Cincinnati (US), Aug 14 (IANS) Ninth seed John Isner from the United States and 12th seed Diego Schwartzman of Argentina, both favourites to win the men’s singles title at the 2018 ATP World Tour Masters 1000 tennis tournament here, were eliminated in the first round.
On Monday, the American lost to compatriot Sam Querrey 6-4, 6-7 (5) and 7-6 (5), while the Argentine was defeated by Switzerland’s Stanislas Wawrinka 6-2, 4-6, 6-3, reports EFE news agency.
Serbian Novak Djokovic won against American Steve Johnson 6-4 and 7-6 (4), who managed to save up to eight match balls before giving up.
Spaniard Pablo Carreno Busta, 13th seeded, and France’s Lucas Pouille, 16th seeded, made it to the next round after beating France’s Richard Gasquet 6-3, 2-6, 6-3 and Briton Andy Murray 6-1, 1-6 and 6-4, respectively.
France’s Benoit Paire beat Spain’s David Ferrer 6-2, 6-2 and is set to compete in the next round against the winner of the match between 11th-seeded Belgian David Goffin and Greece’s Stefanos Tsitsipas, who was a finalist at the 2018 Canadian Masters in Toronto.
France’s Jeremy Chardy beat Spain’s Fernando Verdasco 6-1, 6-2, and will face 8th-seeded South African Kevin Anderson in the next round.
Others who qualified for the next round were Japan’s Kei Nishikori, who beat Russia’s Andrey Rublev 7-5, 6-3; and Germany’s Peter Gojowczyk, who knocked out Portugal’s Joao Sousa 2-6, 6-4 and 7-5, and will face second seed and seven-time champion Roger Federer in the next round.
Spaniard Rafael Nadal, who won the Canadian Masters in Toronto on Aug. 12, cited his need for “rest” as a reason for his absence in Cincinnati.
The Cincinnati Masters awards $5.7 million in prize money, according to the official website of the Association of Tennis Professionals.