Ferrer narrowly avoids upset, advances to Cincinnati 3rd round

U.S. Sports Desk, Aug 14 (EFE).- Spain's David Ferrer overcame a big deficit in his match against Germany's Philipp Kohlschreiber before eking out a 6-7 (4-7), 7-6 (7-4), 7-6 (7-4) victory to advance to the third round of the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati, Ohio.

The 32-year-old No. 6 seed went down 7-6 (7-4), 5-2, but he played his best tennis to break Kohlschreiber's serve in the ninth game of the second set to stay alive in the contest.

Neither player would earn another service break, although Ferrer was forced to save two match points when serving at 5-6, 15-40, in the second set. He then handled the pressure better in the final two tiebreakers to squeak through in two hours and 42 minutes.

For the match, Kohlschreiber struck 18 aces and won 70 percent of his first-serve points, but Ferrer was stronger in the baseline rallies, evidenced by his superior winning percentage (62 percent to 47 percent) in second-serve points.

Each player broke his opponent's serve twice, with all four service breaks coming in the first two sets.

Next up for Ferrer in the round of 16 of the Cincinnati Masters will be Russia's Mikhail Youzhny, who on Tuesday upset Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, winner of last week's Toronto Masters event.

In other men's results on Wednesday, No. 2 seed Roger Federer defeated Canada's Vasek Pospisil 7-6 (7-4), 5-7, 6-2, No. 8 seed Andy Murray of Scotland cruised into the third round with a 6-3, 6-3 victory over Portugal's Joao Sousa, and Canadian No. 5 seed Milos Raonic trounced American Robby Ginepri 6-2, 6-2.

But Czech Tomas Berdych, the No. 4 seed, continued to struggle, losing to Taiwan's Lu Yen-hsun 3-6, 6-3, 6-4.

In women's singles, American top seed Serena Williams struggled with her form but pulled out a 7-6 (9-7), 7-6 (9-7) victory Wednesday over Australia's Sam Stosur, while Canadian No. 7 seed Eugenie Bouchard's post-Wimbledon slump continued with a 6-4, 3-6, 6-2 loss to Russia's Svetlana Kuznetsova.

The Western & Southern Open is one of the biggest hard-court events on the tennis calendar and a key tune-up for the year's final Grand Slam tournament, the U.S. Open, which gets underway on Aug. 25.