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Cincinnati 2022: Men's singles draw analysis, preview and prediction | Western & Southern Open

Rafael Nadal and Carlos Alcaraz will look to light up the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati
Rafael Nadal and Carlos Alcaraz will look to light up the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati

It's only a matter of time until the Western & Southern Open kicks off in Cincinnati. Last year, Alexander Zverev won the men's singles competition by beating Andrey Rublev in the final. However, the German will not be able to defend his title this season as he is still recovering from the ankle injury he suffered during the French Open.

Novak Djokovic will not be competing either, as he is unable to travel to the United States due to being unvaccinated against COVID-19. However, we still have a number of top players competing in this year's competition and it will be interesting to see who stands above the rest in Cincinnati.

So without any further ado, let's take a look at how the men's singles draw at the Western & Southern Open could unfold.

ATP Cincinnati main draw https://t.co/JOaORk5w0J

First quarter: Daniil Medvedev will look to have a long run in Cincinnati

Seeded players: (1) Daniil Medvedev, (6) Andrey Rublev, (11) Taylor Fritz, (16) Grigor Dimitrov

Expected quarterfinal: Daniil Medvedev vs Andrey Rublev

Dark horse: Nick Kyrgios

Analysis: Top seed Daniil Medvedev is among the favorites to win the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati and will face either Botic van de Zandschulp or Maxime Cressy in the second round. The Russian may not have a cakewalk draw but should be able to reach the last 16.

Here, his potential opponents include Tommy Paul, Jenson Brooksby, Denis Shapovalov and 16th seed Grigor Dimitrov. Either of the four will be tough to beat, but Medvedev will be favored to get the better of whoever he faces and book his place in the quarterfinals.

Last year's runner-up Andrey Rublev and Nick Kyrgios are in the other half of the quarter and they could face off in the last 16. However, 11th seed Taylor Fritz stands a chance of getting the better of Kyrgios if they lock horns in the second round.

If the Australian faces Rublev in the last 16, it will be a match to watch. Kyrgios defeated the World No. 8 at the Miami Masters a few months back but given the Aussie's fatigue from playing so many matches, the Russian could get the better of him to reach the quarterfinals.

Quarterfinal prediction: Daniil Medvedev def. Andrey Rublev.


Second quarter: Stefanos Tsitsipas and Hubert Hurkacz could lock horns in the last eight

Hubert Hurkacz has a fair chance of reaching another Masters 1000 semifinal
Hubert Hurkacz has a fair chance of reaching another Masters 1000 semifinal

Seeded players: (4) Stefanos Tsitsipas, (8) Hubert Hurkacz, (12) Matteo Berrettini, (13) Diego Schwartzman

Expected quarterfinal: Stefanos Tsitsipas vs Hubert Hurkacz

Dark horse: John Isner

Analysis: This is quite a tricky quarter with fourth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas, eighth seed Hubert Hurkacz and 12th seed Matteo Berrettini present. 13th seed Diego Schwartzman is no slouch either.

Tsitsipas' second-round opponent will most likely be Dan Evans, who is currently in the semifinals of the Canadian Open. The Greek should be able to reach the last 16, where his opponent would most likely be Schwartzman. The two played out a thrilling encounter in Monte-Carlo and we could see another in Cincinnati.

However, Tsitsipas will most likely come out on top and book his place in the quarterfinals.

The other half of this quarter could see Hurkacz take on Berrettini in the last 16, although the likes of John Isner, Frances Tiafoe and Karen Khachanov should not be written off.

The Pole has been in pretty good form lately and will play in the semifinals of the Canadian Open. If they face off in the last four, Berrettini is bound to give Hurkacz a run for his money but the Pole will likely come out on top given the Italian's defensive shortcomings and tendency to hit too many unforced errors.

Quarterfinal prediction: Hubert Hurkacz def. Stefanos Tsitsipas.


Third quarter: Casper Ruud and Carlos Alcaraz make for exciting potential quarterfinal

Casper Ruud and Carlos Alcaraz could lock horns in the quarterfinals of the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati
Casper Ruud and Carlos Alcaraz could lock horns in the quarterfinals of the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati

Seeded players: (3) Carlos Alcaraz, (5) Casper Ruud, (9) Cameron Norrie, (13) Marin Cilic

Expected quarterfinal: Casper Ruud vs Carlos Alcaraz

Dark horse: Stan Wawrinka

Analysis: This is another exciting quarter with two brilliant youngsters in Casper Ruud and Carlos Alcaraz along with Cameron Norrie and the experienced Marin Cilic.

Ruud has produced some wonderful tennis in Montreal and we could see him do the same in Cincinnati. The Norwegian faces either a qualifier or Ben Shelton in the second round, so he should be able to make it to the third round.

Here, his possible opponents include Stan Wawrinka and Cameron Norrie. The latter should be able to reach the last 16, where he could potentially face Ruud.

Carlos Alcaraz is among the favorites to win the Western & Southern Open in CIncinnati and should have little trouble reaching the last 16, where he will most likely face Cilic. The Spaniard has been in sizzling form this season and should be able to get the better of the Croat.

Quarterfinal prediction: Carlos Alcaraz def. Casper Ruud


Fourth quarter: Rafael Nadal will aim to win his second title in Cincinnati

Rafael Nadal is one of the heavy favorites to win the Western & Southern Open
Rafael Nadal is one of the heavy favorites to win the Western & Southern Open

Seeded Players: (2) Rafael Nadal, (7) Felix Auger-Aliassime, (10) Jannik Sinner, (15) Roberto Bautista Agut

Expected quarterfinal: Rafael Nadal vs Felix Auger-Aliassime

Dark horse: Francisco Cerundolo

Analysis: Rafael Nadal will return to action in Cincinnati and will be among the favorites to win the Western & Southern Open.

The Spaniard could face Borna Coric in the second round and should be able to reach the last 16 in Cincinnati. Next up for him will be either Francisco Cerundolo or Roberto Bautista Agut.

The former gave him a tough fight at Wimbledon while the latter is formidable on his day. However, Nadal should get the better of either of the two and reach the quarterfinals.

The other half of this quarter has Canadian Open quarterfinalist Felix Auger-Aliassime and Jannik Sinner, both of whom could lock horns with each other in the last 16. While Alex de Minaur and Pablo Carreno Busta are capable of providing a stern challenge, the two youngsters from Italy and Canada should be able to reach the third round.

Here, it will likely be a tough battle and Auger-Aliassime will be favored to defeat the Italian and reach back-to-back quarterfinals.

Projected #CincyTennis quarter-finals (by seeding): Medvedev v RublevπŸ‡¬πŸ‡· Tsitsipas v Hurkacz πŸ‡΅πŸ‡±πŸ‡³πŸ‡΄ Ruud v Alcaraz πŸ‡ͺπŸ‡ΈπŸ‡¨πŸ‡¦ Auger-Aliassime v Nadal πŸ‡ͺπŸ‡Έ

Quarterfinal prediction: Rafael Nadal def. Felix Auger-Aliassime.


Prediction for semifinals

Daniil Medvedev def. Hubert Hurkacz

Rafael Nadal def. Carlos Alcaraz


Prediction for the final: Rafael Nadal def. Daniil Medvedev

Rafael Nadal and wife Maria Francisca Perello spotted with infant son. click here for pictures.

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Edited by Keshav Gopalan
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