CINCINNATI: Serena Williams and last week’s Toronto champion Belinda Bencic reached the third round of the WTA Cincinnati Masters event on Wednesday (Thursday in Manila).
Bencic continued her run of form, reaching the third round over Flavia Pennetta 6-1, 6-4.
Holder Williams, whom the Swiss teenager beat in the Canadian semifinals, beat Tsvetana Pironkova 7-5, 6-3 while runner-up Simona Halep struggled to overcome Kristina Mladenovic 7-5, 5-7, 6-4.
Caroline Garcia beat fourth seed Petra Kvitova 7-5, 4-6, 6-2 after another night rainstorm which pushed finishing time of some matches to after midnight.
Victoria Azarenka upset fifth seed Caroline Wozniacki 6-0, 6-4.
Wawrinka unhappy over Kyrgios ‘apology’
Stan Wawrinka accused Aussie bad boy Nick Kyrgios of failing to properly apologize for his lurid outburst towards the Swiss star after struggling into the third round of the ATP Cincinnati Masters event.
Kyrgios made worldwide headlines last week after crude remarks concerning Wawrinka’s reported girlfriend, teenager Donna Vekic, during a match against the Swiss ace in Montreal.
World number five Wawrinka admitted the controversy was still on his mind on Wednesday after fighting back from a set down to defeat Croa¬tia’s Borna Coric 3-6, 7-6 (3), 6-3.
Third seed Andy Murray ended the Cincinnati career of retiring Mardy Fish 6-4, 7-6 (7/1) in a post-midnight finish after the rain. Rafael Nadal concluded even later as he defeated Jeremy Chardy 6-3, 6-4.
Kyrgios, who was fined by the ATP for his courtside sledge, later issued a statement apologizing for his remarks, insisting they were made “in the heat of the moment.”
However Wawrinka said Kyrgios’s apology didn’t go far enough.
“He didn’t really apologize to the people. He should. That’s it. That simple,” Wawrinka said.
“There was a lot of anger in the locker room about what he did. As a player, you realize more what he did and what is the consequence for the private lives of people involved.
“They were not just a few words. With one sentence, he can touch and hurt a lot of people. I had a lot of support in the locker room, that’s for sure.”
Wawrinka, who is divorcing his wife of six years, insisted however that the ugly controversy would not derail his preparations for the US Open.