Top Four All Win Wednesday Afternoon

August 19, 2009 05:30 PM
MASON – The top four players in the world were on Center Court Wednesday afternoon in second round matches at the 2009 Western & Southern Financial Group Masters, and all four of them advanced in straight sets.

World No. 1 Roger Federer, a two-time champion in Cincinnati, saved the only break point he faced in a 6-3 7-5 win over Jose Acasuso.

“I was happy today just because I know the transition to Cincy is always a difficult one.  I've had very up and down results here,” said Federer following the match.

The new No. 2, Andy Murray, began his title defense with a 7-6(3) 6-2 win over Nicolas Almagro. Murray, like Federer, saved the only break point he faced.

“I started to play better as the match went on,” Murray said. “It was very fast.  Definitely quicker conditions than last week.  Took me a few games to get used to that, but I felt comfortable on the ball.”

Rafael Nadal battled a pair of rain delays as well as Andreas Seppi before advancing 7-6(4) 7-6(3). One of the short delays came with Nadal serving down a break point at 4-all in the second set.

The 2008 Cincinnati finalist, No. 4 Novak Djokovic, defeated qualifier Ivan Ljubicic in a big serving match up 7-6(5) 6-4. Ljubicic fired more aces - 15 compared to 9 – but Djokovic won 35 of his 36 first serve points in the match.

“Well, that's quite a good stat I think for the first match,” said Djokovic when asked about his serving. “It's really important to get my serve going and have a high percentage of the first serves in, which wasn't case really in my last match in Montreal.”

In other action Monday, qualifier Chris Guccione pulled off an upset on the same day it was announced he had been granted a US Open wildcard. The Australian took out No. 7 seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 7-6(12) 6-2, with the first set being the second longest tie-break of 2009.

The eighth seed, Nikovlay Davydenko, needed three sets to get past Igor Kunitsyn, downing his countryman 6-2 1-6 6-3.

Julien Benneteau, who got into the main draw as a lucky loser, downed Austrian Jurgen Melzer 6-2 3-6 6-2. Benneteau is the first lucky loser to reach the third round in Cincinnati since Wayne Arthurs in 2004, and will look to be just the third player in the Open Era to reach the quarterfinals when he plays Thursday.

With the top four playing during the day on Center Court followed by No. 5 Andy Roddick in the night session, even the players were struck by the powerful schedule in Cincinnati on Wednesday.

“That's the sort of thing I would love if I were a tennis fan,” Federer said. “You know, coming out and seeing the best play. Just keep the same seat, you know. They come rolling in.”

Here’s a look at the results from the action packed day (as of 9 p.m.):

Singles - Second Round
[1] Roger Federer (SUI) d Jose Acasuso (ARG) 63 75
[2] Rafael Nadal (ESP) d Andreas Seppi (ITA) 76(4) 76(3)
[3] Andy Murray (GBR) d Nicolas Almagro (ESP) 76(3) 62
[4] Novak Djokovic (SRB) d [Q] Ivan Ljubicic (CRO) 76(5) 64
[Q] Chris Guccione (AUS) d [7] Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (FRA) 76(12) 62
[8] Nikolay Davydenko (RUS) d Igor Kunitsyn (RUS) 62 16 63
[16] Radek Stepanek (CZE) d Marat Safin (RUS) 46 63 61
Paul-Henri Mathieu (FRA) d Ivo Karlovic (CRO) 76(9) 64
Guillermo Garcia-Lopez (ESP) d [Q] Mikhail Youzhny (RUS) 75 63
[LL] Julien Benneteau (FRA) d Jurgen Melzer (AUT) 62 36 62
Tomas Berdych (CZE) d Philipp Petzschner (GER) 76(8) 67(7) 64
Jeremy Chardy (FRA) d John Isner (USA) 67(1) 63 41 ret.
Lleyton Hewitt (AUS) vs Benjamin Becker (GER) 63 63

Doubles - First Round
David Ferrer (ESP) / Tommy Roberdo (ESP) d Frantisek Cermak (CZE) / Michal Mertinak (SVK) 64 67(2) 10-7

Doubles - Second Round
Michael Llodra (FRA) / Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (FRA)  d [5] Bruno Soares (BRA) / Kevin Ullyett (ZIM) 60 63
[7] Wesley Moodie (RSA) / Dick Norman (BEL) d Tomas Berdych (CZE) / Philipp Kohlschreiber (GER) walkover (Berdych - fatigue)