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Williams bounces back

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MASON, Ohio—Serena Williams bounced back from the most lopsided loss of her career, cruising past Daria Gavrilova 6-1, 6-2 at the Western & Southern Open today.

Williams, a 23-time Grand Slam winner who returned to the tour this year after the birth of her first child, needed just 65 minutes to dispatch Gavrilova.

She'll face eighth-seeded Petra Kvitova in today's second round.

“You've got to be able to go back-to-back,” said Williams, a two-time Cincinnati champion.

“I don't get byes anymore right now. I'm OK with it,” she added.

Williams lost 6-1, 6-0 to Johanna Konta in San Jose, Calif. before withdrawing from last week's Rogers Cup in Montreal.

Tenth-seeded Novak Djokovic regrouped after blowing a 3-0 second-set lead to get past Steve Johnson, 6-4, 7-6 (4).

The reigning Wimbledon champion failed to convert eight match points before he finally put Johnson away.

Wild-card Stan Wawrinka, working his way back from two left knee surgeries, advanced with a 6-2, 4-6, 6-3 win over 12th-seeded Diego Schwartzman.

In yesterday's final match, unseeded Alize Cornet stunned 11th-seeded Jelena Ostapenko 1-6, 7-5, 6-0.

Earlier yesterday, Andy Murray lost to Lucas Pouille 6-1, 1-6, 6-4, clearing another obstacle for Roger Federer in this U.S. Open tune-up.

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 here since winning in 2015.

Canadian Denis Shapovalov was among the men's winners yesterday.

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