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Del Potro, Kyrgios advance, Raonic withdraws in Cincinnati

Aug 15, 2017; Mason, OH, USA; Nick Kyrgios (AUS) returns a shot against David Goffin (BEL) during the Western and Southern Open at Lindner Family Tennis Center. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports
Aug 15, 2017; Mason, OH, USA; Nick Kyrgios (AUS) returns a shot against David Goffin (BEL) during the Western and Southern Open at Lindner Family Tennis Center. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

(Reuters) - Juan Martin del Potro and Nick Kyrgios took positive steps in their U.S. Open preparation by ousting seeded opponents to reach the second round of the Cincinnati Open on Tuesday.

Former U.S. Open champion del Potro beat 10th-seeded Czech Tomas Berdych 3-6 7-6(1) 6-0, while Kyrgios opened with a 6-2 6-3 dismissal of ninth seed David Goffin of Belgium in the Cincinnati heat.

Earlier in the day, sixth-seeded Canadian Milos Raonic announced his withdrawal from the tournament due to a lingering left wrist injury.

The talented non-seeded winners, who have both battled injuries this season, excelled on serve.

Del Potro powered in 17 aces in overcoming Berdych after a listless opening set.

The Argentine, who was last week ousted in the second round in Montreal by Canadian teenager Denis Shapovalov, upped the aggression in the second set and found his range with his big forehand to force a tiebreak.

He raced to a 5-0 lead in the tiebreak, which he claimed 7-1 before blanking Berdych in the third set.

"I think I played really good tennis in the second and the third set. I think my game improved after a big effort in the second set," Del Potro told the Tennis Channel.

"I think I can be better, can play much better. I'm having a tougher draw in all tournaments, but I like just to play tennis after all my injuries and I'm so happy to have the chance."

Del Potro, who has a history of wrist problems and had a groin injury this season, next plays American qualifier Mitchell Krueger.

Kyrgios cracked 10 aces in a one-sided victory over Goffin.

"He doesn’t have the biggest of weapons and I kind of caught a good rhythm against him," said the 22-year-old Australian, who retired from three tournaments in a row with hip and shoulder injuries this season.

"He’s by far better than me from the back of the court. He loves playing from the ground so I tried not to give him much rhythm. I just hit two first serves every point, pretty much.”

Asked about his hip injury, Kyrgios said: "I can still feel it. It’s always tough to play and try to build some strength."

Kyrgios will next meet Aleksandr Dolgopolov of Ukraine, who came through 6-4 7-6(6) against big-serving South African Kevin Anderson, who hit 24 aces.

(Reporting by Larry Fine in Tampa, Florida; Editing by Toby Davis)

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