Andy Murray looked sharp in his first singles match since Wimbledon, rolling to a straight-sets win over Richard Gasquet at the Western and Southern Open. 

Murray defeated the veteran Frenchman 6-4 6-4 on a rainy opening day in Cincinnati, capitalising on a strong service game to advance. 

Murray had 14 aces to just two double faults and won 81 per cent of points on his first serve while saving four of the five break points he faced. 

A two-time champion at the ATP 1000 event, he will face the winner of Tuesday's match between Alejandro Davidovich Fokina and ninth seed Hubert Hurkacz in the second round. 

Two players who shared a birthday Monday also prevailed on their big day. 

On the day he turned 20, 11th seed Jannik Sinner defeated Federico Delbonis 6-2 7-5, while 10th seed Diego Schwartzman had to work a bit harder on his 28th birthday to down Daneil Evans 6-2 4-6 6-3. 

Elsewhere, 12th seed Felix Auger-Aliassime beat Marton Fucsovics 7-6 (7-0) 6-3, while 14th seed Alex de Minaur rallied to down Filip Krajinovic 0-6 6-4 6-4. 

Fifteenth seed David Goffin fell 6-3 6-3 to Guido Pella in the only seeded upset of the day. 

Other winners Monday included Karen Khachanov, Fabio Fognini, Lloyd Harris, Dominik Koepfer, Benoit Paire, Albert Ramos Vinolas and Mackenzie McDonald. 

Among those set to play their opening matches Tuesday are third seed Alexander Zverev, who will face Harris, and sixth seed Denis Shapovalov, who plays Paire. 

Naomi Osaka was reduced to tears on Monday in her first WTA Tour news conference since snubbing the media at the French Open.

Osaka withdrew from the second grand slam of the year at Roland Garros almost three months ago after declaring she would not fulfil press conference duties during the tournament.

The four-time major champion cited mental health concerns for reaching that decision and skipped Wimbledon before returning to action at the Tokyo Olympics on home soil.

Osaka, who revealed in Paris she had suffered "long bouts of depression" since winning the US Open in 2018, agreed to speak to the press as she prepares return to the WTA Tour at the Western and Southern in Cincinnati this week.

The world number two was emotional after being asked how she benefits from a high-media profile but does not like talking to media.

Osaka answered the question from the journalist, but the video call was paused as she cried before later resuming the press conference.

She said before pausing: "That's interesting: I would say the occasion, when to do the press conferences is what I feel is the most difficult.

"I'm actually very interested in that point of view. For me I feel this is something I can't really speak for everybody, I can only speak for myself.

"But ever since I was younger, I've had a lot of media interest on me, and I think it's because of my background as well as how I play.

"Because in the first place I'm a tennis player, which is why a lot of people are interested in me. So I would say in that regard I'm quite different to a lot of people, and I can't really help that there are some things I tweet or say that create a lot of news articles or things like that.

"But I would also say, I'm not really sure how to balance it too, I'm figuring it out at the same time as you are, I would say."

Osaka then broke down while the next question was being put to her, but was able to continue.

The 23-year-old was given a first-round bye in what will be her first WTA tournament since the French Open.

 

Novak Djokovic will not play at the Western and Southern Open after a "taxing" run that has brought him to the brink of a calendar Grand Slam.

The world number one's bid for a Golden Slam faltered at the Olympic Games as he lost to Alexander Zverev in the semi-finals in Tokyo.

Djokovic appeared to tire badly and finished fourth in both the men's singles event and the mixed doubles, opting out of the bronze medal match in the latter.

But victories at the Australian Open, French Open and Wimbledon mean 2021 is still on course to be the best year of Djokovic's career.

And the Serbian is taking a little time to prepare himself for the final push at Flushing Meadows, meaning no appearance in Cincinnati next week.

"Dear fans," he wrote on Twitter. "I wanted to share with you that I am taking a bit longer to recover and recuperate after quite a taxing journey from Australia to Tokyo.

"Sadly, that means I won’t be ready to compete in Cincinnati this year, so I'll turn my focus and attention to the US Open and spend some more time with family.

"See you in New York soon!"

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