Western & Southern Open Men’s Draw Preview
The men’s draw for the Western & Southern Open was revealed by tournament officials Friday evening at the Lindner Family Tennis Center, with main draw play starting Sunday evening. Here’s a look at potential matchups, storylines, and players to watch.
ATP top ranked Novak Djokovic begins his quest for his first Western & Southern Open title, the only ATP Masters 1000 title he does not have to his name, with relative ease. His first challenging match can come in the third round, with the potential to face either Jo-Wilfried Songa or David Goffin, the 12 and 13 seed respectively.
Opposite Novak in the first quarter is 2015 French Open champion and five seed Stan Wawrinka along with two rising stars in Dominic Thiem and Borna Coric. Wawrinka opens play in the second round against the winner of Coric/Qualifier.
Look for Djokovic and Wawrinka to face off in the quarterfinals, a rematch of the French Open final earlier in the year with Djokovic advancing to the semifinals.
The second quarter is wide open with the four seed Kei Nishikori headlining the group. Nishikori should breeze into the quarterfinal with relative ease, only being challenged by Gael Monfils in the third round, but may be hindered by fatigue as he is playing late in the Rogers Cup in Montreal.
Six seed Tomas Berdych is opposite Nishikori along with the 11 seed American John Isner. Berdych has struggled this summer on the hard courts while Isner has played a heavy schedule and battled a knee injury in Montreal.
Nishikori advances to the semifinals to take on Novak Djokovic
Two-time champion and three seed Andy Murray along with 2014 US Open champion Marin Cilic are the top seeds in the third quarter. Murray will open his play against either American veteran Mardy Fish or resurgent Viktor Troicki.
Intriguing first round match-up between the brash Australian young gun Nick Kyrgios and 12 seed Richard Gasquet is one to watch, with the winner potentially taking on the flashy Fabio Fognini in the second round.
Andy Murray should advance to the quarterfinal but not without some trouble along the way. Also in this quarter is Grigor Dimitrov and German veteran Philipp Kohlschreiber.
The final quarter is headlined by two of the game’s great players, six-time Western and Southern Open Roger Federer and 2013 champion Rafael Nadal.
Both Federer and Nadal have big serving players in their respective sections before a potential blockbuster quarterfinal matchup. Federer could face 15 seed Kevin Anderson in the third round while Nadal could face nine seed Milos Raonic in the third round.
Look for Nadal to squeeze by Federer in a tight quarterfinal match, their 34th career head to head match, and advance to the semifinals.
Semifinals: Djovokic d Nishikori; Murray d Nadal.
Final: Djokovic d Murray.