Mason, OH (Sports Network) - Slovakian Dominik Hrbaty cooled off world No. 1 Roger Federer in Tuesday's first-round action at the Western & Southern
Financial Group Masters the seventh of nine Masters Series events this year.
Hrbaty snapped Federer's 23-match winning streak with a 1-6, 7-6 (9-7), 6-4 stunner on the hardcourts at the Lindner Family Tennis Center. Federer's
winning streak was the best one on the ATP since Pete Sampras rattled off 24 straight wins in 1999.
The 26-year-old Hrbaty is now 2-0 lifetime against the "Fed," with the other win coming four years ago at the Paris Indoors. The Slovakian has now
beaten a No. 1 player in the world on four occasions. Federer, who hadn't lost since giving way to former world No. 1 Gustavo Kuerten at the French
Open back in May, leads the ATP with eight titles this season, one in which he's a sizzling 57-5.
The Swiss Federer, who will turn 23 on Sunday, had won his previous four events, including his second straight Wimbledon title last month. He also
collected trophies in Halle and Gstaad and was last week's titlist at the Canada Masters, where he downed Andy Roddick in a rematch of their recent
Wimbledon final. Fifth-seeded Brit Tim Henman, the 2000 Cincinnati runner-up, avoided an upset by pasting Moroccan Younes El Aynaoui 6-1, 6-0. El
Aynaoui appeared in only his third tournament of the year (0-3), having been sidelined by injury since January's Australian Open.
Seventh-seeded Spaniard Juan Carlos Ferrero also advanced, with a 6-4, 6-4 victory over speedy Frenchman Arnaud Clement. Another upset came when
Russian Mikhail Youzhny erased 13th-seeded Chilean Nicolas Massu 6-3, 3-6, 6-3. Massu titled on clay in Kitzbuhel just two weeks ago.
In matches involving Americans, Spaniard Tommy Robredo rolled past Taylor Dent 7-6 (7-4), 6-3; Jeff Morrison mauled Austrian Jurgen Melzer 7-6 (7-3),
6-2; and Moroccan Hicham Arazi bested Vincent Spadea 6-7 (3-7), 7-5, 5-3, as the American was forced to retire late in the third set due to heat
Hot German Nicolas Kiefer continued his winning ways with a 6-3, 7-6 (9-7) decision against hard-serving Swede Joachim Johansson. Kiefer recently
posted runner-up finishes in Los Angeles and Indianapolis and was a semifinalist at last week's Canada Masters, where he lost to the formidable
Roddick. Roddick also beat Kiefer in the RCA Championships title match two weeks ago.
Kiefer has won 13-of-16 matches over the last few weeks.
Other first-round wins came for Argentine Mariano Zabaleta, Spaniard Feliciano Lopez and Swedes Jonas Bjorkman and Thomas Johansson, a semifinal loser
against Federer in Toronto last week.
The winner of this $2.45 million event will collect $400,000.