Federer passes tough test to reach last 16 in Cincinnati
(Reuters) - Roger Federer survived an opening-match fright by outlasting Canada's Vasek Pospisil 7-6 (4) 5-7 6-2 on Wednesday to claim his 300th Masters Series win and reach the third round of the Western and Southern Open in Cincinnati.
Back in action after losing to Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the final of the Rogers Cup in Toronto on Sunday, third-ranked Federer appeared sluggish at times as he struggled to tame the 46th-ranked Canadian.
With the victory the second seeded Swiss, a five-time champion on the Cincinnati hard courts, becomes the first player to reach 300 wins in the ATP Tour's elite Masters 1000 events.
The match began with a tight opening set that saw neither player able to capitalize on break chances, Federer eventually winning the tiebreak on a forehand error by the Canadian.
Pospisil, winner of the Wimbledon doubles title with American Jack Sock, battled back to take the second but a focused Federer wasted no time taking charge in the third with an early break on way to clinching the milestone win.
The day featured a pair of early upsets with Taiwan’s Lu Yen-hsun shocking fourth seeded Czech Tomas Berdych 3-6 6-3 6-4 while Poland's Jerzy Janowicz knocked off Bulgarian seventh seed Grigor Dimitrov 6-4 3-6 6-3.
After a first round bye eighth seeded Briton Andy Murray got his tournament off to a convincing start easing past Portugal's Joao Sousa 6-3 6-3.
Murray, who has twice hoisted the trophy in Cincinnati, faced just two break points the entire match saving both while disposing of his Portuguese opponent in a tidy 72 minutes.
"The conditions are completely different here to Toronto," said Murray, who made a quarterfinal exit in Canada. "A few of the guys that have come in late have struggled with the conditions. Continued...