Federer, Hewitt advance in Cincinnati Masters

Roger Federer and Lleyton Hewitt are through to the third round of the Cincinnati Masters Series.

updated: February 25, 2007 10:53 IST
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Top seed Roger Federer and third seed Lleyton Hewitt both lost the first set in their respective matches before winning through to the third round of the Cincinnati Masters Series on Wednesday. Federer beat Nicolas Kiefer of Germany 4-6, 6-4, 6-4, while Hewitt defeated Britain's Greg Rusedski 1-6, 7-5, 6-4. In another match played under sun-drenched skies, the 16th seed, France's Richard Gasquet, was eliminated as he went down 6-4, 7-6 (8-6) to the unseeded Mario Ancic of Croatia. Slow start Hewitt started slowly and won only one game to drop the first set in 20 minutes. However, Hewitt then picked apart the net-rushing game of Rusedski to advance 1-6, 7-5, 6-4 in two hours and six minutes. He defeated the Briton at his own game putting back slice backhands and winning 23 out of 28 points at the net (82 per cent) versus 48 out of 77 (62 per cent) for Rusedski. Hewitt, a two-time finalist in Cincinnati in 2002 and 2004, won his 16th match here and improved to 4-3 in head-to-head meetings against Rusedski. Next opponent Hewitt next faces for the first time Croatia's Mario Ancic, a 6-4, 7-6 winner over the number 16 seed Richard Gasquet of France. Ancic fired nine aces while avenging his 7-5, 1-6, 6-3 loss to the 19-year-old at London's Queens Club in June - their only other career meeting. Ancic has now reached the third round in his last three ATP Masters Series events. Meanwhile Gasquet, a winner in Nottingham and a finalist in Hamburg this year, bowed out of an ATP Masters Series tournament in the second round for the second consecutive week. Federer's class Later, world number one and the top seed Roger Federer reached the third round for the first time in five appearances at Cincinnati with a 4-6, 6-4, 6-4 win over Germany's Nicolas Kiefer. Federer earned three break points to start off the match before Kiefer reeled off five in a row to hold serve. Federer, a break down, broke back while Kiefer was serving for the set, but the German bounced back with a second break to take the first set off Federer. The world number one showed his class though as he broke in the third game of the second set on his way to levelling the match. He then converted three out of three break point chances to open a up a 5-1 lead in the third set. Kiefer kept the game alive when he broke while Federer was serving for the match at 5-2, but the Swiss player wrapped it up when serving out for the second time in two hours and 13 minutes, for a 4-6, 6-4, 6-4 victory. He next faces former doubles partner Olivier Rochus in the round of 16. (AP)