The 2017 Western and Southern Open in Cincinnati will feel a lot like the Canada Masters: no Novak Djokovic, no Stan Wawrinka, no Marin Cilic, no Andy Murray. With so many top-10 players out of the field, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal will take center stage. After Nadal’s shocking loss Thursday night in Montreal to Denis Shapovalov, it is clear that Andy Murray will be No. 1 for one more week, but Federer and Nadal will both have a chance to overtake Murray for No. 1 in Cincinnati, making that the big story everyone will be watching for. It’s been a little while since Roger Federer has been the world No. 1. The fans will definitely be in his corner to do so as he’s had a fantastic season. If he can edge Nadal in a final or go further than him at this event, there’s a good chance the tennis legend will add one more accolade to his resume.
The competition in the 56-player main draw begins on Monday, August 14.
Event: Western and Southern Open / Cincinnati Masters
Category: ATP World Tour – Masters 1000
Date: August 14 – 20, 2017
Location: Lindner Family Tennis Center – Cincinnati, Ohio, United States
With a purse of just under $5 million, the Cincinnati Masters is roughly $400,000 more lucrative than the Canada Masters, which had a prize package near $4.6 million. Cincinnati will be a place for players to pursue higher U.S. Open seedings, which – with the absences of many top players – provides a huge opportunity to get a better draw in New York and possibly make a run to the quarterfinals or semifinals. It is hard to overstate just how big a tournament this is for a lot of professionals outside the top five… even though this will be a big event for the top five as well.
Champion – 1,000
Runner-up – 600
Semifinal – 360
Quarterfinal – 180
Round of 16 – 90
Round of 32 – 45
Former Champions and Results (5 Years)
Year Champion Runner-up Score
2016 – Marin Cilic def. Andy Murray – 6-4, 7-5
2015 – Roger Federer def. Novak Djokovic – 7-6, 6-3
2014 – Roger Federer def. David Ferrer – 6-3, 1-6, 6-2
2013 – Rafael Nadal def. John Isner – 7-6, 7-6
2012 – Roger Federer def. Novak Djokovic – 6-0, 7-6
As was just seen in Canada (specifically Montreal), the Cincinnati event has a 56-player main draw with the top eight seeds getting a bye in the opening round. The fans in Cincy will be hoping to see similar excitement to Montreal when an unheralded 18-year-old local made plenty of noise, upsetting the No. 1 seed and setting records en route to a late tournament run.
Injuries continue to take their toll on the field, as mentioned above. Nadal and Federer will be the overwhelming favorites to win the event. Alexander Zverev, who is having a great summer, will receive a lot of attention but figures to be tired after his deep runs in Washington and Montreal.
The players who need a big week in Cincinnati after their early Montreal losses include – but are not limited to – the following:
Dominic Thiem has to make improvements on hardcourts. He really should not have lost to Diego Schwartzman in Montreal, but committed entirely too many unforced errors.
John Isner has a real chance to do well on hardcourts, his favorite surface. He got a tough draw in Montreal with Juan Martin del Potro, but playing in the United States, he ought to do better before a supportive crowd.
Kei Nishikori blew four match points to Gael Monfils in Montreal. A good week in Cincinnati will make him forget that scarring moment in Canada.
Grigor Dimitrov needs a confidence boost after losing to Robin Haase in Montreal. He is in the Race to London for the World Tour Finals in November. He has to pick up solid chunks of points.
Lindner Family Tennis Center
The Lindner Family Tennis Center was first conceived in 1979, when construction began. It opened its center court in 1981 and has been a steady hardcourt home to this popular and important part of the ATP Tour season, in Mason, Ohio. The main stadium court has an awning at the north end which gives fans needed shade. Cincinnati typically has some of the most humid and oppressive weather on tour. This is a physically challenging tournament to win.
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