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Cincinnati 2019: 7-time champion Roger Federer makes triumphant return

ANALYST
News
175   //    14 Aug 2019, 13:17 IST

Federer in action in his second round match against Londero at 2019 Cincinnati
Federer in action in his second round match against Londero at 2019 Cincinnati

In his first match since a heartbreaking loss in the Wimbledon final to Novak Djokovic where he squandered championship points on serve in the fifth set, Roger Federer saw off Argentine wildcard and Cordoba champion Juan Ignacio Londero 6-3 6-4 in Cincinnati to move into the third round.

Making his record 17th appearance at the tournament, the record seven-time champion showed little signs of rust as he streaked to a 3-0 lead and bagged the opening set in 21 minutes against his dazed opponent, who was slow off the blocks.

Following a rain interruption early in the second set, Federer grabbed another break of the Londero serve and served out the victory in the 10th game for his record-extending 47th win in Cincinnati.

Juan Ignacio Londero
Juan Ignacio Londero

After an underwhelming 1-4 start to his Cincinnati career, Federer has since won 46 matches in the tournament and has lost just five times en route to seven titles.

The Swiss now awaits a possible match-up with his good friend and compatriot Stan Wawrinka, who saw off Grigor Dimitrov in a roller-coaster first round match.

Wawrinka thrice failed to serve out victory in the third set and relinquished a double mini-break lead in the ensuing tiebreak, before prevailing over his Bulgarian opponent for the fifth consecutive time in their rivalry.

Stan Wawrinka
Stan Wawrinka

The three-time Slam champion next faces qualifier Andrey Rublev for the chance to play Federer in the third round.

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At his happiest Masters 1000 stop on the calendar, Federer has lost before the quarterfinals just twice since winning his first Cincinnati title in 2005. A run to his ninth final here would give Federer 50 wins in the tournament and the outright lead (382) for most Masters 1000 match wins.

Earlier in the day defending champion Novak Djokovic overcame a slow start against his 2016 Wimbledon conqueror Sam Querrey before recovering to move into the third round. The Serb will face the winner of the second round match between Pablo Carreno Busta and John Isner.

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