Federer passes tough test to reach last 16 in Cincinnati

Wed Aug 13, 2014 6:25pm EDT
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(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...

Aug 13, 2014; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Roger Federer returns a shot from Vasek Pospisil on day three of the Western and Southern Open tennis tournament at Linder Family Tennis Center.  Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports