Perhaps no one was more excited than the fans in Cincinnati, who had not seen their seven-time champion in three years.
Federer was making his first appearance since losing in the Wimbledon quarter-finals on July 11, but the top seed and world No. 2 looked fresh as he overwhelmed the German with pin-point serving and speedy defence.
Both players sailed through their service games in the second set and they were headed towards the tie break when Nadal faced the first loose service game at 5-6. I couldn't have worked harder, you know, in the practice, on the practice court. "Even when I have to take time away, I still get something out of it", said the 20- time major title victor. Game plan is very simple.
"You've got to be able to go back-to-back", said Williams, a two-time Cincinnati champion. "It's a good thing".
Murray, returning from January hip surgery, was unable to get past the French 16th seed, hampering his preparations for the US Open starting on Aug.27. That's got to be the goal now after not having flawless, situations the last couple of years there. You know, I wasn't 100% there.
"If I want to play more I can always do that".
This will undoubtedly be a setback for the 36-year old as she prepares for the US Open.
Federer will face Leonardo Mayer in the third round.
Federer advanced to the third round with a 6-4, 6-4 victory against Peter Gojowczyk, and Williams was eliminated by eighth-seeded Petra Kvitova in a 6-3, 2-6, 6-3 second-round loss.
"It was a pleasure to share the court with Serena, she's such a champion", said Kvitova. Querrey gained an edge with a mini-break on the fifth point of the second tiebreaker when Isner sailed a forehand wide of the backhand sideline. For the lead. She delivered a second blow to set up a deciding set.
Kvitova had to dig deep to prevail against Williams, the Czech winning 6-3 2-6 6-3 after two hours on the outdoor hard courts. "It was a pretty bad first set", he said. Each tournament gives her the match play she needs to improve her competitive fitness. Little by little I'm gaining my confidence.
"The start of the match was not good", he said.
Both Williams and Pliskova come equipped with powerful games and are capable of dominating opponents from the back of the court easily when they are at their best. Only one person could win. Her ball was coming very fast. and I was just trying to react as fast as I could and just put one ball in.
But it was world No. 17 Pouille who proved to be the more resourceful as he claimed his first win in five tries against Murray.
"It's fun to play, for me". "We both played at a really high level. So it's just about the staying really very focused and every single point".
Roger Federer made a successful return to the Western & Southern Open on Tuesday.
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