Sports

Djokovic wins; Murray falls in Cincinnati

Djokovic wins; Murray falls in Cincinnati
(L) Novak Djokovic returns a shot to Steve Johnson. (R) Andy Murray was beaten in the first round of Cincinnati Open by Lucas Pouille.
Cincinnati, Aug 14 (Agencies) | Publish Date: 8/14/2018 1:01:31 PM IST

Novak Djokovic overcame home favourite Steve Johnson, Stan Wawrinka beat Diego Schwartzman and Andy Murray was eliminated in the first round of the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati.

Tenth seed Djokovic faced a tough opponent in American Johnson, needing nine match points to advance to the second round 6-4 7-6 (7/4).

On the back of his third-round defeat at last week’s Rogers Cup, the Serbian took until the 10th game to break his world number 33 opponent, but kept up the pressure to take a 3-0 lead in the second.

Johnson refused to be beaten, however, breaking Djokovic’s serve twice before the former world number one rallied to even the score at 4-4.

A mammoth final three games ensued before Djokovic hit a cross-court forehand to seal the victory.

Britain’s Murray failed to reach the next round after being beaten 6-1 1-6 6-4 by Lucas Pouille, who took the opening set in just over 30 minutes.

Murray showed some fight in the second set, breaking Pouille in the first game and going on to level the match in convincing style. But he could not edge ahead and Pouille held his serve in the 10th game of the final set and claim a deserved victory.

Meanwhile, wild card Stan Wawrinka erased any worries about his recent knee surgeries, beating Diego Schwartzman 6-2 4-6 6-3 to set up a round-two match against Kei Nishikori, who overcame Andrey Rublev 7-5 6-3.

American Sam Querry upset ninth seed John Isner despite 38 aces from his countryman and two hard-fought tie-breaks.

Isner triumphed in the first tie-break of the second set but Querry was able to fight back with an impressive ace game of his own – hitting 26 in total – and claiming 87% of his first-serve points to triumph 6-4 6-7 (5/7) 7-6 (7/5) after two hours and 10 minutes on court.

There were also wins for Denis Shapovalov, who defeated Frances Tiafoe 7-6 (8/6) 3-6 7-5, and Benoit Paire, who dismissed David Ferrer 6-2 6-2.

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