Gael Monfils of France plays a return to Jerzy Janowicz of Poland.
CINCINNATI - Venus survives first round scare to set up Ivanovic clash
Gael Monfils was accused of "tanking" during his first-round defeat at the Western and Southern Open in Cincinnati on Monday when the 14th-seeded Frenchman lost to Poland's Jerry Janowicz 6-4 7-5 in 75 minutes on Monday.
Monfils served so quickly in the second set that ball boys barely had time to get into position after each point before play resumed.
At one stage, television commentators joked that they thought Monfils was in such a hurry because he had a tee time booked to play golf.
During one rally, he turned his back on his opponent briefly, prompting disbelief in the commentary box.
"To not give 100 percent and be so blatant about it, I think it's disrespectful," two-time US Open champion Tracy Austin said on the Tennis Channel.
"It looked like exhibition tennis. We've seen that way too many times with him.
"With Gael, it's so difficult to watch because you know his upside ceiling could be so big but he just goes away and doesn't even try."
Despite his apparent indifference, Monfils actually had a set point in the second before succumbing to the big-serving Pole.
Monfils' 10th-seeded compatriot Gilles Simon was also sent packing after losing 6-4 6-7(3) 6-3 to Croatia's Ivo Karlovic, who blasted 35 aces and outlasted the Frenchman in a long match that was extended by a rain delay.
In later action, Thanasi Kokkinakis won a three-set battle against Fabio Fognini 4-6 6-2 6-3 as his tennis did the talking after his name made controversial headlines last week.
Fellow Australian Nick Kyrgios taunted opponent Stan Wawrinka in a Rogers Cup match in Montreal that Kokkinakis had slept with the Swiss player's girlfriend, drawing a fine and the ire of the tennis world.
Venus Williams held off young challenger Zarina Diyas 7-6 (6) 6-4 on Monday to reach the second round where she will meet Ana Ivanovic.
Diyas, a rising 21-year-old from Kazakhstan, fell behind in both sets but refused to back down.
Veteran Williams managed to win the opening set tie-breaker 8-6 and hit 32 winners in the match, sending a brief reminder of her old form.
A seven-time Grand Slam champion, Williams has long fallen into the background behind younger sister Serena, who will be shooting for the Calendar Year Grand Slam and attempt to win her 22nd major title at the US Open in a couple of weeks.
"Preparations are underway (for the US Open) but it still doesn't feel that close," Venus told reporters. "My opponent (Diyas) played so well today. She was so determined out there."
Venus will now face ninth-ranked Ivanovic, seeded sixth in the tournament, in the second round. - Agencies
The tournament's opening day featured a couple of upsets as ninth seed Garbine Muguruza of Spain went down to Yaroslava Shvedova 6-4 7-6. Timea Bacsinszky, the 12th seed, also fell to Madison Keys 6-4 6-3.
Germany's Andrea Petkovic and former world number one Jelena Jankovic both advanced.