CINCINNATI: Roger Federer surged into the third round of the ATP and WTA hardcourt tournament by beating Juan Martin del Potro 6-3, 7-5.
The Swiss hammered 12 aces to win 83 per cent of his first-serve points in the 92 minute match on centre court.
“There was a lot of pressure,” said Federer, whose only title this season came in Doha in January. “I haven’t played much so this was a big match for me. I was able to retrieve well today.”
Following the defeat, Del Potro, who upset Federer in five sets in the 2009 US Open final, acknowledged that he had been comprehensively beaten by the former world number one.
“I feel well tonight, but Roger played like number one in the world,” said del Potro. “He was very confident with his serve.”
In the women’s tournament, fourth-seeded Russian Maria Sharapova, sixth-seeded Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova and eighth-seeded Marion Bartoli also swept past their opponents in second-round matches. In-form former world number one Serena Williams held on to beat tenacious Czech Lucie Hradecka 6-3, 7-6 (7/5).
On the men’s side, Czech Radek Stepanek withstood 21 aces from John Isner to defeat the gargantuan American 7-5, 5-7, 7-6 (7/4), while Jo-Wilfried Tsonga defeated Croatia’s Marin Cilic 6-3, 6-4. Croatia’s Ivan Dodig also defeated Latvia’s Ernests Gulbis 6-3, 7-6 (7/3) to line up a second-round clash with sixth-seeded Frenchman Gael Monfils.
All the top eight seeds, led on the women’s side by Caroline Wozniacki and on the men’s by Novak Djokovic, have first-round byes.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 18th, 2011.