Cincinnati Masters: Serena Williams roars back to form with crushing win over Daria Gavrilova; Andy Murray ousted
Serena Williams re-established her customary superiority, hammering Daria Gavrilova 6-1, 6-2 to reach the second round of the Cincinnati Masters on Monday
Cincinnati: Serena Williams re-established her customary superiority, hammering Daria Gavrilova 6-1, 6-2 to reach the second round of the Cincinnati Masters on Monday.
The 23-time Grand Slam champion showed full recovery in her first match since suffering the worst defeat of her career two weeks ago in San Jose when she was crushed 6-1, 6-0 in 51 minutes by British No 1 Johanna Konta.
But the 36-year-old was all business Monday as she cleaned up on Australian Gavrilova, with Williams winning an 11th straight match.
Though she has not played the tournament in three years, Williams lifted back-to-back titles in 2014 and 2015 after losing the 2013 final to Victoria Azarenka.
Andy Murray's injury comeback was sidetracked as the three-time Grand Slam champion lost 6-1, 1-6, 6-4 to Lucas Pouille.
Murray, returning from January hip surgery, was unable to get past the French 16th seed, hampering his preparations for the US Open starting on 27 August.
"Physically, I felt okay. It's quick conditions here," Murray said. "He was a little bit sharper than me out there.
"I maybe wasn't reacting as quickly to some shots I would have liked.
Murray last played 11 days ago in a Washington third-round match which took him three hours to win and ended at 3 a.m.
The 31-year-old two-time Wimbledon winner is working his way back slowly and felt he could not subject his body to a quarter-final just over 12 hours later, prompting him to withdraw from that event.
"After Washington, I took four, five days off the tennis court. I did a lot of training, a lot of rehab.
"As the year goes on, I'll be able to get a little bit more consistency like on the practice court and on the tennis court."
Pouille had lost his previous three matches to Murray, the last at Dubai in 2017.
Spanish 13th seed Pablo Carreno Busta started his week with a 6-3, 2-6, 6-3 defeat of France's Richard Gasquet, while Japan's Kei Nishikori put out Russian Andrey Rublev, 7-5, 6-3.
Peter Gojowczyk of Germany defeated Joao Sousa 2-6, 6-4, 7-5 and will next line up against seven-time winner Roger Federer, at second the highest seed in the field after the precautionary withdrawal of Rafael Nadal.
Canadian Denis Shapovalov beat US tournament debutant Frances Tiafoe 7-6 (8/6), 3-6, 7-5
French players beat a Spanish duo with Benoit Paire accounting for David Ferrer 6-2, 6-2 while Jeremy Chardy thumped Fernando Verdasco with the loss of three games.
Sam Querrey beat ninth-seeded American compatriot John Isner 6-4, 6-7 (5/7), 7-6 (7/5).
In the women's first round, Azarenka made her first appearance here since 2015 count as she defeated Spanish veteran Carla Suarez Navarro 6-7 (5/7), 6-2, 6-4.
Double Grand Slam winner Svetlana Kuznetsova continued her 2017 injury comeback, beating Swiss Stefanie Voegele 6-4, 2-6, 7-6 (7/5).
US Open finalist Madison Keys, seeded 13th, defeated wild card Bethanie Mattek-Sands 3-6, 7-6 (7/3), 6-4; France's Kristina Mladenovic advanced when Julia Goerges retired hurt trailing 6-4, 3-2.
Find latest and upcoming tech gadgets online on Tech2 Gadgets. Get technology news, gadgets reviews & ratings. Popular gadgets including laptop, tablet and mobile specifications, features, prices, comparison.
Italian Health Minister Roberto Speranza said on Friday people who have been in Romania and Bulgaria in the past 14 days will be quarantined upon arrival in Italy, a move aimed at preventing the importation of COVID-19 cases.
Four months after the high point of his career — the final of the 2005 French Open — the Argentine tested positive for etilefrine, a banned cardiorespiratory stimulant. He had also been caught in 2003 for the use of a banned anabolic steroid.
Madrid Open organisers last weekend were advised by local authorities not to stage the 2020 edition of the tournament due to the rise in COVID-19 cases.