Roger Federer took a first step toward a seventh Cincinnati title on Tuesday night, beating Roberto Bautista Agut 6-4, 6-4 in his opening match. The Swiss star won the Western & Southern Open last year for his unprecedented sixth title at the longtime ATP Tour stop. He got a good start by easily handling the Spaniard, whom he has beaten in straight sets in all four of their matches. On the women's side, Maria Sharapova and Venus Williams dropped out of the tournament. Sharapova is still bothered by an injured right leg, and Williams came down with a virus. Sharapova withdrew from the Rogers Cup last week because of a strain in her upper right leg. She had hoped to get some matches in Cincinnati to get ready for the U.S. Open, but the leg was still bothering her. "I have been practicing here the last few days and I'm just looking at the U.S. Open in, you know, 11 or 12 days," Sharapova said. "It's a tough decision to make, but I think a wise one, in order to give myself the right amount of time to be as healthy as I can be for the Open." Venus Williams withdrew from her evening match against sixth-seeded Ana Ivanovic because of illness. Since losing to sister Serena at Wimbledon, she has made first-round exits at Istanbul and Toronto and had to withdraw from Cincinnati after one match. "After warmups, I get a feel for how the match might go or how much you can give or you can't give," she said. "I definitely would have liked to have more matches, but I have to use my experience now."
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