19 August, 2018
She looked strong in the set with Petra Kvitova, rallying in the second to even it out before running out of gas in the third.
In surely the pick of the second round action in OH, 23-time Grand Slam champion Serena Williams takes on eighth seed Petra Kvitova.
Federer, seeded second, has won in Cincinnati a record seven times but hasn't played here since winning in 2015. Gavrilova is ranked No. 23, and the victory over her was by all accounts is an indicator of Serena's confidence going into her warm up to the U.S. Open.
Fifth seed Svitolina also endured a gruelling encounter with Svetlana Kuznetsova late in the day, the Ukrainian eventually prevailing 7-6 (7-1) 4-6 6-4 after two hours and 43 minutes. She later clarified that she had been struggling with post-natal emotions. You know, this is a long comeback. "In the first set he had a really good serve and big forehand but I was just trying to stay strong all the time and stay calm as well".
Speaking ahead of his 1,416th Tour match, Federer - who is seeking his 99th title - told reporters: "I've been practising on hard courts, so it's not like I haven't played on hard courts for forever". After two hours and 23 minutes, Rafa beat the Chilean (2004 doubles gold medalist and also the victor of bronze in singles) 6-3 7-6 6-3 to embrace the Olympic glory and round-up his outstanding performance in the previous few months, winning 38 out of 39 matches to become well-deserved world number 1.
Nick Kyrgios served 39 aces, including one to save match point, to power into the second round with a dramatic 6-7 (2/7), 7-5, 7-6 (11/9) win over Denis Kudla.
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Roger Federer who had a disappointing season at the grass court during Wimbledon 2018 is all set to play a Cincinnati Masters 2018. "I started the year very well".
US Open finalist Madison Keys, seeded 13th, defeated wild card Bethanie Mattek-Sands 3-6, 7-6 (7/3), 6-4; France's Kristina Mladenovic advanced when Julia Goerges retired hurt trailing 6-4, 3-2. "It's nice to be back and I hope to have a good tournament", said Federer, who will start against Peter Gojowczyk after the German beat Portugal's Joao Sousa 2-6, 6-4, 7-5.
Maria Sakkari upset Indian Wells champion Naomi Osaka 6-3, 7-6 (8).
On the men's side, Sam Querrey ground out a 6-4, 6-7 (5), 7-6 (5) win over fellow American and ninth-seeded John Isner. Ekaterina Makarova cruised past qualifier Ana Bogdan 6-3, 6-2.
Maria Sakkari, of Greece, returns to Naomi Osaka, of Japan, at the Western & Southern Open, Tuesday, Aug. 14, 2018, in Mason, Ohio.