CINCINNATI: Roger Federer became the first man to win 300 matches at the ATP Masters 1000 level, beating Vasek Pospisil 7-6 (7/4), 5-7, 6-2 on Wednesday in Cincinnati.
The victory in just over two hours put the 33-year-old world number three into the third round of his final tune-up tournament for the US Open.
He delivered a dominant third set to finally subdue the 46th-ranked Pospisil, who was a finalist last month in Washington.
“It’s a nice round number,” said Federer of his most recent achievement, “I’ve had some more important ones than this one, but nevertheless it’s nice to reach such milestones.
“I know how hard it is to win all these matches because it’s always against top 50 players, if not top 20, if not top 10.”
Meanwhile, eighth-seeded Andy Murray advanced with a smooth, 6-3, 6-3 victory over Portugal’s Joao Sousa.
Murray, who lifted the Cincinnati trophy in 2008 and 2011, is searching for his first title since winning Wimbledon 13 months ago.
On the women’s front, Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova crashed out in second round as Ukrainian teenager Elena Svitolina toppled the third-seeded Czech 6-2, 7-6 (7/2). Kvitova’s exit in her first match after enjoying a first-round bye came a week after a third-round exit on the hardcourts of Montreal, and the world number four admitted she couldn’t find her way against the Ukrainian, who is playing her first tournament since defending her title at Baku last month.
“I can still find moments when I really don’t know what’s happening out there,” admitted Kvitova. “Even if I’m older and have more experience, I can still have days like today.”
Published in The Express Tribune, August 15th, 2014.
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