Cincinnati Masters 2019: Men's singles draw analysis
The US Open Series tournaments started with the BB&T Atlanta Open where the Australian Alex de Minaur defeated the young American Taylor Fritz, 6-3, 7-6(2), thereby winning his second ATP title following his triumph at Sydney earlier this year.
This tournament was followed by the Citi Open in Washington and it delivered beyond expectations with the sudden and volatile resurgence of yet another Australian Nick Kyrgios. He looked determined throughout the week as he overcame challenges in the form of Tsitsipas, Medvedev, and Simon. The title win in Citi Open for Kyrgios was immediately succeeded by a first-round loss to Kyle Edmund in Rogers Cup.
The Canadian Masters (Rogers Cup) witnessed Rafael Nadal winning his 35th ATP Masters 1000 title after easing past the young Russian Daniil Medvedev, 6-3, 6-0. Nadal had the advantage of not playing the semis as the Frenchman Gael Monfils withdrew once again after battling his heart out against Roberto Bautista Agut in the quarter-finals.
Rafael Nadal had already announced his decision to skip Cincinnati Masters due to fatigue and this leaves us with Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer returning to action after an epic Wimbledon final that saw Federer losing to Djokovic once again.
Let's look at the men's singles draw for Cincinnati Masters:
The top half is flooded with high-ranking players like Djokovic, Federer, Medvedev, Tsitsipas, and Khachanov. Along with this, players like Fognini, Shapovalov, and Kyrgios are also present in the top half.
Grigor Dimitrov, who recently lost to Stan Wawrinka in the first round of the Rogers Cup in straight sets, will once again face Wawrinka in the first round in Cincinnati.
Apart from this, Fabio Fognini, who is seeded 10 in the tournament, will be facing Denis Shapovalov in the first round.
The defending champion, Novak Djokovic will await the winner of Sam Querrey and Pierre-Hughes Herbert for a place in the third round whereas last year's runner-up Roger Federer will either face Matteo Berrettini or Juan Ignacio Londero in the second round.
Nick Kyrgios will face the young Italian Lorenzo Sonego to set up an interesting contest with the Russian Karen Khachanov in the second round. This will be their first tour-level meeting and it promises to be an enthralling encounter of power vs precision between the two.
If there is no surprise, Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic will be facing each other in the semi-finals.
This half is quite interesting as the chance of predicting a possible quarter-final is tough because it has players like Gael Monfils, Alexander Zverev, Roberto Bautista Agut, Marin Cilic, Dominic Thiem, David Goffin as well as Andy Murray, who is making his much-awaited return.
Gael Monfils recently retired before his semi-final contest against Rafael Nadal in Montreal and there is no information on his appearance in Cincinnati Open either. But, if he participates in the tournament, he will be facing Frances Tiafoe in the first round.
Andy Murray, who made a comeback by partnering Feliciano Lopez in doubles, had accepted a wildcard entry to Cincinnati Masters. He will face the Frenchman Richard Gasquet in the first round.
David Goffin, who was unable to find his rhythm for most of the year, will be facing the young American Taylor Fritz in his first round match.
Felix Auger Aliassime, who lost to Karen Khachanov in the third round of Rogers Cup recently, will face Alexander Zverev in the second round. The young Canadian is yet to find his highest level on tour and playing back-to-back tournaments might just benefit this youngster. With Alexander Zverev gaining lost ground after some tough times off the court, he managed to reach the quarter-finals of Rogers Cup where he lost to Karen Khachanov in straight sets.
Borna Coric is also present in the bottom half and will face Reilly Opelka in the first round.
Potential Quarter-final matches:
1) Novak Djokovic vs Karen Khachanov/Nick Kyrgios
2) Roger Federer vs Daniil Medvedev/Stefanos Tsitsipas
3) Dominic Thiem vs Roberto Bautista Agut
4) Kei Nishikori/ Borna Coric vs David Goffin
Some Interesting early round matches:
1) Fabio Fognini vs Denis Shapovalov
2) Grigor Dimitrov vs Stan Wawrinka
3) Daniil Medvedev vs Kyle Edmund
4) Gael Monfils vs Frances Tiafoe
5) Andy Murray vs Richard Gasquet
6) David Goffin vs Taylor Fritz
1) Karen Khachanov vs Nick Kyrgios
2) Alexander Zverev vs Felix Auger Aliassime
3) David Goffin vs Guido Pella
4) Stan Wawrinka vs Nikoloz Basilashvili