Serena Williams pulls out with back trouble.
Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic overwhelmed opponents at the WTA-ATP Cincinnati Masters on Tuesday, where Serena Williams withdrew because of back trouble.
Serena had hoped to rebound from the back spasms that forced her out of the WTA final in Toronto on Sunday, where she lasted only four games before retiring.
But the 23-time Grand Slam champion said her back was “still not right” casting a further shadow on her chances at the US Open starting in Flushing Meadows on August 26.
For Djokovic and Federer, back in action for the first time since the Serb’s victory over the Swiss in the Wimbledon final, it was a smooth start to their US Open build-up.
Federer, seeded third, remained unruffled by a one-hour rain interruption at 2-2 in the second set, eventually defeating Argentina’s Juan Ignacio Londero 6-3, 6-4 to reach the third round at the event he has won seven times.
Defending champion Djokovic double faulted three times as he dropped serve in the opening game against Sam Querrey but quickly put things right and pulled away for a 7-5, 6-1 victory over the American.
Serena, meanwhile, was left just trying to get healthy after pulling out of her scheduled first-round match against qualifier Zarina Diyas.
Venus topples Bertens
Venus Williams kept the family flag flying, the 39-year-old American putting her decades of experience to good use in a 6-3, 3-6, 7-6(4) victory over defending champion Kiki Bertens.
The results: Men: Second round: Novak Djokovic bt Sam Querrey 7-5, 6-1; Roger Federer bt Juan Ignacio Londero 6-3, 6-4; Pablo Carreno Busta bt John Isner 6-4, 6-7(1), 7-6(6).
First round: Denis Shapovalov bt Joao Sousa 2-6, 6-3, 6-2; Stanislas Wawrinka bt Grigor Dimitrov 5-7, 6-4, 7-6(4); Andrey Rublev bt Nikoloz Basilashvili 6-7(4), 6-4, 6-2; Daniil Medvedev bt Kyle Edmund 6-2, 7-5; Benoit Paire bt Fernando Verdasco 6-4, retired; Frances Tiafoe bt Gael Monfils 7-6(7), 6-3; Roberto Bautista Agut bt Hubert Hurkacz 7-6(6), 6-3; Diego Schwartzman bt Laslo Djere 7-6(2), 6-3; Reilly Opelka bt Borna Coric 4-6, 6-3, 7-5; David Goffin bt Taylor Fritz 6-4, 4-6, 6-4.
Women: Second round: Maria Sakkari bt Petra Kvitova 6-4, 2-6, 6-3; Venus Williams bt Kiki Bertens 6-3, 3-6, 7-6(4).
First round: Anett Kontaveit bt Angelique Kerber 7-6(7) 6-2; Zheng Saisai bt Viktoria Kuzmova 6-3, 6-1; Wang Yafan bt Monica Puig 3-6, 7-5, 6-3; Donna Vekic bt Katerina Siniakova 6-4, 6-3; Victoria Azarenka bt Belinda Bencic 6-4, 1-0 retired; Madison Keys bt Garbine Muguruza 6-7(4), 7-6(5), 6-4; Daria Kasatkina bt Barbora Strycova 6-4, 7-6(9); Ekaterina Alexandrova bt Carla Suarez 6-4, 6-1; Su-Wei Hsieh bt Wang Qiang 6-3, 6-4; Jennifer Brady bt Ons Jabeur 6-2, 6-2.
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