Cincinnati (USA) (AFP)
Serena Williams dropped out Tuesday for the Cincinnati Masters ahead of her first match with a back injury, while Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic have gone smoothly for their comeback since their incredible final at Wimbledon.
The American star, winner of 23 Grand Slam tournaments, trained on Tuesday morning in Cincinnati and warned the judges that she could not play, just before her match of the first round scheduled against Kazakhstan's Zarina Diyas, coming out of qualifying. .
"I went to Mason (Ohio) on Sunday and did everything to be ready to play this (Tuesday) evening, and I was still hopeful after my workout this morning, but unfortunately, my back still does not go well. Williams explained in a statement issued by the tournament organization.
The 37-year-old American had already dropped out of the Toronto final because of spasms on the back after four games played.
Williams had previously been handicapped by knee problems.
His decision to withdraw from Cincinnati casts a shadow over his preparations for the US Open, which begins Aug. 26.
"Serena", defeated in the Wimbledon final by Simona Halep of Romania in July and turned 38 at the end of September, is only one unit of the women's Grand Slam record held by Australia's Margaret Court (24).
- Venus qualified -
His sister Venus had better fortune: the eldest Williams (39) beat defending champion Kiki Bertens of the Netherlands 6-3, 3-6, 7-6 (7/4).
On the men's side, Djokovic and Federer were making their comeback on the courts since the Serbian victory over Switzerland at Wimbledon, 13-12 in the fifth set after a crazy scenario.
Federer, seeded N.3, defeated Argentina's Juan Ignacio Londero 6-3, 6-4. An interruption of one hour due to rain, 2-2 in the second set, did not disturb.
"I am very happy, even if it was a little tricky with the rain to stop, I am very happy to be back on the courts," said the 38-year-old Swiss, seven-time winner of the tournament. Cincinnati.
He could find in the next round (round of 16) his compatriot Stan Wawrinka, who was right of the winner of the 2017 edition, the Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov 5-7, 6-4, 7-6 (7/4). But Wawrinka (23rd world) must first dominate the Russian Andrey Rublev (70th).
Defending champion Djokovic earlier beat American Sam Querrey 7-5, 6-1. "I finished the game well, even though the start was a bit nervous, Sam felt comfortable on the pitch at the start and dictated the tempo, it was tough on his big serve," commented Serbian 32 years old, N.1 worldwide.
He will find in the eighth Spanish Pablo Carreno Busta (53), slugger at the end of the night (around 1:15 local) American John Isner (16th worldwide).
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