Federer Opens Summer Hardcourt Tonight In Cincinnati; Djokovic, Murray, Del Potro Also On Tap
by Sean Randall | August 15th, 2012
  • 40 Comments

Roger Federer begins an abbreviated summer hardcourt swing tonight at the Cincinnati Tennis Masters. The World No. 1 took last week off to recover from a productive grass circuit which included a Wimbledon title and an Olympic silver medal. In his first hardcourt match since a stunning loss to Andy Roddick in Miami, in what should be a breeze, Federer, a four-time Cincinnati winner, opens against former American Alex Bogomolov.

“I play to win everywhere I go to,” said Federer, “otherwise I’m not just going to show up and play for a couple matches and then pull out and then I don’t have a chance to win. I’m here trying to play well, and that’s it. Then we’ll see. The preparation for New York, that’s going to happen next week. But this ain’t the preparation week, this is tournament week.”

Federer said that the biggest challenge in transitioning back to hardcourt is the wear and tear on the joints because the cement’s strong footing allows you to max out your movement. “That’s not something the body has been used to for the last three to four months maybe since we finished in Miami,” he said. “And then obviously the jet lag comes into it and the whole thing. I made sure I got here as early as possible so I eliminate as much risk as possible of getting injured coming to the hard courts.”

One player who hasn’t made any sort of transition to harcourts is Rafael Nadal. The Spaniard remains sidelined battling bad knees, and Federer spoke of his friend and rival.

“I was going to write him and check on him because I can’t believe he’s been out that long,” Federer said of Nadal. “I thought the Olympics, okay, that’s fine. That’s a personal choice. I thought for sure we would see him in Toronto, but now he missed Toronto and Cincinnati. It’s very surprising, because it was nothing that we heard of prior to the injury. He played so well on clay, and then actually seemed fine at Wimbledon. He had more time by losing earlier at Wimbledon. So it came as big surprise now, these two pullouts for me. Even the Olympics, too. So I’m sad for him. I hope he’ll be back for the Open.”

Toronto winner Novak Djokovic is also in action today against Andreas Seppi. After a tough, but successful week in Canada, it will be interesting to see how much Djokovic puts out or is able to put out in Cincinnati. Hardcourt is his best surface, but will the strain of the summer schedule catch up to the Serb who will be defending his US Open crown in two weeks? One thing is for sure, Novak is beaming with confidence again after the Toronto title.

“It means already a lot to me now because of the circumstances that I’ve had in last month and a half playing a lot matches, a lot tennis on grass courts, and then having the very emotional Olympic Games and coming in late to Toronto and trying to get used to the surface that I haven’t played on for four, five months,” Djokovic said. “Then the time zone and all those things, which take time. Obviously that’s something that I didn’t have. I had to get used to it in two days and play my first match. It turned out to be a great tournament for me, a tournament that’s going to give me a lot of confidence now.
You know, I love playing on hard courts. It’s my most preferred surface. Hopefully I can try to continue that run.”

If he’s healthy and motivated, I think Djokovic could very well walk away with this Cincinnati title.

After falling out of Toronto with a knee injury, Andy Murray returns against Sam Querrey in a good one. Also on court today are Mardy Fish, David Ferrer, Venus Williams, Caroline Wozniacki and Juan Martin Del Potro, who plays Tommy Haas in the best match of the day.

Yesterday’s big result was the loss of two-time champion Andy Roddick to Jeremy Chardy. The American who turns 30 later this month appeared to have a back/shoulder issue in the loss to the lucky loser. Roddick’s had a bit of a rebound this summer, but does he still have the game to compete with the best?

“I just had a little bit of a back issue the other day in practice,” said Roddick. “I was supposed to play yesterday and we had a late request to delay it. I felt fine early on, and then I had one lunge forehand and, we have all had it, your back kind of goes out or spasms a little bit. It got progressively worse. He played fine. I don’t know if there was too much of a true reading here today. I think he realised it. He executed the way he had to.

“I feel a lot better about where my game is at now,” Roddick added. “Today was one of those things. What are you going to do about it? But as far as confidence level and where I’m at, there’s no comparison now compared to the beginning of the year, I think.”

Milos Raonic also put up a nice result beating Toronto finalist Richard Gasquet.

