Cincinnati Open 2019: Men's singles quarter-finals, preview
In the previous Masters 1000 event at Cincinnati, qualifier Andrey Rublev stunned the seven-time Cincinnati Open champion Roger Federer in straight sets 6-3, 6-4 to script a magnificent story of his remarkable success in their 3rd round encounter.
On the back of his fine show, Rublev now advances to meet his upbeat compatriot and Rogers Cup finalist Daniil Medvedev in their upcoming quarter-final tussle.
Apart from Rublev, Japan’s Yoshihito Nishioka, who upset his countryman Kei Nishikori in his second round encounter impressed yet again as he overcame Australia’s Alex de Minaur in straight sets 7-5, 6-4 and will face Wimbledon 2019 quarter-finalist David Goffin in his surprise appearance in the quarter-final at Cincinnati.
Spain’s Roberto Bautista Agut made light work of Serbian youngster Miomir Kecmanovic and will now face veteran Frenchman Richard Gasquet in his quarter-final clash.
Novak Djokovic, the No.1 seed and the defending champion was too good for Spaniard Pablo Carreno Busta, staying in the hunt to defend his title at Cincinnati and will lock horns against another unlikely quarter-finalist Lucas Pouille to set up a rematch of their Australian Open 2019 semi-final clash.
Quarter-final #1: Roberto Bautista Agut vs Richard Gasquet
In the clash of eternal strugglers, 31-year old Spain’s Bautista Agut will face 33-year old Frenchman Gasquet in the first quarter-final contest.
On the ATP tour so far, the two veterans have met each other five times in the past with Bautista Agut leading their duel 4-1. In their two meetings in 2019, the Spaniard got the better of the Frenchman in straight sets and starts as a favorite well ahead of their upcoming quarter-final clash.
Bautista Agut, who was a semi-finalist and quarter-finalist at Wimbledon and the Australian Open respectively earlier this year, would aim to continue his rich vein of form to build on a good momentum in the lead up to the final Slam of the year.
Quarter-final #2: Yoshihito Nishioka vs David Goffin
The Japanese qualifier Nishioka would hope to extend his tremendous run at Cincinnati as he takes on David Goffin in the second quarter-final of the last Masters 1000 event before the US Open.
The duo of Nishioka and Belgian Goffin have locked horns against each other twice in the past. While the Belgian won their battle at Tokyo in 2016, the Japanese came from a set down to overcome his Belgian opponent in three sets at the Washington Open two weeks ago.
Nishioka has been having an incredible week so far at Cincinnati, and yet, one can expect Goffin to defeat his Japanese opponent to advance to the semi-finals, his first since his appearance in the final at Halle Open earlier this year.
Quarter-final #3: Andrey Rublev vs Daniil Medvedev
In an all-Russian quarter-final encounter, the Rogers Cup finalist Medvedev and Hamburg Open runner-up Rublev will meet each other to set up a fascinating clash among two young and exuberant players, desperate to make their mark on the ATP tour.
Medvedev has been going through a coming of an age year so far in 2019 and would aim to tame his compatriot to advance to yet another semi-final this year.
Medvedev, who succumbed to Rafael Nadal in a lop-sided final at Montreal last week, would look forward to staying in the hunt to win his second title of 2019 before he embarks on his US Open campaign.
Against Federer, Rublev might have won the biggest match of his career so far in the third round at Cincinnati, however, he faces an uphill task when he meets Medvedev in their upcoming quarter-final contest.
Quarter-final #4: Novak Djokovic vs Lucas Pouille
In their only meeting so far, the Serb decimated the Frenchman 6-0, 6-2, 6-2 in their semi-final battle at Melbourne at the start of this year.
After his remarkable appearance in the semi-final at Rod Laver Arena, the Frenchman has been going through a subdued year so far and would desperately hope for a turnaround in his fortunes before the US Open 2019 gets underway.
This is Serb’s first tournament since his remarkable win at Wimbledon and would not settle for anything less than a title win at Cincinnati.
Pouille can be a tricky customer, but with all the experience, one can expect the Serb to cruise through his quarter-final clash against the Frenchman.