Day 4: Men's and Women's First and Second Rounds

Day two of main-draw action of the Western & Southern Open started off with many electrifying matches in the Lindner Family Tennis Center in Cincinnati.

 

It started with three-time grand slam champion Stan Wawrinka defeating the 2017 W&S Open winner Grigor Dimitrov in a thrilling three-set match 5-7,6-4,7-6(4). This is their second meeting in eight days after Wawrinka defeated Dimitrov just last week in Montreal. He now has a five-match winning streak against Dimitrov.

 

American legend Venus Williams pulled off a big upset knocking out the defending champion and No. 5 seed Kiki Bertens 6-3,3-6,7-6(4). This is Williams’s second top 5 win this season after defeating Petra Kvitova at Indian Wells.

 

The 2013 Cincinnati champion Victoria Azarenka got through to the second round defeating Belinda Bencic retired in the second set. With the 6-4 1-0 win, Azarenka is now 11-4 here in Cincinnati.

 

American Francis Tiafoe defeated Montreal semifinalist Gael Monfils today on Grandstand 7-6(7),6-3 in an entertaining match. He will now face the winner of Hubert Hurakcz or seeded No. 11 Roberto Bautista Agut.

 

After appearing in his first singles match since January on Monday, Andy Murray partnered again with Feliciano Lopez to defeat No. 4 seeded Jean-Julien Rojer / Horia Tecau 3-6,6-3,10-3.  Murray/Lopez, who lifted the Queen's trophy together back in June, are aiming for their second trophy together this year.

 

Making her debut in Cincinnati Estonian Annet Kontaveit pulled out an upset on the women's side defeating two-time finalist and No. 13 seed Angelique Kerber 7-6(7),6-2. For the second week in a row, Kontaveit got a victory over a Grand Slam champion and former World No. 1 after beating Maria Sharapova in Toronto last week.

 

American Madison Keys defeated two-time grand slam champion and 2017 Cincinnati winner Garbine Muguruza 6-7(4),7-6(5),6-4. Keys got her revenge after losing to Muguruza here at the Western & Southern Open in 2017. Keys will now face the winner of Barbora Strycova or Daria Kasatkina in the second round.

The late afternoon and evening featured Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer returning to action for the first time since their historic Wimbledon final.

 

Djokovic opened his title defense by beating American wild card Sam Querrey 7-5,6-1. The World No. 1 improved his 2019 record to 36-6. 

 

Seven-time W&S Open champion Roger Federer began his quest for an eighth title on Tuesday by defeating wild card Juan Ignacio Londero 6-3,6-4. The most prolific Cincinnati champion in history now has a day off and will take on either Andrey Rublev or fellow Swiss  Stan Wawrinka in the third round.

 

The two-time champ Serena Williams withdrew from the tournament due to continued back pain that had forced her to retire during the Toronto final last week. 

 

“I am so sad to withdraw from the Western & Southern Open as it is truly one of the tournaments I most love to play," Williams said. "I came to Mason on Sunday and have tried everything to be ready to play tonight, and was still hopeful after my practice this morning. But unfortunately my back is still not right and I know I should not take to the court. I really want to thank tournament director Andre Silva and the WTA for giving me every chance to play, and I also want to thank all the amazing fans here in the Cincinnati area for their support – it means so much. I promise I’ll do my best to be back here next year.”

 

Wednesday's matches will feature blockbusters matchups including, Ash Barty vs. Maria Sharapova, Nick Kyrgios vs. Karen Khachanov and the appearance of Stefanos Tsitsipas, Naomi Osaka and Kei Nishikori.

 

 

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