Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer divided on length of tennis matches

Williams, who has won two titles in Cincinnati before, did not allow her head to drop in the second set, breaking her opponent in a marathon third game before grabbing a 5-2 lead and serving out.

Nick Kyrgios served 39 aces, including one to save match point, to power into the second round with a dramatic 6-7 (2/7), 7-5, 7-6 (11/9) win over Denis Kudla.

Last year's losing finalist finally saw off the American on his sixth match point.

Williams lost to Johanna Konta 6-1, 6-0 in San Jose, California, before withdrawing from last week's Rogers Cup in Montreal.

Twenty-year-old Tsitsipas was unable to build on his magical Toronto run as the Greek upstart fell 7-5 6-3 to Belgian David Goffin.

But it was not enough to cope with an in-form Kvitova, who emerged a 6-3, 2-6, 6-3 victor after an entertaining struggle that lasted two hours on the outdoor hard courts of the Lindner Family Tennis Center.

Sock's defeat was his eighth in succession dating back to the Italian Open.

Two-time Cincinnati semi-finalist Milos Raonic advanced with a 6-3, 6-3 win over qualifier Dusan Lajovic.

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After consolidating a break earned in the fifth game, Kvitova later produced a powerful cross-court forehand from a demanding angle which Williams netted to give up her serve and the set.

Speaking about her comeback, Serena added, 'I'm still at the very beginning. "I just began. I just started - definitely at the very, very beginning".

Williams, a 23-time Grand Slam victor and a former champion in Cincinnati, needed just 65 minutes to dispatch Gavrilova.

"I'm just going to continue to work hard, and hopefully I'll start winning more matches". "Watching from afar. But that's part of growing older, you've got to take care of the body", he said.

Czech ninth seed Karolina Pliskova made a personal breakthrough as she beat Agnieszka Radwanska for the first time after seven previous straight-sets losses to the Pole, winning 6-3, 6-3. "Even when I have to take time away, I still get something out of it", he added. "I was so happy when I won the first set because I thought, 'Finally, one set for me'".

2 seed played as solid as his color palette as he kicked off his US Open Series, beating Gojowczyk 6-4, 6-4.

For more sports coverage, visit the ABS-CBN Sports website.

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