Federer to face Wawrinka in quarter-finals at rain-hit Cincinnati

Roger Federer wasted no time in defeating Leonardo Mayer 6-1, 7-6 (8/6) on Friday as the rain-plagued ATP-WTA Cincinnati Masters made up ground after two days of disruption.

Only hours after his comprehensive third-round win, the second-seeded seven-time champion was to face a quarter-final against compatriot Stan Wawrinka, who beat Hungarian Marton Fucsovics 6-4, 6-3 in another rain-delayed third-round clash.

It will mark the first time since Gstaad in 2004 that Federer has played two matches on the same day.

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With cloudy skies a constant weather threat, Federer raced through the opening set in 23 minutes but found the pace slowing in the second as Mayer began to make a match of it.

The 20-time Grand Slam champion, who turned 37 last week, needed a tiebreaker to close it out, taking a 5-1 lead in the decider before firing a ninth ace to seal victory after 72 minutes

“I haven’t played two on the same day for a long time,” Federer said. “But I’m pleased to be playing Stan again.”

Federer wasn’t the only player pulling double duty.

Wimbledon champion Novak Djokovic picked up where he left off early in the third set on Thursday to eliminate defending champion Grigor Dimitrov 2-6, 6-3, 6-4, setting up three match points with an ace and booking a quarter-final meeting with Canadian Milos Raonic.

Fourth seed Juan Martin del Potro outlasted Australian Nick Kyrgios 7-6 (7/4), 6-7 (6/8), 6-2 while seventh seeded Marin Cilic beat young Russian Karen Khachanov 7-6 (7/5), 3-6, 6-4.

Del Potro next faces Belgian 11th seed David Goffin, who upset Wimbledon finalist and sixth seed Kevin Anderson 6-2, 6-4. Anderson exited with a whimper, producing just nine aces and dropping his serve three times.

Cilic was to take on Pablo Carreno Busta, who like Raonic managed to book his quarter-final berth on Thursday.

In women’s third-round action, Simona Halep and Elina Svitolina advanced efficiently to the last eight.

Top seed Halep came from a break down in each set to overhaul Australian 16th seed Ashleigh Barty 7-5, 6-4.

Ukrainian Svitolina, seeded fifth, beat 16-year-old American prodigy Amanda Anisimova 6-4, 6-4.

Halep set up a quarter-final clash with Ukrainian Lesia Tsurenko with her second win in six days over Barty. She beat the Australian in the semi-finals in Montreal an her way to the title there.

“It was a tricky match, she was a tough opponent,” Halep said. “It was difficult to find any rhythm today. We were both in trouble during the match. I’m happy to go through and tonight I have another match.”

Svitolina next faces Kiki Bertens, who completed the women’s quarter-final lineup with a 6-3, 2-6, 6-3 win over Anett Kontaveit.

(AFP)

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