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Federer vs Mayer tennis live streaming, preview and predictions – Federer out to extend Cincinnati Masters winning streak to 12 matches

Hannah Wilks in ATP Tour 17 Aug 2018
  • Roger Federer faces Leonardo Mayer in the third round of the Cincinnati Masters
  • Federer vs Mayer is live from Cincinnati on Friday around 1.30pm local time (6.30pm BST)
Roger Federer (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

Roger Federer continues his return to competition after a post-Wimbledon break as he takes on Leonardo Mayer for a place in the quarterfinals of the Cincinnati Masters.

Seven-time Cincinnati Masters champion Roger Federer continues his campaign at the Western & Southern Open, where he is on an 11-match winning streak, as he takes on Leonardo Mayer in the round of 16 on Friday.
Federer in action against Peter Gojoczwyk (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Federer fans may have a slight shudder at the mention of Mayer’s name, since their idol and the Argentine played a memorable, heart-in-mouth match at the Shanghai Rolex Masters in 2014. Mayer had a match point on Federer at 4-5 in the third set which only an unlucky bounce off the net cord saved, and would have four more match points in the ensuing tie-break before Federer completed a comeback win from 2-5 down in said tie-break. 

It’s worth noting, though, that when they met again just under a year later at the 2015 US Open, Mayer got just five games – and that’s spread over three sets.

Federer, playing his first event since losing in the quarterfinals of Wimbledon to Kevin Anderson in an extended fifth set, said in pre-tournament press that he was ‘anxious’ to be back in action, but there was not much anxiety evident in his second-round win over Peter Gojowczyk on Tuesday. 

‘I felt good in that first match, to be honest, walking out, hardly any nerves,’ Federer said. ‘I think I knew what I wanted to do, what I had to do. Game plan is very simple. It's straightforward, it's fast-court tennis.

‘I'm only feeling better every day that has gone by after Wimbledon. So it's nice to have played a match so my last match is not the Anderson match, so you've kind of turned the page, I guess, in that regard. It's a good thing.’

Even if Federer didn’t perform at his best, which is not too surprising after over a month out of competition, the seven-time Cincinnati champion was a fairly comfortable 6-4, 6-4 champion in 73 minutes, saving all five of the break points he faced, feasting on his opponent’s second serve and generally staying in control throughout.

‘I do believe usually it takes two or three matches to get going… like aiming for the lines, finding the rhythm on the serve, being able to serve very accurate, time and time again, getting used to the balls, how the ball flies,’ Federer said. ‘That's why I'm always happy when I clear the first hurdle of any event, because it gives me an opportunity to actually play better the next time around.’

With Rafael Nadal, the last man to beat Federer in Cincinnati back in 2013, out of the tournament after winning the Rogers Cup, seven-time champion Federer has to be considered favourite for the title as he prepares to face Mayer on Friday.

Leonardo Mayer  (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
Ranked as high as world no. 21 in 2015, Argentina’s Mayer comes into the Cincinnati Masters, where he had never won a main-draw match before this year, ranked world no. 50. The 31-year-old is surely unusual, if not unique, among his colleagues in that both his ATP World Tour titles so far have come at 500 level, claiming as he did the Hamburg title in 2014 and 2017 (a considerably more remarkable run – he was a lucky loser at the time). 

It’s been a good year for Mayer so far, albeit almost exclusively on clay. He was a quarterfinalist at 250 events in Buenos Aires and Sao Paulo in February, and made the round of 16 at the Indian Wells Masters in March, although it should be noted he took advantage of a rather soft draw (Victor Estrella Burgos, Ruben Bemelmans and Taro Daniel were his opponents before losing to Juan Martin del Potro in three sets). Mayer also made the third round in Madrid, where he beat the more impressive duo of Fabio Fognini and Fernando Verdasco, and he made a gallant fist of defending his Hamburg title, beating Gael Monfils and Diego Schwartzman to reach the final before losing to Nikoloz Basilashvili.

Mayer booked his place in the round of 16 in Cincinnati by beating qualifier Michael Mmoh and then Lucas Pouille, who had beaten an erratic Andy Murray in the first round, 7-6(7), 6-4. The Argentine with the single-handed backhand can be a shotmaker when he wants to be and has played some great tennis against top opponents in the past, but he is just 2-29 against top-10 players and the fact that he is 0-2 against Federer despite the once-in-a-lifetime performance he produced four years ago in Shanghai suggests strongly that it will be the seven-time Cincinnati Masters champion who comes through to the quarterfinals once more at the Western & Southern Open.

Federer vs Mayer third-round tennis is live from Cincinnati on Friday around 1.30pm local time (6.30pm BST)

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Federer vs Mayer tennis live streaming, preview and predictions – Federer out to extend Cincinnati Masters winning streak to 12 matches

Roger Federer vs Leonardo Mayer live streaming, preview and predictions for the Cincinnati Masters third-round match on Friday 17 August 2018: Mayer has pushed Federer before but looks unlikely to beat the seven-time champion

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