Wawrinka holds off Dimitrov, Kerber knocked out at Cincinnati Masters
LONDON – Switzerland’s Stan Wawrinka battled back from a set down to defeat Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov 5-7 6-4 7-6 (7-4) for a second-round place at the Cincinnati Masters on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, in the women’s event, Germany’s former world number one Angelique Kerber crashed out in the first round with a 6-7 (7-9) 2-6 loss to Estonian Anett Kontaveit.
Dimitrov stole the first set with a late break, but missed three break-point chances in the second as Wawrinka took control and levelled the match.
Three-time Grand Slam winner Wawrinka missed two match points on his serve at 5-2 in the third set, and was broken back twice to make it 5-5 before the pair headed into a decisive tie-break.
In the winner-takes-all affair, Wawrinka raced into a 4-0 lead and, despite a late challenge from Dimitrov, he sealed victory with an ace on his third match point after two hours and 35 minutes.
Russian qualifier Andrey Rublev awaits Wawrinka after the 21-year-old beat Georgia’s Nikoloz Basilashvili 6-7 (4-7) 6-4 6-2.
Frenchman Gael Monfils was beaten 7-6 (9-7) 6-3 by American Frances Tiafoe, while Belgium’s David Goffin conquered Tiafoe’s compatriot Taylor Fritz 6-4 4-6 6-4 for a place in the second round against Argentina’s Guido Pella.
In the women’s draw, Victoria Azarenka of Belarus is through after Switzerland’s Belinda Bencic retired while trailing 6-4 1-0.
Azarenka now faces Croatia’s Donna Vekic, who prevailed 6-4 6-3 against Czech Katerina Siniakova.