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Federer Cruises In Opener; Raonic Prevails

Cincinnati, U.S.A.

Raonic© ATPMilos Raonic will play Tomas Berdych for a place in the quarter-finals.

World No. 1 Roger Federer began his campaign for a fifth Western & Southern Open title by cruising past Alex Bogomolov Jr. 6-3, 6-2 in his second-round match on Wednesday evening in Cincinnati.

Federer wrapped up the victory in one hour, hitting 31 winners and breaking the Russian three times from four opportunities. He saved Bogomolov’s lone break point chance with an ace in the final game of the match.

"I'm very happy. It was a quick match, a good one for me," said Federer. "I served well. I was able to play some good points on the offensive, and overall I'm very pleased because I don't know Bogomolov that well.  I've only played him once, and that was so long time ago I hardly remember. I didn't know what to expect, to be honest. 

"Obviously the turnaround from grass to hard court might not be an easy one this year.The ball definitely bounces so much higher here and plays much faster than Wimbledon, so it just takes some getting used to.  I'm happy I was able to find a way."

The Swiss, who celebrated his 31st birthday last week, is making his 12th appearance at this ATP World Tour Masters 1000 tournament and won titles here in 2005, ’07, and ’09-10. He next faces Australian Bernard Tomic, the youngest player in the singles draw at 19 years of age, whom he has defeated in their two previous meetings.

"Obviously he likes the big stage," said Federer. "He likes playing against the best players. That's what gets him going right now.  So it's going to be a difficult match for me, I do believe."

Federer is looking to win his 21st ATP World Tour Masters 1000 title this week, which would tie Rafael Nadal’s record mark.

Earlier Wednesday, Canadian Milos Raonic set a third-round clash with fifth-seeded Czech Tomas Berdych after battling past Cypriot Marcos Baghdatis 6-7(6), 6-3, 6-4.

The 6’5’’ Raonic took the decisive break to go up 5-4 in the third set and served out the match after two hours and 15 minutes. He fired 22 aces and saved all six break points he faced, recording his second win in two meetings with former Australian Open finalist Baghdatis.

Looking ahead to his next match, Raonic said, "We're both going to be going for our shots. For myself, on my serve it's going to be a priority to really try to dictate as much as possible; on the returns, just sort of make him try to play as much as possible and hopefully create some opportunities with it."

In a match featuring five service breaks, 12th seed Marin Cilic edged American qualifier Jesse Levine 7-5, 7-6(6) to reach the third round. The Croatian is a winner of two ATP World Tour titles this season, at The Queen’s Club (d. Nalbandian) and Umag (d. Granollers), and improved to a 29-13 match record.

No. 14 seed Kei Nishikori rallied from a set down to beat American James Blake 2-6, 6-4, 6-4 in one hour and 37 minutes. The Japanese No. 1 is bidding to reach his second ATP World Tour Masters 1000 quarter-final and goes onto face Switzerland’s Stanislas Wawrinka, who ousted fourth-seeded Spaniard David Ferrer 6-4, 6-1. Wawrinka dropped just two points behind his first serve.

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