World number one Roger Federer held off the challenge of Argentine Jose Acasuso to reach the second round of the Cincinnati Masters — where he will be joined by fourth seed Novak Djokovic.
The top-seeded Swiss went through 6-3 7-5 in one hour and 10 minutes to earn a clash with David Ferrer. Acasuso was broken in the eighth game, with Federer then serving out to take the opening set. The 28-year-old French Open and Wimbledon champion broke again in the 11th game of the second set to secure victory. Federer told Sky Sports: “I am very happy to have made the transition from my Montreal defeat.” On Ferrer he added: “He is one of the best return players in the game. I will have to be careful even though I have a good record against him.” Djokovic was first on Centre Court and the fourth seed prevailed in a close contest against Croatian Ivan Ljubicic.
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The pair were closely matched with Djokovic taking the first set 7-5 on the tie-break before he won the second set 6-4 after crucially converting one of his four break points. Seventh seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga was the day’s major casualty, going down 7-6 6-2 to qualifier Chris Guccione. Paul-Henri Matthieu edged out Ivo Karlovic who could not reproduce the form which saw him beat Gael Monfils in the previous round. The Frenchman triumphed 7-6 6-4 after taking advantage of his one break of serve.