The roots of the Cincinnati Open can be traced way back to 1899 and the Avondale Athletic Club, growing into one of the most prestigious events in the USA in the last couple of decades. It was mainly played on clay until 1979 when the tournament permanently switched to hard courts, staying a regular stop in the ATP calendar since 1970.
Ken Rosewall was the champion that season, followed by some notable names like Stan Smith, Jimmy Connors, John McEnroe, Ivan Lendl, Mats Wilander, Boris Becker, Stefan Edberg, Pete Sampras, Michael Chang, Andre Agassi, Andy Roddick, Roger Federer, Andy Murray, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic!
The Serb claimed the first Cincinnati title a year ago, becoming the first player to achieve a Career Golden Masters following straight sets triumph over Roger Federer in the title match, ready to fight for the crown again after skipping Montreal.
Since 2005, Federer, Nadal, Djokovic and Murray have lost only three titles in Cincinnati and they all will be in the draw for the first time since the US Open last year, with the Briton taking a wild card for the first singles tournament since the Australian Open and that hip surgery.
Playing for the first time since Wimbledon, Novak Djokovic opens the campaign against Sam Querrey or Pierre-Hugues Herbert before the clash against Gilles Simon, Dusan Lajovic or John Isner in the third round. Fabio Fognini, Denis Shapovalov, Lucas Pouille, Nick Kyrgios and Karen Khachanov are all in Novak’s quarter, hoping to reach the match against the Serb and with everyone expecting a potential encounter between Djokovic and Kyrgios.
The seven-time champion Roger Federer faces Matteo Berrettini or Juan Ignacio Londero in the second round, with Grigor Dimitrov, Stan Wawrinka, Nikoloz Basilashvili, Daniil Medvedev, Kyle Edmund and Stefanos Tsitsipas en route to the semi-final, seeking another great run after Roland Garros, Halle and Wimbledon at one of his most favorite tournaments.
The 7th seed Alexander Zverev had another mediocre run in Montreal, heading to Cincinnati where he should face Felix Auger-Aliassime in the second round, not the most comfortable possible rival to kick off the tournament.
Dominic Thiem, Andy Murray, Richard Gasquet, Marin Cilic and Roberto Bautista Agut are in the third quarter as well and we can’t wait to see Andy Murray in singles action again, facing Gasquet for the first time in three years.
The 2nd seed Rafael Nadal is still in contention in Montreal and if he decides to play Cincinnati, there is Cristian Garin or Adrian Mannarino waiting for him in round two. Guido Pella, David Goffin, Taylor Fritz, Reilly Opelka, Borna Coric, Alex de Minaur and Kei Nishikori stand between Nadal and the semi-final, with a wide-open draw if the Spaniard skips the event in Ohio.