Tennis Channel has full TV coverage of the event starting at 11am ET.

CINCINNATI WEDNESDAY SCHEDULE

CENTER COURT start 11:00 am
[1] A Radwanska (POL) vs S Arvidsson (SWE) – WTA
A Seppi (ITA) vs [2] N Djokovic (SRB) – ATP
[WC] S Querrey (USA) vs [3] A Murray (GBR) – ATP
Not Before 7:00 PM
[1] R Federer (SUI) vs A Bogomolov Jr. (RUS) – ATP
Not Before 8:30 PM
[9] N Li (CHN) vs S Cirstea (ROU) – WTA

GRANDSTAND start 11:00 am
[10] M Fish (USA) vs C Berlocq (ARG) – ATP
M Barthel (GER) vs [4] P Kvitova (CZE) – WTA
[WC] V Williams (USA) vs C Scheepers (RSA) – WTA
[6] C Wozniacki (DEN) vs [Q] S Karatantcheva (KAZ) – WTA
Not Before 7:00 PM
[4] D Ferrer (ESP) vs S Wawrinka (SUI) – ATP


Also Check Out:
2011 ATP Summer Schedule: Where Will Nadal, Djokovic, Federer Be Playing?
Maria Sharapova Talks About New Coach Jimmy Connors
Monfils, Nadal, Del Potro Part of Youthful Monday at US Open
UPDATE1: Clijsters Officially Announces She Will Un-Retire in 2009
Federer Fantastic; Djokovic, Nadal, Murray Today in Cincinnati

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40 Comments for Federer Opens Summer Hardcourt Tonight In Cincinnati; Djokovic, Murray, Del Potro Also On Tap

Skeezer Says:

“I play to win everywhere I go to,” said Federer, “otherwise I’m not just going to show up and play for a couple matches and then pull out and then I don’t have a chance to win”

Thats ma man. Play to win, or don’t play at all!!


Nirmal Kumar Says:

Roger had a pretty bad loss against Berd last year. It was a pretty poor match by Roger based on his standards. I’m not sure about his draw this year. If he has the big hitters, then I can see trouble for him. I hope Roger gets thru to Quarters, so that he will have some match practice going to USO.

He needs to protect his body more than others. If there is no rain delay and if Semis and Finals are played on consecutive days, it’s going to be a big ask for Roger.


john Says:

I think the best possible scenario for Federer would be if he keeps no1 ranking till Us Open, Nadal doesn’t play, and Murray lands in Djokovics half of the draw. That would be perfect and give him great odds in my opinion.


skeezer Says:

NK,

Are you any relation to a lady named “Debbie Downer”?


Brando Says:

Rogers my fav for this. Playing very well, good rest post olympics, very nice draw, awesome record at cincy etc. He’s the man to beat for me in this one. Hard to predict who will come through from the other side though.


john Says:

@NK

Draw looks good for Fed. Tomic in 3rd round , then Monaco or Fish in 4th round. Semies will probably be Berdych or Roanic I think. Given Berdych’s form of late I think Federer will have an excellent chance. Roanic could be dangerous but I still think Fed should win that one too. Specially if Roanic’s serve lets down at this point in the tourney. Djokovic and Murray in the other Semi so maybe they battle it out and Fed will be fresh for Finals.


john Says:

By the way Fed will be playing vs Bogomolov at 01:00( UTC/GMT +2 hours)

Watch on Lshunter if you don’t have an account somewhere else.

Cheers.


Mark Says:

“I was going to write him and check on him. “. says Fed. Did he in fact do so??


Nirmal Kumar Says:

John,

So Roger does not meet Murray in semis. That’s good for him. Though Berdych has not played great of late, I think he was good on HC’s. So he may get back to his form on faster HC. Also if he reaches semis, that means he is in good form. I give him a better chance against Roger.

Raonic, I think it’s too big an ask for him to reach the semis.


El Flaco Says:

Berdych has been playing poorly lately, but if he gets to the semis then obviously he would be playing much better. He always gives Fed a hard time and could definitely beat him if they both get to the semis.


trufan Says:

Raonic and Delpo are the two strongest contendors on hard courts outside of the top 4. Delpo has already proved this in the past, Raonic just needs a breakthrough – he’s already in the top 20. I think they will both make a big push here in Cincy. They both have enough game to blow someone off the court – especially Delpo. Raonic holds the edge in serve – he’s leading the tour in service games won %.

