Federer eases through at Cincinnati Open

Former world number three was in action for the first time since the loss in the Wimbledon final last month.

    Federer needed an hour and nine minutes to move into the second round [Getty Images]
    Federer needed an hour and nine minutes to move into the second round [Getty Images]

    Roger Federer returned from a month-long layoff with a 6-4 6-4 second-round victory over Roberto Bautista Agut at the Western and Southern Open in Cincinnati.

    Federer had not competed since losing in the Wimbledon final to Novak Djokovic and he quickly shook off the rust, needing just an hour and nine minutes to beat Agut.

    "It's the first round of the hard court season for the next six plus months or so," Federer told the ATP Tour website after his first match at the tournament having received a bye into the second round.

    "I have things in mind to work on for the hard-court season. Number one, you have to be fit and tough, because you can stop on a dime and move the other direction, which on other surfaces is not so easy to do."

    Earlier, controversial Australian Nick Kyrgios, who hit the headlines last week when he taunted opponent Stan Wawrinka in Montreal, was crushed 6-2 6-1 by Richard Gasquet in their first round match.

    Kyrgios appeared distracted for much of a one-sided contest and summoned the trainer for treatment on his back before he was swept aside in just under an hour.

    Though Kyrgios later apologised via Twitter for his comments, he was slapped with two separate fines by the ATP who also raised the possibility he could be suspended.

    Federer had also been critical of Kyrgios' behaviour.

    "He definitely crossed the line by a long shot," Federer told the Cincinnati Enquirer.

    "We're not used to that kind of talk in tennis. It's normal that the tour comes down hard on him and explains to him that it's not the way forward."

    Bencic continued her great run with a win over Kerber [Getty Images]

    In other matches on Tuesday, Sam Querrey beat fellow American John Isner 6-3 7-6(3) in a first round match-up of big servers and Croatian Borna Coric scraped past Alexander Zverev of Germany 7-5 3-6 7-6.

    In the women's event, Maria Sharapova and Venus Williams were big-name withdrawals as they attempt to fully recover from injury and illness ahead of the US Open.

    Russian second-seed Sharapova, who has yet to play since a semi-final defeat at Wimbledon last month, cited a leg injury for her exit.

    "It's a tough decision to make but I think it's the right decision to be ready for the U.S. Open," Sharapova told reporters.

    "It's not ideal preparation for New York, but that's the circumstance and I obviously want to give myself the best chance to be healthy there. That's the wisest move right now."

    Williams was forced to pull out due to a viral illness, something that had bothered her in Monday's victory over Zarina Diyas, denying fans an attractive second round encounter between the American and former number one Ana Ivanovic.

    SOURCE: Reuters


    Interactive: How does your country vote at the UN?

    Interactive: How does your country vote at the UN?

    Explore how your country voted on global issues since 1946, as the world gears up for the 74th UN General Assembly.

    'We were forced out by the government soldiers'

    'We were forced out by the government soldiers'

    We dialled more than 35,000 random phone numbers to paint an accurate picture of displacement across South Sudan.

    Interactive: Plundering Cambodia's forests

    Interactive: Plundering Cambodia's forests

    Meet the man on a mission to take down Cambodia's timber tycoons and expose a rampant illegal cross-border trade.