Cincinnati Previews: Federer, Serena Must Step to Challenges
| August 16th, 2015, 1:10 pm

All the big dogs take to the court on both the men’s and women’s sides in Cincinnati, which sees defending champ Roger Federer return to the court after skipping Montreal last week.

On the women’s side Serena Williams will try and rebound from her semifinal loss in Toronto as the defending Cincy champion amidst a draw featuring 16 of the Top 17 players on the WTA rankings.
Cincinnati, Ohio, USA; Surface: hard

Men’s Seeds: Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer, Andy Murray, Kei Nishikori, Stan Wawrinka, Tomas Berdych, Marin Cilic, Rafael Nadal, Milos Raonic, Gilles Simon, John Isner, Richard Gasquet, David Goffin, Gael Monfils, Kevin Anderson, Grigor Dimitrov

Men’s Floaters: Gilles Muller, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Fernando “Hot Sauce” Verdasco, Ivo Karlovic, Sam Querrey, Nick “The Sledge” Kyrgios, Lukas Rosol, Feliciano “F-Lo” Lopez

Men’s Notes: The Top 8 seeds receive opening-round byes, but what a test for many of the seeds early on in this rough field…Tough openers go to (1) Djokovic after a bye and his draining Montreal effort likely vs. the huge-serving Muller, (13) Goffin after a qualifier facing either Tsonga or Hot Sauce, (10) Simon vs. Karlovic, (11) Isner vs. Querrey, (12) Gasquet vs. The Sledge, (16) Dimitrov vs. the upset specialist Rosol, and (9) Raonic vs. F-Lo…Wildcards were awarded to Americans Jared Donaldson, Mardy Fish, Bjorn Fratangelo and Rajeev Ram…Pulling from the event were David Ferrer, Guillermo Garcia-Lopez, Tommy Haas and Juan Monaco…Nine of the past 10 Cincinnati champions held the No. 1 ranking during their careers…Fun Fact: in 1935 the tournament was not held due to the Great Depression, and in 1918 cancelled due to World War I…Last year Federer beat Ferrer in three sets for the title…Former champs in the field are the six-time winner Federer (2014,’12,’10-09,’07,’05), Nadal (2013), and Murray (2011,’08).

Women’s Seeds: Serena Williams, Maria Sharapova, Simona Halep, Petra Kvitova, Caroline Wozniacki, Ana Ivanovic, Lucie Safarova, Karolina Pliskova, Garbine Muguruza, Carla Suarez Navarro, Angelique Kerber, Timea Bacsinszky, Agnieszka Radwanska, Elina Svitolina, Andrea Petkovic, Sara Errani

Women’s Floaters: Sloane Stephens, Venus Williams, Sabine Lisicki, Belinda Bencic, Victoria Azarenka, Sam Stosur, Jelena Jankovic, Madison Keys

Women’s Notes: The Top 8 seeds receive opening-round byes…The banquet of tough opening-round matches includes (10) Suarez Navarro vs. Stephens, (6) Ivanovic after a bye likely meeting Venus, (4) Kvitova after a bye likely meeting Lisicki, (11) Kerber vs. the Toronto finalist Bencic, (5) Wozniacki after a bye likely vs. Azarenka in a battle of former No. 1s, (8) Pliskova after a bye likely vs. Stosur, and (12) Bacsinszky vs. Keys…Wildcards went to Slovak Daniela Hantuchova and Americans Alison Riske and Coco Vandeweghe…Pulling from the tournament were former world No. 2 Svetlana Kuznetsova and fellow Russian Ekaterina Makarova…Sharapova is making her first appearance since Wimbledon due to a leg injury…Jankovic has 20 match wins at Cincinnati, the most of any player…Last year Serena rolled Ana Ivanovic in the final…There have been 11 different champions at the WTA event since the tournament started in 2004…Former champs in the field are Serena (2014), Azarenka (2013), Sharapova (2011), and Jankovic (2009).


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17 Comments for Cincinnati Previews: Federer, Serena Must Step to Challenges

jalep Says:

Qualifiers making it through:


Two 1st round matches today:
Klizan d. Thiem
and yet to be played,
Dimitrov v Rosol

Weather is hot and muggy and T-storms forcast later in the week.

Daniel Says:

Kei pulled out of Cincy.
Better rest and be ready for US Open where he must likelly will be seeded #4.

Daniel Says:

If Federer reaches finals (add 600 puts) and Murray reaches Quarters, Fed recover #2 by 5 pts.

Murray will drop 180 pts from Beijing on Aug 24th when his points from Cncy comes in so if he adds Quarters, the same 180 pts he got sucked with 8660 puts, Fed has 8065 + 600 from finals in Cincy and he has 8665.

This means that for Fed to have any chance of regaining #2 rankings for USO he has to reach Cincy finals minimum. As he and Murray are on collision course in semis, if Murray is inseams Fed will have to win the title.

