News

Big names begin final U.S. Open tune-up in Cincinnati

Big names begin final U.S. Open tune-up in Cincinnati

Former U.S. Open champion Samantha Stosur continued her buildup to the season's final grand slam. Photo: Reuters

(Reuters) – Former U.S. Open champion Samantha Stosur continued her buildup to the season’s final grand slam with a convincing 6-1 7-5 win over Russia’s Svetlana Kuznetsova in first round action at the Western and Southern Open on Monday.

The Australian 11th seed is among a host of former-grand slam winners making an appearance on the Cincinnati hardcourts this week, the joint event likely to be the final tune-up for the top players from both the WTA and ATP ahead of the U.S. Open later this month.

American world number one Serena Williams, fresh off her win in Toronto, headlines a star studded women’s field that will feature the top 20 ranked players.

The men’s side of the draw is no less impressive with world number one Novak Djokovic, Wimbledon champion Andy Murray, Rafa Nadal, also a winner in Canada on Sunday, and Roger Federer taking center stage.

With the top seeds receiving first round byes some of the bigger names will begin to ease into the action on Tuesday with Federer, seeking to add to his five Cincinnati titles, opening his account against Germany’s Philipp Kohlschreiber.

On the women’s side, world number three Maria Sharapova, healthy again after a lengthy injury layoff, returns to the court for the first time since Wimbledon against American Sloane Stephens.

The opening day of play on Monday saw plenty of upsets on the men’s side with 13th seeded Spaniard Nicolas Almagro, number 14 Fabio Fognini of Italy and 16th seed Jerzey Janowicz of Poland all falling at the first hurdle.

Almagro was stopped 7-6 (3) 6-4 by Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov while Czech Radek Stepanek dumped Fognini 6-2 6-4 and wildcard American James Blake eliminated Janowicz 6-1 7-5.

In contrast, all went according to script in women’s action with ninth seeded German Angelique Kerber battling past Italian qualifier Karin Knapp 6-7(6) 6-0 6-1, while 12th seeded Roberta Vinci of Italy also needed three sets to see off American Bethanie Mattek-Sands 6-4 5-7 6-3

Russian 16th seed Maria Kirilenko was a 4-6 7-6 (4) 7-6 (4) winner over Georgian Anna Tatishvili, while unseeded Venus Williams swept past Slovakia’s Jana Cepelova 6-4 6-1 to the approval of the home crowd.

Swiss Martina Hingis continued her return to competition teaming up with Slovakian Daniela Hantuchova for a 4-6 6-4 10-5 first round doubles win over Spain’s Anabel Medina Garrigues and Italian Flavia Pennetta.

Recent Headlines

4 hours ago in Local

18yo arrested on suspicion of abandoning son in Everett dumpster

baby

Police got a tip this week that she had been pregnant and then appeared not to be pregnant anymore, refusing to talk about what happened.

13 hours ago in Local

Ulta Beauty and Sephora coming to Bellingham

beauty products

Ulta Beauty is setting up shop next to Abercrombie and Fitch in the Bellis Fair Mall, and Sephora will be opening in JC Penny.

14 hours ago in Local

National pharmaceutical company forced to pay state $23 million

pharmacy

The State Attorney General says drug-maker Wyeth, which is owned by Pfizer, underpaid Medicaid.

19 hours ago in Local

A rapist from Bellingham is sentenced to nine months

prison

it could have been much longer.

1 day ago in Local

A rental scam to watch out for in Whatcom County

rent graphic

The scammer was obviously hoping to get money before the renters learned it was a scam.