Cincinnati Masters 2019: Matches to watch out for on Day 3
Tennis stalwarts took to court in Cincinnati for the 2019 Western & Southern Open, coming up with varying results. While Maria Sharapova and Venus Williams came through in straight sets, it was curtains for Andy Murray, who lost to Richard Gasquet in the opening round.
There were plenty of other keenly-contested three-set matches on the second day of the tournament. First round action will continue in Cincinnati on Day 3 as well, with other big names taking on each other.
Here is a look at some of the highly-anticipated matchups tonight:
Stan Wawrinka vs Grigor Dimitrov: The two former top-10 players are set to clash in the opening round here. While neither of the two had the best of results in the past couple of months, they are more than capable of playing a big game on their given day.
Wawrinka has won both their encounters in 2019 in straight sets. In fact, the last time Dimitrov won against the Swiss was back in 2016. That said, the Bulgarian No. 1 is perfectly capable of turning over a new leaf, especially on hard courts. He will, however, have to be at his best to topple Stan, who will himself be looking to be ready for the US Open.
Novak Djokovic vs Sam Querrey: While Djokovic will be an overwhelming favourite for this one, he will have to be wary of his big-serving opponent. It was Querrey who upset the Serb in their last encounter back in 2016 at the Championships.
Querrey is also fresh off another quarterfinal finish at Wimbledon this year and will be looking to build on that. However, the courts in Cincinnati are not the same as the Wimbledon grass and one has to give Djokovic the edge in these conditions. This match has the makings of an intriguing clash nonetheless.
Other notable matches:
Gael Monfils vs Frances Tiafoe
Daniil Medvedev vs Kyle Edmund
David Goffin Vs Taylor Fritz
Venus Williams vs Kiki Bertens: These two big-hitting opponents have played each other twice previously, with both of their matches being marathon three-setters. This year has thrown up divided results for them. Bertens has had some of the best results of her career in 2019 whereas Venus is still looking to find footing in the season.
That said, one can expect a cracker of a match from the two. Venus' flatter groundstrokes should work better on the surface over Bertens' spin-heavy shots, but the American has been prone to errors in her matches throughout the year. If she can limit those mistakes and play her best tennis, she will run away with this one.
Petra Kvitova vs Maria Sakkari: Both Kvitova and Sakkari have had some good results this year coming into the US hardcourt swing. Kvitova, who started off the year in the best possible way, has been dealing with a forearm injury since the French Open and has played little since. She did inspire confidence in her game at Wimbledon before bowing out to a red-hot Johanna Konta.
Sakkari, on the other hand, has played consistently throughout the year, winning a WTA title as well. She lost to Kvitova in straight sets on the Miami hardcourts, but has the added advantage of having played two matches in Cincinnati.
Much of this match will depend on how Kvitova handles her groundstrokes and that arm injury. If fully fit, she might prove to be too strong for the Greek No. 1.
Other notable matches:
Julia Goerges vs Sofia Kenin
Victoria Azarenka vs Belinda Bencic
Angelique Kerber vs Anett Kontaveit