(2) Roger Federer (Switzerland) D. Peter Gojowczyk (Germany) 6-4, 6-4
Seven-time W&S Open champion Roger Federer was in efficient form as he extended his tournament match win streak to 11 in his first appearance here since 2015.
In his first all-time meeting with Peter Gojowczyk, Federer each of his five break point opportunities, delivered 24 winners, pumped home nine aces and scored 46 service points. Gojowczyk countered with 11 aces and 40 service points, but fell victim to Federer's deft shot placement, committing 29 unforced errors and mustering only 15 return points.
He felt comfortable from the start of the match despite playing his first tournament since Wimbledon.
"So, look, I felt good in that first match, to be honest, walking out, hardly any nerves. I think I knew what I wanted to do, what I had to do," Federer said. "Game plan is very simple. It's straightforward. It's fast-court tennis. I think center court plays much faster than the outside courts, so you don't have much time. Plus I knew Peter, my opponent, was going to go for it and take big cuts at the ball, so there is only so much you can really do. That's why you want to play aggressive yourself."
Following the match, he was quick to appreciate a chance to return to a W&S Open Center on which he's experienced tournament record-setting success during a new chapter of his life.
"it was a great pleasure to be back. I enjoy playing here because of my success, even more so, but I have always enjoyed coming here to Cincinnati. Now we do it as a family. That adds a different twist to it. Feels almost like I have had two careers, the one before and the one after. I'm having a great time and I'm very happy to be back," he said.
(10) Nick Kyrgios (Australia) D. Denis Kudla (USA) 6-7(2), 7-5, 7-6(9)
2017 W&S Open finalist Nick Kyrgios provided a prematch moment worthy of his well-known colorful personality when he misplaced his tennis shoes.
He caused a rare tennis fastbreak among his camp after observing his personal tradition of arriving on court in basketball shoes and realizing he left his match shoes behind. His connections were able to make a valuable "two-shoe" conversion by retrieving his preferred match footware by first serve. He had to quickly find welcome footing in the match when an agressive Denis Kudla forced and captured a first-set tiebreak. Kyrgios counterbalanced the affect of his 10 aces in the set with five double faults. Kudla carried the opening stanza with 14 first-service and 14 second-service points.
Kyrgios leveled the match by landing 14 aces with only two double faults and scoring 26 service poitns to Kudla's 22. The Australian powered up again to take the third set with 19 aces and 85 service points. He put away a tournament record 39 aces in the match with one of his quickest reaching 137 mph at the end of the match. The total eclipses the previous recrod set by John Isner (USA) yesterday. Isner set the current tournament record with 102 aces in 2017.
"My serve is my best shot. It's high percentage to back myself and go for those serves under pressure. Sometimes you're gonna lose, and, most of the time, if you back yourself, you win the match," Kyrgios said.
He's now 2-0 all-time against Kudla.
(8) Petra Kvitova (Czech Republic) D. Serena Williams (USA) 6-3, 2-6, 6-3
Petra Kvitova stopped Serena Williams for just the second time in seven tries in the first battle between the two hard-hitting major tournament champions contested on U.S. soil.
Kvitova and Williams entertained the Center Court crowd by delivering monster serves and trading powerful returns for nearly two hours.
“Definitely was one of the best matches I have played this year, for sure. It was big hitting today,” Kvitova said. “We were really battling about every point, every game. It was really a great match from both of us, I think.”
She opened her eventual successful bid to end Williams’ 11-match Cincinnati win streak by establishing stout serves during the opening set in which she did not yield a break.
Williams, a two-time W&S Open champion, mounted a comeback in the second set behind quality serves that produced four aces and won 84 percent of her first serve points.
After suffering a service break in the opening game of third set, Kvitova rebounded to break back in the second game and rode the momentum to match win.
“The second game of the third set I really fought, got the break back and held the serve,” Kvitova said.
“Those two games were very important for me. I fought back and it was a great game for me to level it in the third, so it gave me a bit confidence again."
(9) Karolina Pliskova (Czech Republic) D. Agnieszka Radwanska (Poland) 6-3, 6-3
Karolina Pliskova, who earned the world No. 1 ranking after capturing the 2016 W&S Open Rookwood Cup, celebrated another signature Cincinnati moment by knocking off Agnieszka Radwanska for the time in eight tries.
Pliskova, last year's tournament semifinalist, displayed a steady return game throughout the match. She closed out with 33 return points and a 10-point edge in the match category over Radwanska.
"It means a lot because it was against her, You know, I never beat her," said Pliskova, who missed two months of this season with a back injury. "I think I always played her at her best level the matches before, so it was always tough. But I had some chances to at least do a set in the previous matches when we played, so I was just happy after my first set that I finally at least have a set (against her)."
Her first-set victory bolstered a confidence that eventually led to the victory.
"Once we started, I just felt like maybe this is gonna be the day, because I was just hitting the ball pretty clearly, and, I just felt like I have a good chance to win after couple of games where we played."