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Stephens, Federer Advance; Venus, Sharapova Withdraw from W&S Open

Sloane Stephens continued her solid summer on the American hard courts with a decisive 6-1 6-2 victory over ten-seed Carla Suarez Navarro. Two weeks ago she won her first career WTA title at the Citi Open in Washington DC.

Stephens imposed her game early and often throughout the match, breaking Suarez Navarro twice in each set while saving all five break points she saw on her serve.

“You’re always like searching and trying to find that next great moment, and like that was like one Sunday where I had a great moment,” said Stephens in regards to her win in Washington. “Now, I’m like, ‘I need another Sunday. Come on.’”

 

Roger Federer began his quest for a seventh Western & Southern Open with a 6-4 6-4 win over Roberto Bautista Agut Tuesday night. Federer, who skipped the Montreal Rogers Cup tournament last week, shows a bit of rust before settling into a rhythm and coasting to a victory that was much easier than the score line indicates.

“It’s been a while since I’ve had a match,” said Federer. “So that’s what gets you in a different mood, different thinking. You know, I can switch it on very quickly. I only need literally like 10 minutes to really get ready for the match.

 

Early in the afternoon John Isner lost to fellow American and good friend Sam Querrey. Isner had won 11 of his previous 13 hard court matches this summer, winning the title in Atlanta, reaching the final in Washington and making the quarterfinals in Montreal before the loss.

Feeling the effects of three straight weeks of play, and still struggling with a hip injury picked up in Montreal, Isner said, “That’s the thing: You put some good weeks together, it can put you in a bit of a deficit the following week. Regardless, it’s disappointing to lose.”

 

Word quickly spread across the grounds at the Lindner Family Tennis Center Tuesday evening with the news of withdraws from both Venus Williams and Maria Sharapova. Williams was slated to play Ana Ivanovic, who will receive a walkover into the third round while Sharapova will be replaced by lucky loser Mirjana Lucic-Baroni.

Williams, who withdrew within an hour of her night session match, cited picking up a viral illness. Sharapova cited a right leg injury that forced her to pull out of last week’s Toronto Rogers Cup and has kept her from playing a match since her loss at Wimbledon.

“I wasn’t feeling my best yesterday,” Williams said of her victory over Zarina Diyas on Monday, “so it was a great fight against a really inspired player.” Williams also added, “Every match you have to be at your best, you know, to win. Just couldn’t be at my best today.”

“It’s a tough decision to make, but I think it’s a wise one, in order to give myself the right amount of time to be as healthy as I can be for the US Open,” Sharapova said of the decision to withdraw from the Western & Southern Open.

 

Second round play continues for both the men and women Wednesday at 11:00am at the Lindner Family Tennis Center.

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