Andy Murray, of Great Britain, chases down a return from Lucas Pouille, of France, in the first round at the Western & Southern Open, Monday, Aug. 13, 2018, in Mason, Ohio. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

Murray loses in Cincinnati, clearing Federer's path

August 13, 2018 - 3:59 pm

MASON, Ohio (AP) — Andy Murray lost to Lucas Pouille 6-1, 1-6, 6-4 in the first round of the Western & Southern Open on Monday, clearing another obstacle for Roger Federer in this U.S. Open tuneup.

Top-seeded Rafael Nadal dropped out Sunday night to prepare for the U.S. Open after winning his fifth title of the year in Toronto.

Federer, seeded second, has won in Cincinnati a record seven times but hasn't played there since winning in 2015. In 2016 he had a knee injury, and in 2017 he had back problems.

This marked the first full day of main-draw competition. Winners included Victoria Azarenka and Kei Nishikori. Azarenka, a two-time Australian Open champion, is playing as a wild card.

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