Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer divided on length of tennis matches

McEnroe 'My Dream Doubles Partner Would be Roger Federer or Rafael Nadal'

In the women's draw, former world No. 1 Serena Williams clinched her first set win against a top-10 player this season, but appeared to run out of gas before losing to Petra Kvitova 6-3, 2-6, 6-3.

Williams, a 23-time Grand Slam victor who returned to the tour this year after the birth of her first child, needed just 65 minutes to dispatch Gavrilova.

The 23-year-old had a turbulent match against Borna Coric in the previous round as he won 7-6 (1), 0-6, 6-3 and he admits to intentionally not winning a game in the second set - once the result was beyond him.

Just two weeks ago, Williams suffered the worst defeat of her career in San Jose when she was crushed 6-1, 6-0 in 51 minutes by world No. 39 Johanna Konta.

Murray, whose ranking plummeted into the 800s last month but has now risen to 375, has fallen at the first hurdle in two of the four tournaments he has contested this year. She later clarified that she had been struggling with post-natal emotions. "I chose to skip Toronto for the health of my body", the seven-time Cincinnati champion said. "I just began. Definitely at the very, very beginning", Williams said.

Shorter matches are considered necessary to reduce the burden on the best of the best, though a more common complaint among the players is the packed, non-stop schedule and rules surrounding mandatory tournaments.

"This year has been tough".

"It doesn't feel like I have been away for so long here from Cincinnati, " Federer said. I think that's the seventh match I've played.

Spain's Pablo Carreno Busta, Briton Kyle Edmund and Canadian young gun Denis Shapovalov also advanced to the second round. "You know, right now I'm just managing it".

The Australian Open semi-finalist Hyeon Chung won the last five games to beat Jack Sock 2-6, 6-1, 6-2.

Wimbledon champion Novak Djokovic survived a stiff test, needing nine match points to outlast Steve Johnson of the USA 6-4, 7-6 (7/4). Sock has lost eight straight matches since winning in Rome on May 13. Robin Haase also made it to the second round, defeating Filip Krajinovic 4-6 6-2 6-3.

Roger Federer, playing for the first time since losing the Wimbledon quarter-final to Kevin Anderson, registered a routine 6-4 6-4 victory against Peter Gojowczyk at Cincinnati as he prepares himself for the upcoming US Open.

Double Grand Slam victor Svetlana Kuznetsova continued her 2017 injury comeback, beating Swiss Stefanie Voegele 6-4, 2-6, 7-6 (7/5).

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