|Dominik Hrbaty (L) of Slovakia is congratulated by Roger Federer of Switzerland after Hrbaty beat Federer during the Western and Southern Financial Group Masters tennis tournament© Getty Images|
MASON, Ohio (Ticker) - Apparently, Roger Federer of Switzerland is human after all. Federer, the world No. 1, had a 23-match winning streak snapped Tuesday by unseeded Dominik Hrbaty of Slovakia, 1-6, 7-6 (9-7), 6-4, in the first round of the Tennis Masters Series Cincinnati. Federer had won 31 of his last 32 matches and three tournaments on three different surfaces - grass at Wimbledon, clay at Gstaad and hard at Toronto. He slipped to 57-5 this year.
Defending champion Andy Roddick, who lost to Federer in the finals at Wimbledon and Toronto, outlasted Max Mirnyi of Belarus in the featured night match Tuesday, 6-7 (5-7), 7-6 (8-6), 6-3, in a rematch of a semifinal match here last year. After neither player broke serve in the first two sets, Roddick broke Mirnyi in the third and ninth games of the final set, taking the last game at love. Both players had 56 winners, but Roddick committed just 11 unforced errors to Mirnyi's 19. Roddick is looking to become just the third player to successfully defend his title here, following Michael Chang in 1994 and Andre Agassi in 1996.
In other first-round matches Tuesday, fifth seed Tim Henman of Great Britain crushed Younes El Aynaoui of Morocco, 6-1, 6-0, and No. 7 Juan Carlos Ferrero of Spain beat Frenchman Arnaud Clement, 6-4, 6-4. But No. 12 Sebastien Grosjean of France was upset by Robin Soderling of Sweden, 3-6, 6-3, 6-4, and No. 13 Nicolas Massu of Chile was felled by Mikhail Youzhny of Russia, 6-3, 3-6, 6-3. Third-seeded Guillermo Coria withdrew due to a shoulder injury.