The main talking points so far at the Cincinnati Masters 1000 Series have been the withdrawal of top seed Nadal, which is understandable after he won the Canadian Masters 1000 Series at Toronto last week and Andy Murray losing in the first round against Pouille in three sets, who went on to lose in straight sets against veteran clay court specialist Mayer from Argentina in straight sets. At the time of writing most of the other seeds were still in action, bar ninth seed Isner, who lost against compatriot Querrey, and twelfth seed Schwartzman, who was defeated by Wawrinka in three sets.
The top eight seeds join the action today and tomorrow along with the remaining seeds and unseeded players and second seed Federer was due to play his opener against German Gojowczyk earlier this morning. There’s plenty of potentially entertaining second round matches to follow like fourteenth seed and British number one Edmunds and NextGen star Shapovalov, who play each other for the sixth time and the Canadian leads the head-to-head 3-2. Third seed Sascha Zverev faces a tricky opener against the in form veteran Haase and Zverev leads the head-to-head 2-1.
Another potentially entertaining match is between Nishikori and Wawrinka who meet for the ninth time today. The head-to-head stands at 4-4 and given both players talent and current state I expect this will likely be a drawn out affair that goes down to the wire. Fourth seed Del Potro, fifth seed and defending champion Dimitrov, sixth seed Anderson and seventh seed Cilic all have winnable second round matches and Del Potro might face the biggest test against NextGen star Chung. This week’s outright tournament selections Sascha Zverev (9/1), Anderson (20/1) and Coric (66/1) are all still in with a chance of winning the title this week but Rublev unfortunately fell at the first round stage.