In a tournament which dates back to 1899, Federer who has won this event in 2005,2007,2009,2010,2012 & 2014 made short work of Spaniard Roberto Bautista Agut 6-4,6-4, and stayed on course for a quarter-final showdown with arch rival Rafael Nadal who opens his campaign today with a first round match against Frenchman Jeremy Chardy, last weeks semi-finalist at the Roger’s Cup. Federer’s coach Stefan Edberg too won the title six times.
The reigning U.S. Open champion Marin Cilic of Croatia beat Joao Sousa of Portugal 6-4,6-2, while Berdych beat the left handed Brazilian Thomaz Bellucci 6-2,6-3 Grigor Dmitrov won two tie-breaks against the qualifier Vasek Pospisil of Canada 7-6(4), 7-6(5). Another qualifier Alexandr Dolgopolov of Ukraine beat the Australian Bernard Tomic 6-4,6-1, and Ivo Karlovic beat Martin Kilzan of Slovak Republic 6-3,7-6(2).
Meanwhile in first round matches, four seeded players bit the dust. The ninth seeded Milos Raonic, still struggling from foot injury suffered in May, was beaten by the veteran southpaw Feliciano Lopez of Spain, Ivo Karlovic edged out the 10th seed Giles Simon of France in three sets, while Sam Querrey won an all American clash against the Atlanta winner John Isner. Also beaten was Gael Monfils, the no. 14 seed looked disinterested and was even accused of tanking his match against Jerzy Janowicz of Poland, losing 4-6,5-7.
The four remaining lower seeds survived their first round matches as 12th seeded Richard Gasquet, 13th seed David Goffin, 15th seed Kevin Anderson. Grigor Dmitrov, seeded 16th, had already advanced on Monday as he beat Lucas Rosol of Czech Republic. He then won his round of 32 match on Tuesday. Novak Djokovic looking to win the only remaining ATP 1000 to have eluded him opens up today, as do the 2013 champion Nadal and the 2008 & 2011 champion Andy Murray. Kei Nishikori meanwhile withdrew due to a hip injury.
– Rasesh Mehta [Rasesh Mehta is an analyst with the Tennis Galaxy.You can reach him at the email: firstname.lastname@example.org]