Canada's Raonic moves on, Pospisil falls in Cincinnati
Fellow Canadian Eugenie Bouchard ousted on women's side
Milos Raonic advanced to the third round of the Western & Southern Open on the same day fellow Canadians Vasek Pospisil and Eugenie Bouchard were knocked out.
The 12th-seeded Raonic beat Janko Tipsarevic in straight sets, 6-4, 7-6 (4) on Wednesday. It's his third win in as many tries over Tipsarevic, and comes a day after he struggled somewhat in a three-set first-round match over American Jack Sock.
"I played better than yesterday," Raonic said. "I was better from the baseline and created more opportunities for myself. It was a pretty clean match."
Raonic will face American John Isner next. Isner won their only other match in the Toronto quarter-finals a year ago.
"Isner will be tough, it will come down to a few points," Raonic said. "I have to serve well and keep the pressure on him in that sense. If I create opportunities I have to make the most of them and play as disciplined as possible."
Raonic, a native of Thornhill, Ont., became the first Canadian man to be ranked in the top 10 in the world after reaching the final of the Rogers Cup in Montreal. He lost to Rafael Nadal after beating Pospisil in the semifinals.
Pospisil, who rose to 40th in the world rankings after reaching the Rogers Cup semifinals, was upset Wednesday 7-5, 1-6, 7-6 (6) by Belgian qualifier David Goffin, who's ranked 80th.
Pospisil's prediction that he would have a tough time with Goffin proved to be correct, despite 13 aces and the Belgian's nine double faults. He failed to convert on four match points.
"It was a tough match with a lot of ups and downs," said Pospisil. "I didn't start great but I played better in the second set. Serving for the match and then in the tiebreak I played some shots too passively."
Pospisil fell on a late break in the opening set but roared back to sweep the second.
The third set was tight, with Pospisil grabbing a 6-5 lead on a break and moving into position to serve out victory. But the outcome was never secure as Goffin saved a match point in the next game and then forced Pospisil to salvage a break point before finally dropping to 6-6 on a forehand that went long.
In the tiebreaker, Pospisil had three more match points and failed to convert on all of them. Goffin seized his opportunity with his first match point, converting it to send Pospisil out after nearly 2 ½ hours.
"He hit his best shot of the match on the last match point, too good," Pospisil said. "There are a lot of things I would have changed. But now I need to get some rest before the U.S. Open."
Pospisil said he was feeling "a bit burnt out" and needs to sharpen some things in practice.
"I'm a little emotionally drained," he said. "Maybe it's good to rest before the Open."
Williams gets scare from Bouchard
Bouchard will get some rest after putting a scare into world No. 1 Serena Williams.
Bouchard won the first set against Williams before ultimately losing 4-6, 6-2, 6-2. Williams began to assert herself against Bouchard in the second set and cruised into the third round.
It was Williams's first match since she won at Toronto on Sunday, equalling her career best with her eighth singles title this season. She's never done well in Cincinnati, reaching the semifinals one time.
If she doesn't play much better, she won't be around very long this time, either.
"It was just really different conditions than Toronto," she said. "And I always forget that it's so different here. So it took me a while to get used to it.
"I have to get used to them because this is a tournament I don't have on my roster. And if I play like today, I'll continue not to have it."
Williams had 37 unforced errors in the unseasonably cool, windy conditions. Twenty-two of them came off her forehand, including one that she won't forget in that ugly first set on a centre court that seems to entice her worst tennis.
"I even had the easiest approach shot and it went not slightly wide, it was like 50 feet out," she said. "That was actually embarrassing. So I thought I'd never hit a shot like that professionally. I have maybe in practice with my eyes closed, but never conscious have I hit a shot like that.
"So it was just some crazy tennis out there."
Wimbledon champion Marion Bartoli was knocked out of the tournament with her loss to Simona Halep in three excruciating sets that left Bartoli's Achilles, shoulder, hips and back aching. After the match, the 28-year-old announced her retirement from tennis.
"It's been a tough decision to take," said Bartoli, who won her first Grand Slam title less than two months ago. "I don't take this easily. I mean, I've been a tennis player for a long time and I had a chance to make my biggest dream a reality. I felt I really, really pushed through the ultimate limits to make it happen.
"But now I just can't do it anymore."
Nadal, Murray, Djokovic cruise in openers
Back on the men's side, the fourth-seeded Nadal defeated German qualifier Benjamin Becker 6-2, 6-2. Nadal has now won 11 straight on hard courts.
"I should be very happy with the way that I played since the beginning," Nadal said. "Just for a few games, the serve was down a little bit. For the rest, I think I played a great match."
Wimbledon champion Andy Murray had an easy time in his opening match at the tournament, which he has won twice
The second-seeded Murray needed only 69 minutes to beat Mikhail Youzhny 6-2, 6-3.
Murray, who is also the defending U.S. Open champion, was coming off a third-round loss last week in Montreal, his first action since becoming the first British male to win Wimbledon since Fred Perry in 1936. He's using the tournament in Cincinnati to get ready to defend his Open title.
"He made more mistakes than I expected," Murray said. "I just want to play as many matches as I can. It's important to get a few matches in before New York. I didn't make too many errors and hit a high percentage of first serves."
His volleys were erratic, something he'll work on the rest of the week.
"I just missed a couple," he said. "Hopefully, I'll get that going as the week goes on."
Murray will play 36th-ranked Julien Benneteau in the third round.
Top seed Novak Djokovic defeated Juan Monaco of Argentina, 7-5, 6-2 while Juan Martin del Potro took down Nikolay Davydenko 7-5, 7-5.
Djokovic has never won in Cincinnati, the only one of the nine Masters series events that has eluded him. No player has won all nine, so he's got a chance for something notable — if he can get accustomed to the conditions quickly enough.
"As the matches go on, you kind of have to find your way and your rhythm," Djokovic said.
Eleventh-seeded German Tommy Haas also advanced, beating No. 46 Spaniard Marcel Granollers, 6-4, 6-1. He earned a matchup with fifth-seeded and five-time tournament champion Roger Federer.
With files from The Associated Press