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No. 1 Djokovic outlasts Simon; Murray into Cincy third round Sharapova wins

 CINCINNATI, Aug 13, (AFP): Novak Djokovic pulled his championship tennis back together after last week’s early exit, beating Gilles Simon 6-3, 4-6, 6-4 to reach the third round of the ATP-WTA Cincinnati Masters here Tuesday.

The world number one was ambushed at the same stage in Toronto a week ago by eventual champion Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.
But Djokovic made sure he did not commit the same error twice as he began a bid to win the only Masters 1000 title missing from his resume. But he was tested by his French opponent, who took Tuesday’s contest into a final set.
Djokovic went down a service break in the opening set but got it back and added another to take the early lead. In the second set, he went up a break for 2-1 but could not stay the course. A break for 4-3 in the third kept him on the road to recovery.
He ended on his second match point after more than two hours.
Four-time Cincinnati finalist Djokovic improved his record over France’s Simon to 8-1. He is playing the pre-US Open Masters tournament for the tenth time.
In the only other second-round match played, Australian Open winner Stan Wawrinka was broken while serving for victory but pulled out a win over German Benjamin Becker 6-3, 7-6 (7/5).
Toronto winner Tsonga crashed back down to earth in his opening match, losing 6-1, 6-4 to Russian Mikhail Youzhny.
The 29-year-old 12th seed found himself back on court 48 hours after beating Roger Federer to win the title in Toronto, the second at the Masters 1000 level of his career.
But he failed to find the inspiration he had in Toronto — where he also beat Djokovic and Andy Murray — with canny veteran Youzhny taking full advantage of the physical state of last week’s champion.
Latvian Ernests Gulbis needed a pair of tiebreakers to advance over Ivan Dodig 7-6 (8/6), 7-6 (7/4).
Croatian 14th seed Marin Cilic advanced into the second round over Toronto semi-finalist Feliciano Lopez 6-3, 6-4 while British qualifier James Ward surprised Spaniard Guillermo Garcia-Lopez 6-2, 3-6, 6-1.
Canadian Vasek Pospisil rallied to put out Czech Radek Stepanek 5-7, 6-1, 7-6 (7/4) as wild card Robby Ginepri beat Dominic Thiem of Austria 6-3, 5-7, 7-5.
Meanwhile, Andy Murray began his final preparation tournament for the US Open as the eighth seed reached the third round with a 6-3, 6-3 win over Portugal’s Joao Sousa on Wednesday.
The British number one, who earned the Midwest title in 2008 and 2011, is searching for his first trophy since winning Wimbledon 13 months ago.
His best 2014 showings have been semi-finals at Roland Garros and Acapulco.
Murray ended with three breaks of serve and 16 apiece of winners and unforced errors.
In women’s play, fifth seed Maria Sharapova overcame American Madison Keys 6-1, 3-6, 6-3, with the Russian changing clothes at the end of the second set and starting the third refreshed.
“I guess maybe that’s just what dry clothes does to you - they get you a bit calmer. It was obviously time to change. It’s quite humid here.”
Czech 16th seed Lucie Safarova knocked out Montreal finalist Venus Williams, 6-7 (2/7), 6-3, 6-4.
Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova crashed out of the second round of the WTA and ATP Masters hardcourt tournament on Wednesday in another setback to her US Open preparations.
Ukrainian teenager Elena Svitolina toppled the third-seeded Czech 6-2, 7-6 (7/2).
Kvitova’s exit in her first match after enjoying a first-round bye came a week after a third-round exit on the hardcourts of Montreal, and the world number four admitted she couldn’t find her way against the Ukrainian, who is playing her first tournament since defending her title at Baku last month.
“I can still find moments when I really don’t know what’s happening out there,” admitted Kvitova. “Even if I’m older and have more experience, I can still have days like today.”

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