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Djokovic advances as Serena pulls out in Cincinnati
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Djokovic advances as Serena pulls out in Cincinnati

CINCINNATI, USA, August 14 ------ World No. 1 Novak Djokovic got his US Open build up off to a smooth start with a straight-sets win in Cincinnati on Tuesday, August 13 (Wednesday, August 14) as back trouble forced Serena Williams to withdraw. Defending champion Djokovic double faulted 3 times as he dropped serve in the opening game against Sam Querrey but quickly put things right and pulled away for a 7-5, 6-1 victory over the American. "I ended the match well even if the start was nervy," said Djokovic, who would break Querrey twice to take the 1st set then roll to victory in his first match since beating Roger Federer in the Wimbledon final last month.

"Sam was feeling comfortable on the court at the start and dictating. It was tough facing his big serve," Djokovic said. "I'm just pleased with this challenge in quick conditions, I'm glad I overcame it. "I'm hoping for a better performance in the next round." Williams, meanwhile, was left just trying to get healthy before the August 26 start of the US Open, pulling out of her scheduled first-round match against qualifier Zarina Diyas just days after she was forced to retire from the WTA Toronto final with back spasms. "I came to Mason (Ohio) on Sunday and have tried everything to be ready to play tonight, and was still hopeful after my practice this morning," Williams said in a statement released by tournament officials. "But unfortunately my back is still not right." It's another injury blow for 23-time Grand Slam champion Williams, who was hampered by knee trouble earlier this season and remains in search of her first title since the 2017 Australian Open.

Source: rappler.com/sports