Federer cruises as fellow top seeds struggle
(Reuters) - Defending champion Roger Federer cruised into the quarter-finals of the Western & Southern Open with a 6-1 6-1 demolition of South African Kevin Anderson on Thursday on an otherwise tough day for the top seeds that saw Rafa Nadal eliminated.
Swiss second seed Federer needed just 55 minutes to register his easy win but top seed Novak Djokovic, third seed Andy Murray and fifth seed Stan Wawrinka were all taken the distance in their matches at the U.S. Open warm-up event in Cincinnati.
Playing in his first tournament since losing the Wimbledon final to Djokovic last month, Federer looks fresh and rested and advanced to a last eight encounter against Spain's Feliciano Lopez, who upset 2013 Cincinnati champion Nadal 5-7 6-4 7-6(3).
"I think the first break always gives you a bit of a boost and right then I felt conditions weren't that fast and I could probably get some more balls back than maybe a day session," Federer told reporters of his win over the big-serving Anderson.
"Then it was just important to keep it up with my serving. I did that very well tonight, so I am really pleased it was a rock solid performance.
"It's only quarter-finals, I know it's a good result so far and I'm playing great tennis but hopefully I can keep it up tomorrow."
Djokovic looked in danger when he dropped the opening three games of the final set against 13th-seeded Belgian David Goffin, but roared back for a 6-2 2-6 6-3 win to set up a French Open final rematch against Stan Wawrinka.
The Swiss claimed his second grand slam title with a four-set victory over Djokovic in Paris and beat Croatia's Ivo Karlovic 6-7(2) 7-6(5) 7-6(5) to book a showdown against the top seed.