So, any loss by Fed before finals, Murray #2 for USO. If Murray reaches semis and loses to Fed, Fed has to win the title.

Pretty good odds for Murray to maintain #2 with the win. Had he lost in finals, whoever from humanoid Fed went further in Cincy would be #2.

For Wawa to get back to #4 and get #4 seed for USO he has to win the title, anything less and Kei will be #4.

RZ Says:

Thanks Daniel. Wawrinka as a #5 seed could be very dangerous.

jane Says:

yes, thanks for the cincy and ranking updates. jalep and daniel

i still find it weird that kei is ahead of stan in the rankings. stan’s been a factor at all the slams whereas it feels like kei hasn’t been. i guess it’s just consistency in this case.

Daniel Says:

Yes Jane, it seems odd, but Kei holds 3 ATP 500 and Slam finla. Wawa “only” have a Slam win and a few Quarters.

And Kei is skipping Cincy and even so Wawa can hardly catch him. After USO the rankings from 4 to 10 will be more close and think they will be shifting almost every week

RZ Says:

Anyone know why Tommy Haas pulled from the event? Google and social media are giving me nothing, and he still is showing up on the entry list. I hope he isn’t injured again…

jalep Says:

RZ, no news I could find. He has it on his schedule. All I do know is that he played the Aptos, California challenger and won a couple matches.

Looked for Tommy on the Cincy qualifying draw – nothing there Saturday. He’s wasn’t at the challenger in Vancouver, BC either. Even checked the challenger in Germany – nothing.

Draws (ATP) were a bit of a mystery for Cincy.

Steve Johnson was passed by for a wild card to favor lower ranked younger US players. Johnson didn’t make it through qualifying. Thank goodness Vasek made it through qualies.

Hope Tommy gets a WC for US Open but guessing it will be for qualifiers, if anything.

@jane – I missed A.Zverev on my list of QS winners. Vasek had a close 2nd Q match with Hyeong Chung – had to fight hard. Benoit Paire got a LL place in main draw. ;)

RZ Says:

Thanks Jalep. I think he was using a protected ranking for Cincy, so he wouldn’t have been in the qualifying draw. I read that he is using his protected ranking for the US Open so no wild card needed. Hopefully he will be playing there and won’t need to withdraw.

jalep Says:

Thanks, RZ. Had in my mind he was playing both Montreal and Cincy but found him last week in Aptos playing the first round during my weekly search for Andrey Rublev. And would you know it, they played each other — Tommy won.

Hope Tommy is healthy to use his protected ranking for US Open. Maybe why he skipped Cincy? Expected him to win Aptos but…no.

Also hope Rublev makes into qualies but from his recent results, it looks like the talented 17 yr old is not liking hc as much as clay.

jalep Says:

Also looked exhaustively for Donna Vekic this morning after reading the story on Kokkinakis. Had already filled out my WTA bracket challenge for Cincy and knew she wasn’t there.

She has a picture of herself on twitter at Cincy apparently, but she’s not even in doubles or doubles qualies. So not competing this week. Shame. because she did well at Wimbledon, made over 100K and has a ranking of 128. Hope she gets into US qualies but that’s probably a long-shot. I dunno.

jane Says:

jalep is thiem playing? i thought i saw him in a tight qualifying match.

jane Says:

too bad about the rain. hey, is the roof ready to go at the us open this year? i hope so!

jalep Says:

jane, love this map :D click the bar and watch the the radar. It’s been light rain. Supposed to rain buckets around 5 pm EDT, then a dry spell until more buckets of rain come in (nearly hopeless)
It’s a day off and I’m doing nearly nothing.

This tournament should be on the west coast! Dry as a bone. Smoke from forest fires is getting thick, though. Not good for asthmatics.

Thiem lost to Klizan yesterday in qualies, sadly. Thiem’s streak was on July-Aug European clay. Maybe he doesn’t like it here…

Probably you already know this: Gulbis is back with Breznik = he’s doing better, he says.We’ll see.

jalep Says:

Oops, the link I posted is way too long! sorry

BigWendy Says:

Don’t know if this has been touched on but I noticed last week and this week that Errani and Vinci are both playing doubles with other partners. I thought their split was because Errani was going to solely concentrate on singles. Has the real reason for their split been made public yet?

jalep Says:

Yeah, it’s another mystery, @BigWendy. Maybe I’d know more if my Italian was better and I knew where to look. Depending on the story or further details, than what was said last April, to come out in English is unlikely.

It was said that their intention was to focus on singles, right. But that hardly made sense. All I know is things did change when Vinci had an elbow injury and Errani was paired with Panetta for Fed Cup. Panetta and Errani are still together — now Vinci and Knapp.

This is the latest news on it I can find, which you’ve probably seen. Panetta and Errani were great in Fed Cup. Maybe it’s as simple as that and they stayed together? Or?

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