Murray is not likely to go deep here, Djokovic might lose early too. Fed? Hard to say. As he said, he either plays really well or really badly here. We’ll know by tomorrow night.

No 1 seed at USO, Nadal out, Murray in Djoke’s half – now that would be a dream draw for old man Fed. Lets see. Though even if Nadal plays, he might not be a big factor here at the USO. My guess is he wimps out again.


skeezer Says:

“I was going to write him and check on him. “. says Fed. Did he in fact do so??”

Why don’t you write Fed and ask him.


trufan Says:

NADAL OUT OF THE USO.

“I am very sad to announce that I am not ready to play the US Open in NY,” Nadal tweeted. “Thanks to my fans for their support and especially, the New Yorkers.”


trufan Says:

I think Nadal should just take some serious time out, get his body in order, and show up at the AUS open next. He really doesn’t have much of a chance on the fast indoor tournaments the rest of the year anyway.


jane Says:

Did anyone see the Hewitt vs Troicki match? Was Victor on fire or is Leyton having troubles? Quite a lopsided result, that one.

Waving at mat4… hellooooo!


jane Says:

Murray’s playing well what I’ve seen so far, picking up where he left off. Sam making mistakes, but some are forced by Andy’s fab defence. He’s in a “purple patch” at the moment – tune in.

Looks so hot and muggy there. I guess it’s around 29 degrees with 40% humidity, and that’s off court. Eeeek!

Saw Nole’s match – he served not so great – below 60% firsts in, which is low for him, and not too great at net today. But he hit a decent number of aces which is good, and eventually more winners that errors. Found his form in the second set.


mat4 Says:

Hello, jane!

Yes, everything is OK. Didn’t watch a lot of tennis the last two months, and the matches I watched were very, very disappointing. Not like the FO final, but still. I guess I will be able to spare some more time for tennis in a few weeks.

Best wishes to jane, skeezer, conty, margot, WBoy… and all the others I forgot. Now back to Thomason, Pritsak, Kortland…


jane Says:

Hope you can pop in occasionally mat4.

Interesting that Blake and Davydenko seem to have found there form back on American hard courts. Blake is doing well versus Nishikori, and Davy has dismissed Dolgo and Mayer already.

Baggy and Milos in a tight one at the moment…


jane Says:

*their form – oops.


mat4 Says:

BTW…

Nole continues to change his serve, and IMHO it is still normal to have a lower %. I managed to watch his semi against Tipsy the other day and in the second set he seemed unplayable.


jane Says:

Murray is in ominous form…


jane Says:

mat4, yes, I’ve noticed something going on with Nole’s serve. He is going for more aces, for one thing. His stats for the season thus far bear that out. Let’s hope it all clicks soon. I think he’s trying to end points sooner too.


conty Says:

oh, nice to see you are posting again, trig!

watching murray at the moment. come on, Muzz…some great returning! all over sam’s 2nd serve.


alison Says:

Great win for Muzza,thankfully the knees not bothering him now,Nole was not at his pristine best but i was in no doubt that Seppi wouldnt trouble him too much,Delpo looked good today too,all bodes well for the USO,i think you could make an argument for any of those 4 winning the title,tough one to call bring it on.


jane Says:

Ah, Kei came back and ousted James. Also Milos takes the second, so he and Baggy are just beginning the third…


mat4 Says:

Missed both finals at Wimbledon. I think the results, this year, in a certain way seem fair: all the top players got a share of success, Rafa got a record, Fed got two, Murray won a big final… There was a lot of suspense for the no 1, and it is regrettable Rafa is injured now.

About Novak: I didn’t watch him enough (fortunately I missed his disheartening losses) but I managed to see him against Roddick and lately against Tipsy. In the first match (against AR) I was impressed by his serving, in the second by his forehand and his defense. Tipsy played an excellent set and lost 6-1. He just couldn’t hit through Novak, and his % of first serves was abysmal.

