Tournament favorites and former champions Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer has fairly easy opening round matches at Cincinnati.
Defending champ Djokovic was on during the day and after going down a quick break to Sam Querrey who beat him the last time they played at 2016 Wimbledon, the World No. 1 got back on track for a 7-5, 6-1 victory.
“The fact that I’m a reigning champion wasn’t affecting me positively or negatively. There was just excitement to be back on the court competing because it’s been quite awhile since the Wimbledon final,” said Djokovic. “But at the same time, I had the nervous start because I haven’t played a match in four weeks. It took a while to adjust to his big game. I made three double faults in the opening game and didn’t have the greatest of starts.
“It was a tricky match, a quality and opponent and a big challenge, but I’m happy to be tested right from the start. Hopefully the next performance will be even better.”
Djokovic will now meet qualifier Pablo Carreno Busta who edged John Isner saving a match point in a late-night thriller 6-4, 6-7(1), 7-6(6).
Roger Federer was only slowed by a one hour rain delay in a 6-3, 6-4 victory over Juan Ignacio Londero.
“[I’m] very happy. I thought it was tricky with the rain delay and everything, but I’m happy to be back on the courts,” Federer said. “It’s totally different to the grass courts and the clay courts we have seen, so this is the beginning of a long, long hard-court swing. So it’s nice to start off with a win.
“Conditions are fast. We barely had any rallies in the first set. It was just bang-bang tennis,” he added. “He had a good forehand. He hides it well with the grip, and because I have never played him before, it’s hard to see the release happening. I think he actually can play very well on the faster hard court. He moves well, can take the ball early. He has the option to go back, but maybe here it’s just a tad too fast. ”
Montreal finalist Daniil Medvedev kept winning beating Kyle Edmund 6-2, 7-5. Stan Wawrinka served for the match three times in the third before finally pulling it out in a breaker over former champion Grigor Dimitrov 5-7, 6-4, 7-6(4).
“It helps a little bit to have won the past few matches against him, but before that he was beating me most of the time. I knew I could expect a tough match,” said Wawrinka. “It’s a first round and you never play your best tennis, but the most important thing is to fight. I’m happy with the win.”
Frances Tiafoe came from a break down in the first and 6-3 in the breaker to beat Gael Monfils 7-6(7), 6-3.
Roberto Bautista Agut, Reilly Opelka, Denis Shapovalov and David Goffin were also winners.
Dominic Thiem withdrew due to illness.
The second round finishes on Wednesday with Karen Khachanov meeting Nick Kyrgios. Alexander Zverev debuts against Miomir Kecmanovic and Stefanos Tsitsipas takes on Jan-Lennard Struff.
WEDNESDAY CINCINNATI SCHEDULE
CENTER COURT start 11:00 am
WTA – Ekaterina Alexandrova (Russia) vs  Simona Halep (Romania)
Not Before 1:00 pm
WTA –  Ashleigh Barty (Australia) vs [WC] Maria Sharapova (Russia)
ATP –  Alexander Zverev (Germany) vs [Q] Miomir Kecmanovic (Serbia)
Night Session – Not Before 7:00 pm
WTA – Yulia Putintseva (Kazakhstan) vs  Sloane Stephens (USA)
Not Before 8:30 pm
ATP – Nick Kyrgios (Australia) vs  Karen Khachanov (Russia)
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