5 takeaways from the Cincinnati Masters 2022 ft. Borna Coric's run to the title and Rafael Nadal's early exit

Rafael Nadal and Borna Coric had contrasting runs in Cincinnati
Rafael Nadal and Borna Coric had contrasting runs in Cincinnati

The Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati came to an end with Borna Coric beating the likes of Rafael Nadal and Stefanos Tsitsipas to win the men's singles tournament. Caroline Garcia won the women's singles competition by defeating Petra Kvitova in the final.

Coric, who returned to action a few months back following a shoulder injury, won his maiden Masters 1000 title by beating Stefanos Tsitsipas 7-6(0), 6-2 in the final.

In the women's singles tournament, Caroline Garcia became the first-ever qualifier to win a WTA 1000 title by beating Petra Kvitova 6-2, 6-4 in the final. The Frenchwoman had an extraordinary journey throughout the tournament and lifted her third WTA 1000 trophy.

This year's tournament saw some terrific tennis being played and a lot of surprising results. It was good to see some of the lower-ranked players have good runs and give the big guns a run for their money. All-in-all, the 2022 Western & Southern Open gave us a brilliant week with several wonderful moments.

On that note, let's take a look at 5 takeaways from the competition.

#1. Borna Coric is back

Borna Coric had an incredible tournament in Cincinnati as he went on to win it. A precocious talent, the Croat has struggled with injuries in the past and took a long break from tennis after undergoing shoulder surgery.

He returned to action during the claycourt season but did not produce too many impressive performances. Coric had a good run at the Hamburg European Open in july, where he reached the quarterfinals.

However, the Western & Southern Open was where he well and truly announced his return to glory. Coric produced arguably the upset of the tournament in the second round by defeating Rafael Nadal and later beating Roberto Bautista-Agut, Felix Auger-Aliassime and Cameron Norrie to reach the final. Here, he got the better of Stefanos Tsitsipas to win his maiden Masters 1000 title.

Having beaten four top-10 players en route to the title and a budding young talent in Lorenzo Musetti, it's safe to say that Borna Coric is back and we can't wait to see how he does for the remainder of the season.

#2. Rafael Nadal's defeat is not too concerning

Rafael Nadal lost his opening match in Cincinnati
Rafael Nadal lost his opening match in Cincinnati

Rafael Nadal suffered an early exit at the Western & Southern Open as he was eliminated by Coric in the second round. While this was a disappointing elimination for the Spaniard, it should not be too much of a concern given that he was playing for the first time since suffering an abdominal injury during Wimbledon.

Additionally, Coric is someone who has always made things difficult for Rafael Nadal. The Croat has a 3-2 head-to-head lead over him. Rafael Nadal was also the only player to manage to take a set from Coric this week.

Given that Rafael Nadal has some time to prepare for the US Open, we can expect him to be fully fit and have a good run at the Major.

#3. Caroline Garcia back in the Top 20

Caroline Garcia won her third WTA 1000 title by beating Petra Kvitova in the final of the Western & Southern Open.

The Frenchwoman had to go through the qualifying rounds of the competition in order to reach the main draw. Here, she beat the likes of Maria Sakkari, Jessica Pegula, Aryna Sabalenka and Petra Kvitova.

As a result, Garcia returned to the top 20 of the WTA rankings and is currently ranked 17th. The 28-year-old has been in pretty good form since the start of the Bad Homburg Open, winning 24 out of 28 matches. We can expect some strong performances from Garcia in the US Open and the tournaments that follow it.

#4. Petra Kvitova still has some left in the tank

Petra Kvitova produced a fine performance in Cincinnati as she reached the final of the tournament, beating Ons Jabeur and Madison Keys in the process.

The Czech may not have won the tournament but she showed that she is still capable of producing some good tennis and having deep runs in big tournaments.

Kvitova has won 12 out of 16 matches since the start of the grasscourt season, winning the Rothesay International in Eastbourne. Following her run in Cincinnati, the 33-year-old will be keen to do well at the US Open.

#5. Emma Raducanu gradually finding her rhythm at the right time

Emma Raducanu has had a pretty disappointing season so far and won only 11 out of 25 matches when she entered the Western & Southern Open. However, she managed to reach the last 16 of the competition with comprehensive wins over Serena Williams and Victoria Azarenka.

Raducanu eventually lost 6-4, 7-5 to Jessica Pegula in the third round but did give the American a tough fight.

The 19-year-old seems to be gradually finding her rhythm at just the right time as Raducanu will soon try to defend her title at the US Open.

While the Brit will be far from a favorite, she can have a good run if she is at her best.

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