I don’t know if it will be enough to win the USO or regain the no 1 at the end of the year, but Novak seems to focus again on improving, and that’s what matters most.


conty Says:

got a chance to live stream some of the Blake- Nishikori match.

kei is a sly one, when he’s healthy. and a typical kei scoreline: wins 2-6, 6-4, 6-4. Not that it was easy for kei, but it’s fun to watch him suss out his opponent the 1st set, then clinically pick his moments breaking his opponent the next set and win in 3.

ha! by looking at the stats, one would think Blake should have won.

the only real stat going kei’s way was his serve; it got better and he frustrated blake. that kid has some fine composure : ) hope he remains healthy for us open and fall hc tournaments.

can’t find the score at the moment but i believe monaco got dusted by ‘the worm.’ i hear the sound of my bracket breaking! monaco was a quarter final pick, i think :/


mat4 Says:

Hi, conty!

About Muzza: just hope he will land in Fed’s half of the draw at the USO…


mat4 Says:

For Muzza fans:

http://blogs.tennis.com/racquet_reaction/2012/08/cincinnati-murray-d-querrey.html

(although I am sure you already read that)

conty:

Radek won 76, 61


conty Says:

thanks mat4. my computer is slow today. score appears like my pick threw in the towel after losing the first set tie-break; but i didn’t see that matvh

nice link too. mbc.

lol, about Muzza: “just hope he will land in Fed’s half of the draw at the USO…” , lol, i would predict you’d say and hope that ; )

either way, it’s and uphill battle for Muzza – Federer or Djokovic. we’ll soon see. stick around if time allows, okay mat4? it would not be good for Murray to lose to either of them in a GS final again. Maybe worse for him if he loses in the final than in a semi. guessing he’d get a big boost beating either man in GS a semi-final!


Margot Says:

Thanx for that mat4, hadn’t seen it. Andy’s first serve percentage is worrying though. Was not good against Fed at the Olympics and now not so good here.
Thought I’d reached a point where I did not have to worry about it. Silly me.


mat4 Says:

@Margot:

I don’t think his serve % is that bad with such an effective first serve. I think it is a conscious choice he made: free points on first serve, and some struggle on the second serve, but with his consistency and his ability in defense (not to mention that he rather defends than attacks), not a big deal.


conty Says:

federer match on now. federror better not show up or my bracket is toast.


conty Says:

Swiss Maestro cruised through 1st set.

Ferrer and Stanley, close match. meanwhile swiss #2 takes the 1st set. oh me, oh my…bracket is cracking. but i can see a reason now why ferrer might not care much at cincy.

he’s going to be the spanish top dog at the USO. i forget how many points he’s defending here and in nyc.


skeezer Says:

Love Feds new shirt for the summer series. Gotta get me on of those!

Fed looking real good so far, serving for the match now in the second 5-2


skeezer Says:

1 hour first match for Fed. Serving is still there from Wimby…..

Go Fed!


john Says:

Very good start for Fed.

Hope he continues to keep his matches short.


conty Says:

federer looking good skeezer. yes i love the white v neck.

his post match interview with gimelstob was interesting. he said he wrote to rafa and what he heard back didn’t sound good; he went on saying that it’s one thing to miss cincy; quite another to miss the US Open.

i’m concerned about rafa. really not a fan when he’s on a roll, but when he’s not in there competing, or he loses too much, the top 4 ATP has a big hole in it and i miss him. hope he will come back soon – tennis is more fun when nadal is in, i admit.

stanley trashed Ferrer 2nd set like sexy steps did to pico. 6-1


The Great Davy Says:

Get ready Dudukovic, I am coming for you!


Gaga Says:

The player that gets Ferrer in his half at USO will be lucky. Very lucky.

Top story: Andy Murray Broke Down In Tears After Receiving The Freedom Of Stirling [Video]
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Rankings
ATP - Apr 21 WTA - Apr 21
1 Rafael Nadal1 Serena Williams
2 Novak Djokovic2 Na Li
3 Stanislas Wawrinka3 Agnieszka Radwanska
4 Roger Federer4 Victoria Azarenka
5 David Ferrer5 Simona Halep
6 Tomas Berdych6 Petra Kvitova
7 Juan Martin Del Potro7 Angelique Kerber
8 Andy Murray8 Jelena Jankovic
9 Milos Raonic9 Maria Sharapova
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