The Tour suspension has been near insufferable for tennis fans. Fortunately, it won’t be lasting much longer as we prepare for the Cincinnati Masters. The warped tennis calendar means the coming week will mark the start of the very first Masters event of the year. Novak Djokovic will enter the event as the favorite despite the uncertainty that the suspension has brought in.
And now, with the draw we know the course of the much-awaited tennis we will be watching over the week.
Novak Djokovic gets an easy run to the semifinal
With the likes of Novak Djokovic, Dominic Thiem, Daniil Medvedev, Stefanos Tsitsipas, Alexander Zverev poised to return to the Tour, we’re in for a thrilling spectacle. And let’s not forget Andy Murray either, who gets a much-deserved wildcard entry into the main draw.
To start off on the most interesting aspect, Djokovic and Medvedev have drawn in the same half. This puts them on course for a blockbuster semi-final. Even with months of virtually no tennis, it isn’t easy to forget that Djokovic remains unbeaten this year. A stellar start to the campaign was forced to halt as the grave reality of the virus started to dawn on us.
Daniil enters the tournament as the defending champion. It was here, last year, that Medvedev made it clear that he was not happy with just being another next-gen star on the rise. A gripping run towards last year’s season saw Medvedev fall just inches short of the greatest heights in tennis; something no young start has yet been able to do.
Alas, the Russian could not continue his stellar form at the start of this year. Perhaps the crown of the defending champion is exactly what will spark that inspiration in him again.
Dominic Thiem has his work cut out
With Zverev, Murray, Dimitrov, Rublev, Berrettini all crammed up in his half of the draw, Thiem has the much trickier half of the draw. Should he manage to navigate his way through to the semifinals, he could very well face the fourth seed Tsitsipas.
Having played the third final of a Major in Australia, Thiem fell excruciatingly short of his ultimate goal. He will surely be more determined than ever to hack his way through to the final to face Djokovic and exact his revenge. This could prove pivotal just before the US Open.
Tsitsipas has truly tapped into his competitive nature in the past couple of years. After a disappointing run Down Under, the Greek steadied the ship and took home the title at Open 13 before losing to Djokovic at the Dubai final.
The quality of tennis that Stefanos has produced in the past 18 months certainly puts him in the best position to finally make a breakthrough and lift a Major. And with the US Open looming, Cincinnati will be a crucial testing ground for the Greek.
Should Murray get off to a good start and beat fellow wildcard entrant Francis Tiafoe, he will face Zverev next. Now that would be quite a start to the event.
The tennis tour is finally resuming and the Cincinnati Open will prove an ideal event leading up to the US Open. Buckle up your seatbelts as we finally dive into our long-awaited fix of tennis.