Cincinnati Masters 2019: Most number of title wins in Men's Singles in the Open Era
For a tournament that traces its roots to more than a century ago, the Cincinnati Masters has easily earned an esteemed spot in the tennis calendar. Currently, the Western and Southern Open is a part of the coveted nine Masters tournaments held throughout the year.
With the Lindner Family Tennis Center forming the venue, the Cincinnati Masters acts as a warm-up event before the final Grand Slam of the season ensues in Flushing Meadows, New York in the late half of August.
In the 2019 edition of the third-last Masters event of the year, Andy Murray made a comeback in Men's Singles after a seven-month layoff but it was short-lived as he fell in the first round itself to Frenchman Richard Gasquet. With the other big names like Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic, Alexander Zverev, Stefanos Tsitsipas yet to open their bid for the title, there is a lot more drama awaiting us from the hallowed grounds at Cincinnati.
Before the history books are opened yet again and the name of a new winner makes it to its pages, let's take a look at the past winners who have won the elusive title on most occasions in the Open Era.
#1 Roger Federer - 7 titles
Having turned a year younger by stepping into his 38th year, Roger Federer leads the tally of winners by a heavy margin. The Swiss Maestro has won the Cincinnati Masters a record 7 times, a massive feat in the Open Era. There is no slowing down for the man with 102 career titles as he has also been a finalist in the 2018 edition of the tournament.
Federer has won the event consecutively in 2014-15 and 2009-10 and singularly in 2005, 2007 and 2012. Quite the hard-court specialist, Federer has long since been a favourite at Cincinnati.
After a heartbreaking loss at the Wimbledon final last month where Novak Djokovic edged past Federer in a final set tie-break, Roger Federer must be in fine form to take charge on the hardcourts. History awaits him as he begins his bid against Juan Ignacio Londero of Argentina.
#2 Mats Wilander - 4 titles
Sweden's former World No. 1 Mats Wilander was another player who made the Cincinnati Open his happy hunting ground, as validated by his haul of four titles at this tournament. He mastered four different players in his four finals. With a swift 6-4, 6-4 win over John McEnroe, he conquered Cincinnati for the first time in 1983 and successfully defended it the next year with a 7-6, 6-3 win over compatriot, Anders Jarryd.
In 1986, he prevailed over Jimmy Connors 6-4, 6-1 in a lopsided final while going on to claim the title two years later with a hard-fought 3-6, 7-6, 7-6 victory over Stefan Edberg.
#3 Andre Agassi and Pete Sampras - 3 titles
American legends of tennis and former contemporaries, Andre Agassi and Pete Sampras have also won the title on three different occasions during their illustrious professional careers. Agassi won the Cincinnati Masters two times in a row in 1995-1996 by defeating fellow American Michael Chang in the finals in both the years.
The third occasion of his win came much later in 2004 when he defeated former Australian World Number 1 Lleyton Hewitt in a three-set battle. On the other hand, 14-time Grand Slam champion Pete Sampras won the Cincinnati Masters in 1992, 1997 and 1999.
#4 Andy Murray, Andy Roddick, Stefan Edberg, Michael Chang - 2 titles
The fourth position is shared by a quartet of Grand Slam champions. Andy Roddick, Andy Murray, Stefan Edberg and Michael Chang have each won the coveted title twice in their careers.
Andy Roddick is a legend of the sport whilst the 3-time Grand Slam champion, Andy Murray continues to struggle and put his name back in the Big Four. Roddick, a former World Number 1 and US Open champion, has won the Cincinnati Open in 2006 and 2003. Murray, on the other hand, has been plagued by injury over the last one year and has undergone hip surgeries. He has already exited the 2019 Cincinnati Open but the talented player still has potential to bounce back one of these days. Murray won in 2011 and 2008, defeating Novak Djokovic on both occasions.
Much earlier, another legend of the game, Edberg triumphed in 1987 and 1990 while Chang held the trophy aloft in back-to-back years in 1993 and 1994.