Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic advance in Cincinnati as Serena Williams pulls out

Novak Djokovic celebrates winning a point at the Cincinnati Masters

Djokovic made a winning start in Cincinnati (Picture: Getty Images)

Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer safely advanced to the third round of the Cincinnati Masters but Serena Williams woes continued as she was forced to pull out of her tie with Zarina Diyas.

Djokovic and Federer were both playing their first matches since contesting the longest final in Wimbledons history last month, chalking up straight sets wins over Sam Querrey and Juan Ignacio Londero respectively.

Defending champion Djokovic, 32, didnt have things all his own way against the big-serving American, losing his opening service game and being forced to save break points in his first two service games in the second set but ultimately triumphed 7-5 6-1 in an hour and 18 minutes.

The fact that Im a reigning champion wasnt affecting me positively or negatively. There was just excitement to be back on the court competing because its been quite a while since the Wimbledon final, said Djokovic, who will take on Spains Pablo Carreno Busta next.



But at the same time, I had the nervous start because I havent played a match in four weeks. It took a while to adjust to his big game. I made three double faults in the opening game and didnt have the greatest of starts.

It was a tricky match, a quality and opponent and a big challenge, but Im happy to be tested right from the start. Hopefully the next performance will be even better.

Seven-time Western & Southern Open champion Federer cruised through his first match as a 38-year-old in 61 minutes, beating Argentinas Londero 6-3 6-4.

Roger Federer hits a volley at the Cincinnati Masters

Roger Federer came through (Picture: Getty Images)

[Im] very happy, the 20-time Grand Slam winner said. I thought it was tricky with the rain delay and everything, but Im happy to be back on the courts.

Its totally different to the grass courts and the clay courts we have seen, so this is the beginning of a long, long hard-court swing. So its nice to start off with a win.

Djokovic and Federer – who contested last years final at this Masters 1000 event – are in the same half of what has become a lopsided draw following the withdrawals of Rogers Cup winner Rafael Nadal and fourth seed Dominic Thiem.

A rematch of the Wimbledon final would be eagerly anticipated and would be their first meeting since Federer returned to the ATP Player Council – of which Djokovic is president.

The Swiss returned to the political fold alongside Nadal last week in a move that has been well received by the tournament council after a fractious period.



Sources close to Federer suggested he was considering a return to the 10-man council at Wimbledon – where he was reluctant to publicly dive deep into political matters – after the resignations of Jamie Murray, Sergiy Stakhovsky and Robin Haase.

👏👏 @rogerfederer @RafaelNadal

— Jamie Murray (@jamie_murray) August 8, 2019

Federer has expressed his concern at whats been a chaotic year behind the scenes of mens tennis – a year that has seen ATP president Chris Kermode removed from his position and disgraced former ATP board member Justin Gimelstob accepting a no contest plea for battery charges in Los Angeles – and he has now thrown himself into the mix to confront the issues head on inside the Djokovic-led council.

Austrian veteran Jurgen Melzer was the other player elected to the council, an interesting addition to the fold considering rumours circulated at Wimbledon suggesting Gimelstob – who has made no secret of his desire to make a return to the political sphere – contacted him directly to urge him to put his name forward.

While there are still hopes that two tennis giants will go hRead More – Source