Cincinnati: Roger Federer became the first man to win 300 matches at the ATP Masters 1000 level, beating Vasek Pospisil 7-6 (7/4), 5-7, 6-2 on Wednesday in Cincinnati. The victory in just over two hours put the 33-year-old world number three into the third round as he began his final tune-up tournament for the US Open.
Roger Federer. Pic/Getty Images
The Swiss great, who had notched his 200th Masters match win against Lleyton Hewitt at Cincinnati five years ago, arrived at the tournament he has won five times off a runner-up finish to Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in Toronto. He delivered a dominant third set to finally subdue the 46th-ranked Pospisil, who was a finalist last month in Washington. He stretched his career record over the Canadian to 3-0.
After taking the first set in the tiebreaker, Federer was broken in the 12th game of the second as the challenger forced a deciding set. But Federer powered through the third, breaking his opponent twice on the way to victory and finishing with 23 winners and 21 unforced errors, with six aces along the way. While safely followed top seed Novak Djkokovic into the third round, two of the men's top eight were toppled.
Taiwan's Lu Yen-Hsun stunned Czech fourth seed Tomas Berdych 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 while Poland's Jerzy Janowicz upset number seven Grigor Dimitrov 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 -- four days after the Bulgarian played a semi-final in Toronto. Sixth seed David Ferrer fought through three tiebreakers to beat German Philipp Kohlschreiber 6-7 (4/7), 7-6 (7/4), 7-6 (7/4), and eighth-seeded Andy Murray advanced with a smooth, 6-3, 6-3 victory over Portugal's Joao Sousa.
Murray, who lifted the Cincinnati trophy in 2008 and 2011, is searching for his first title since winning Wimbledon 13 months ago. Since returning in January from back surgery, Murray has enjoyed only modest results, with his best 2014 showings semi-finals at Roland Garros and Acapulco.
Both of the Scot's Cincinnati titles came in finals against Djokovic, who has won every Masters 1000 title save this one. Murray improved to 3-0 over the 37th-ranked Souza, never trailing in the match that lasted 71 minutes. He handed Souza his 21st loss of the season in either the first or second round, advancing on his first match point when Souza sent a service return long. Murray broke Souza three times, and fired 16 winners matched by 16 unforced errors.
"I got the win and that's the most important thing," Murray said. "It's very different conditions here this week. "A lot of guys struggle to control the ball, I was happy to come through. Conditions are completely different here to Toronto. But I hit the ball well from the back of the court today. I was able to control the ball well.
"That was the most pleasing thing about the match today, because I have seen a lot of the players have struggled so far." Three more seeds advanced untroubled. Number 11 American John Isner beat Australian Marinko Matosevic 6-3, 7-6 (7/1), Fabio Fognini, seeded 15th, dispatched Lleyton Hewitt 6-1, 6-4 while number 16 Spaniard Tommy Robredo beat Sam Querrey 6-2, 6-4.