The Western & Southern Open at Cincinnati is USA’s oldest professional tennis tournament, which is more than a century old. Its rich history has an impressive list of champions and the event takes pride from the fact that more than 100 Tennis stars, who played here have entered their names in the International Tennis Hall of Fame. The 2015 Cincinnati Open is 7th ATP World Tour Masters of the season, in which 28 of the top 30 players in Emirates ATP Rankings are taking part. Leading the way is world no.1 Novak Djokovic, who is seeded no.1 for the fourth time in the last five years. Djokovic suffered his third defeat of the year last week, when he lost to Britain’s Andy Murray in the Rogers Cup final at Montreal. Reigning champion and six-time winner Roger Federer come back to tennis for the first time since his loss in the Wimbledon final. The Cincinnati Open has seen 10 titles shared by three of the Big Four and all of them are here this year once again. The only non-Big-Four winner since 2005 was Andy Roddick, who was the 2006 champion. World No. 1 Djokovic has never won at Cincinnati and he will attempt to become the first player to win all nine Masters 1000 titles in his 11th straight appearance at Cincinnati.
Cincinnati Open is the last big ATP event before the year’s last Grand Slam, US Open that takes off in New York on August 31, 2015. Top seeded men and women’s players have ensured their participation to test themselves ahead of that big event. Second seed and defending champion Roger Federer will try to win his 7th Western & Southern Open in his 15th appearance in Cincinnati. Only USA’s Michael Chang has played here on 16 occasions. The 34-year old Federer’s six Cincinnati victories came in 2005, 2007, 2009, 2010, 2012 and 2014. The Swiss has a 40-7 match victory record this season and he has won four titles at Brisbane, Dubai, Istanbul and Halle. At 52-4, world no.1 Novak Djokovic has better 2015 record than Federer and he has four Masters titles won at Indian Wells, Miami, Monte-Carlo and Rome. Britain’s Andy Murray reclaimed the no.2 spot in the Emirates ATP Rankings on Monday and he will attempt his third title win after 2008 and 2011. The last name of the Big Four, Rafael Nadal won at Cincinnati in 2013. Since early 2014, Nadal has had a spate of injuries and his form has dipped. But the ex-world no.1 Nadal has not given up. He won in Hamburg two weeks ago and that should have boosted his confidence ahead of the Western & Southern Open.
The tournament draws were made in Friday, as per which Novak Djokovic and Stan Wawrinka could meet in a rematch of their French Open final; Kei Nishikori may face Tomas Berdych; defending US Open champion Marin Cilic could run into two-time Cincinnati champion Andy Murray and a juicy battle could be fought between Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer. On the women’s side, two former world no.1 players Caroline Wozniacki and Victoria Azarenka may face each other; a quarterfinal face-off may come up between Serena Williams and Ana Ivanovic. American Madison Keys has already beaten Switzerland’s no.12 seed Timea Bacsinszky on Monday.
In the first round matches on Monday, Croatia’s Ivo Karlovic defeated French 10th seed Gilles Simon 6-4, 6-7, 6-3; Belgium’s no.13 seed David Goffin defeated Taiwanese qualifier Yen-Hsun Lu 5-7, 6-3, 6-4; Poland’s Jerzy Janowicz downed French no.14 seed Gael Monfils 6-4, 7-5; US veteran Mardy Fish upset Serbia’s Viktor Troicki 6-2, 6-2; Brazil’s Thomaz Bellucci defeated Czech Republic’s Jiri Vesely 7-6, 6-2; Australia’s Bernard Tomic beat Ukraine’s Sergiy Stakhovsky 6-4, 6-3; Portuguese Joao Sousa defeated Germany’s Philipp Kohlschreiber 6-2, 6-7, 6-2; Frenchman Benoit Paire defeated Luxembourg’s Gilles Muller 7-6, 7-6; Italian Andreas Seppi beat Frenchman Adrian Mannarino 6-3, 6-3; Spain’s Roberto Bautista Agut defeated Uruguay’s Pablo Cuevas 6-3, 6-4 and USA’s Jack Sock defeated compatriot Bjorn Fratangelo 6-1, 6-2. In men’s doubles first round, Switzerland’s Stan Wawrinka and India’s Leander Paes defeated South Africa’s Kevin Anderson and Frenchman Jeremy Chardy 1-6, 6-1, 10-6.
In women’s singles first round, USA’s Madison Keys defeated 12th seed Timea Bacsinszky of Switzerland 6-4, 6-3; Ukraine’s Elina Svitolina defeated USA’s Alison Riske 6-2, 4-6, 6-0; Germany’s no.15 seed Andrea Petkovic beat her country’s qualifier Julia Goerges 6-4, 6-2; Italian Karin Knapp beat Croatian qualifier Ana Konjuh 7-5, 6-1; Serbia’s Jelena Jankovic beat USA’s Madison Brengle 4-6, 6-4, 6-2; USA’s Coco Vandeweghe defeated Kazakh qualifier Yulia Putintseva 6-3, 6-2; USA’s Venus Williams defeated Kazakhstan’s Zarina Diyas 7-6, 6-4; USA’s Varvara Lepchenko beat Czech Republic’s Barbora Strycova 2-6, 7-5, 7-6; Hungary’s Timea Babos defeated Australia’s Samantha Stosur 7-6, 4-6, 7-5 and Romania’s Irina-Camelia Begu defeated Frenchwoman Alize Cornet 6-4, 6-4. In women’s doubles draw Italians Sara Errani/Flavia Pennetta defeated Spain’s Lara Arruabarrena and Slovak Andreja Klepac 7-6, 6-2 and Taiwanese duo of Chia-Jung Chuang/Su-Wei Hsieh defeated Australia’s Arina Rodionova/GBR’s Heather Watson 6-2, 6-1.
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