The next Master's event in Cincy which really is the dress rehearsal for the US Open which starts in two shorts weeks. The tournament gets underway a day early this week so that means that certain guys such as Rafael Nadal may still be at the last event. That is the case here as of the writing of the article he is in final vs. Tsitsipas later today. Nadal has already qualified for the year-end event in London and it’s not even mid-August yet. Not a bad year for Rafa.
Sometimes guys that play well in one Masters event either drop out of the next event or don’t give it their all in the next event. They want to save a little gas in the tank for the upcoming Slam. That may be the case here as Nadal may be better served resting his body for the next two weeks. He may play Raonic in his first match and that may be good excuse to bow out gracefully and get ready for Flushing Meadows. It’s not likely Rafa to tank, but sometimes your back, knees, and joints have other ideas. There are also plenty of other talented players in this quarter of the draw. Guys like Shapovalov, Edmund, Tiafoe, are all waiting BEFORE the quarterfinals. Then there is a little guy by the name of Novak Djokovic who he may have to play to make the semis as well as Dimitrov who played well last week. This is a very tough section of the draw.
Zverev is the top seed in the next section. He is coming off his surprising loss to Tsitsipas in Toronto and may be dangerous here as he has a lot to prove. Also, it’s very important that he does well here as he lost a lot of points last week and is trying to be seeded in the top 4 for the Open. Dimitrov, Anderson and Del Potro are also fighting to be in the top 4 in Flushing. Zverev has relatively easy draw into the quarters at which time Marni Cilic may be waiting for him. We like Alex’s chances to redeem himself this week based on the draw and motivation.
Juan Martin Del Potro dropped out of Toronto last week based on fatigue after making the finals in Mexico. This time of year every player is a little banged up. Probably he will play this week and do some damage as it’s very possible and highly likely that he is a top 4 seed in NY as we mentioned earlier. There are a couple of tough players in this section such as Coric, Chung, and certify Nick Kyrgios who lost early last week to Wawrinka and always is dangerous when his head is on right. In the Quarters Mr. consistency, as of late Mr. Anderson, is seeded to meet JMDP. Anderson made to semis in Canada but was upset by Tsitsipas. There is that name again, he will get a chance for payback in the 3rd round most likely. Anderson seldom loses when he is not supposed to. Look for him to hold his seed in a weak section of the draw.
Now on to the bottom section and Dominic Thiem is still living off his reputation and all the points he got together in the clay court season. He hasn’t played well since he lost to Nadal at Roland Garros. This is his last chance to get his game together or he will be leaving NY very quickly and hoping plane back to Austria in the first week. Stan Wawrinka, Schwartzman, or Nishikori are more likely to move on here, then Thiem. It’s a shame however that a player of such talent refuses to use his head a bit more, but then again hitting everything as hard you can has gotten him this far so who am I to question his methods. This is also fun section in that Federer is seeded second here and should be playing Andy Murray in the 3rd round who is a wildcard. It sure would nice for Roger to go very deep here as he hasn’t played much tennis as of late unless you count the practice courts. He hasn’t played since his epic loss to Kevin Anderson in the Wimbledon quarterfinals. Roger is certainly a guy who needs stop go very deep here or he will be going home fast in NY, at least Murray has been playing a bit to get his game in shape. He dropped out last week after having to play till 3 am then couldn’t get out of bed the next day. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Andy make the semifinals here.
Future Odds To Win The Tournament
Juan Martin Del Potro
Pablo Carreno Busta
As we said earlier Murray who has been rounding into form may get to the semis by beating Roger and then maybe taking out his quarterfinal opponent who might be Stan Wawrinka who last week in Canada played two incredible matches and then almost beat Nadal. Coin flip there if they play but you need to go with form so let’s take “Stan the Man here”. In the Semis, Juan Marin should be there if he is healthy and whoever wants it more should make the Finals.
On the top, as we said before Nadal has proven himself and needs a rest, look for Djokovic to make his way into the semis. You’d be surprised at the top level how much motivation plays a part. The person that has the most to lose is Zverev and should hold his seed and maybe lose to Novak.
When all is said, and done, it would be fun to watch Novak and Juan Martin relieve their battles of the past. Both guys have plenty of heart but sometimes their bodies fail them. Slight edge to Novak here, but Juan Martin can beat anyone at any time.