Ward Strokes On At Cincinnati Open

•Venus Crashes As Sharapova Advances –

James Ward is through to the second round of the Western & Southern Open after a 6-2 3-6 6-1 victory over Spain’s Guillermo Garcia-Lopez.
The British number two broke twice in the first and third sets in Cincinnati.
Ward, 27, next meets Julien Benneteau on Wednesday after the Frenchman beat Blaz Rola 6-7 (7-9) 6-3 7-6 (9-7).
Elsewhere, Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga suffered a first-round defeat, going down 6-1 6-4 to Russia’s Mikhail Youzhny.
Londoner Ward, who progressed to the first round proper after qualifier victories over world number 78 Tobias Kamke of Germany and France’s Paul-Henri Mathieu, settled into his rhythm immediately and broke the Spaniard in the first game.
In the women’s competition, Venus Williams lost 6-7 (2-7) 6-3 6-4 to 16th seed Lucie Safarova, fifth seed Maria Sharapova overcame American Madison Keys in their evening second-round contest 6-1 3-6 6-3 in just under two hours and Caroline Wozniacki beat China’s Zhang Shuai 6-2 6-3.

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