7-6 (8) in their first-round match.

Wimbledon champion Novak Djokovic defeated American Steve Johnson 6-4 7-6 (4) in a hard-fought match under the lights.