Federer takes first step as eighth Cincinnati title beckons

Florence Fletcher
August 18, 2018

Serena Williams was beaten 6-3 2-6 6-3 by Petra Kvitova in a thrilling second-round match at the Cincinnati Open on Tuesday, ending the American's bid for a third title at the event.

Federer is the highest ranked player in the field in OH in the absence of Rafael Nadal and the world number two had little trouble advancing at the expense of Peter Gojowczyk, as he seeks a first title at the ATP Masters 1000 event since 2015.

Serena Williams reacts during a match against Daria Gavrilova, of Australia, in the first round at the Western & Southern tennis Open, Monday, Aug. 13, 2018, in Mason, Ohio.

The former World No.1 pulled out of last week's Rogers Cup in Montreal, citing "personal reasons", and had earlier suffered the worst defeat of her career - 6-1 6-0 -against Britain's Johanna Konta in San Jose.

For former world number one Williams, the loss is another setback as she attempts to get back to the top ranking after a hard childbirth previous year. She later clarified that she had been struggling with post-natal emotions.

"You've got to be able to go back-to-back", said Williams, a two-time Cincinnati champion. I think center court plays much faster than the outside courts, so you don't have much time. "I have more time for the family, which is important for me", the father of two sets of twins said.

"This year has been tough". Although I didn't feel great, I managed to get through them. I couldn't even play the year before that.

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Kyle Edmund also went out in the second round, losing in straight sets to the 19-year-old Canadian Denis Shapovalov.

Roger Federer, playing for the first time since losing the Wimbledon quarter-final to Kevin Anderson, registered a routine 6-4 6-4 victory against Peter Gojowczyk at Cincinnati as he prepares himself for the upcoming US Open.

"We have been definitely thinking about the options with my hip". The reigning Wimbledon champion failed to convert eight match points before he finally put Johnson away.

"Right now I'm just managing it".

Australian Open semifinalist Hyeon Chung won the last five games to beat Jack Sock 2-6 6-1 6-2.

Elise Mertens scored a 6-4 6-2 first-round win over Magdalena Rybarikova.

Also, Lesia Tsurenko routed Danielle Collins 6-0, 6-2; qualifier Viktoria Kuzmova topped Aliaksandra Sasnovich 6-0, 4-6, 6-1; and Anett Kontaveit defeating Barbora Strycova 6-3, 6-0.

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