Greats move forward in Mason event

JET-LAGGED::Djokovic was complaining about all the different time zones in which he has played in the past few weeks, but travel failed to slow him down


Fri, Aug 17, 2012 - Page 20

Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray and Roger Federer won their opening matches at the Western & Southern Open in straight sets on Wednesday, getting accustomed to the heat after spending the past two weeks in London and Canada.

Djokovic got the bronze medal at the Olympics in London, then won the Rogers Cup in Toronto on Sunday night. He was a little off in his opening set on a court baked in sunshine and 30°C heat, before pulling away from Andreas Seppi of Italy 7-6 (4), 6-2.

“Sometimes it’s really hard to try to stay fit for every single tournament and try to perform your best,” Djokovic said. “I mean, in the last three, four weeks, I have changed three different cities, places, surfaces, conditions. I’m still trying to figure out where I am.”

Murray had the best moment of his career at Wimbledon, winning the Olympic gold on home soil. He had to withdraw from the Rogers Cup because of a sore knee, which he blamed on the transition from grass to hard courts.

Murray, the defending champion in Cincinnati, moved around the court well during his 6-2, 6-4 win over Sam Querrey. The American repeatedly missed open shots, while falling behind, and managed only two break points during the match, both of which Murray saved.

Federer had no trouble in his evening match against Russia’s Alex Bogomolov, winning 6-3, 6-2 in exactly one hour. He served 12 aces and did not face a break point until the final game of the match.

Federer skipped the Rogers Cup, so it was his first match back on a hard court.

“It’s nice to be back on the hard courts,” Federer said. “I served really well. He struggled to get into some rallies.”

On the women’s side, top-seeded Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland also advanced to the third round with a 6-4, 6-3 win over Sofia Arvidsson of Sweden. Venus Williams moved on with her second three-set victory in two days.

Yaroslava Shvedova of Kazakhstan quit her match while trailing in the second set, overcome by the heat, and also dropped out of her later doubles match.

Radwanska, who lost to Serena Williams in the Wimbledon final and is ranked No. 3 in the world, was to meet Sloane Stephens of the US, who got into the tournament as a wild card.

Venus Williams won the gold medal in doubles with her sister in London and arrived for the tournament in suburban Cincinnati upbeat. She needed three sets and 2 hours, 23 minutes to win her opening match Tuesday, then followed it with a 2-6, 6-3, 6-2 victory over Russia’s Chanelle Scheepers in the afternoon heat that lasted an hour and 46 minutes.

After Scheepers’ long return ended it, Williams briefly raised her arm in celebration, walked slowly to the net to shake hands, and sat down and rubbed her forehead with both hands.

Eleventh-seeded Dominka Cibulkova withdrew with an injury after losing the first set in a tiebreaker against qualifier Andrea Hlavackova of the Czech Republic. China’s Shuai Peng also advanced with a 6-3, 6-4 win over Roberta Vinci of Italy.

In men’s action, No. 10-seeded Mardy Fish of the US advanced to the third round by defeating Carlos Berlocq of Argentina 6-3, 6-1. Serbian Victor Troicki moved on to the third round with a 6-2, 6-0 win over Australian Lleyton Hewitt. Nikolay Davydenko of Russia beat Florian Meyer of Germany 6-3, 6-3.