Friday Preview: Busy Day For ATP World Tour Stars In Cincinnati
17 August 2018 07:29
It’s going to be a busy Friday at the Western & Southern Open as the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 tournament plays catch-up because of rain. Ten singles matches are scheduled, encompassing the completion of the third round and quarter-finals, in addition to three second-round doubles clashes.
Five-time runner-up and No. 10 seed Novak Djokovic, looking to become the first player to win all nine Masters 1000 tournaments this week, resumes his third-round match against Grigor Dimitrov at 2-6, 6-3, 2-1 on Center. The winner will challenge Canada’s Milos Raonic later on Friday. Djokovic leads Raonic 8-0 in their FedEx ATP Head2Head series, while Dimitrov has a 3-2 advantage over Raonic.
Djokovic has won his past five matches against fifth seed Dimitrov and all four of their hard-court meetings (leads 7-1 overall). Dimitrov has two Top 10 wins this year – both over Goffin – as he continues to find the kind of early-season form that helped him to the Australian Open quarter-finals (l. to Edmund) and a 10-3 start.
Djokovic, the 2008-09, 2011-12 and 2015 finalist, is seeking his 30th match win in Cincinnati (29-11) and has won 23 of his past 27 matches, including his fourth trophy at Wimbledon (d. Anderson). Having beaten Adrian Mannarino in the second round, the Serbian star admitted, “I'm still looking for that consistency. I think it's quite important as the matches get tougher now and the opponents are higher-ranked. I am going to need that consistency and need to be solid and kind of hit with confidence.”
Second seed and seven-time champion Roger Federer aims to secure his 20th hard-court match win of 2018 (31-4 overall) against Leonardo Mayer of Argentina with the possibility of an all-Swiss quarter-final on the horizon against wild card Stan Wawrinka, who is returning to peak form following two knee surgeries last year. Wawrinka will first need to overcome Marton Fucsovics, also in a late night show court encounter.
Third seed Juan Martin del Potro, who beat Hyeon Chung 6-2, 6-3 before rain suspended play on Thursday prepares to face No. 15 seed Nick Kyrgios in a first-time third round clash. Del Potro, competing at a career-high of No. 3 in the ATP Rankings this week, has a 37-9 match record on the year, which includes 15 straight matches wins – including the Abierto Mexicano Telcel presentado por HSBC (d. Anderson) and the BNP Paribas Open (d. Federer). World No. 18 Kyrgios has a 1-5 mark against Top 10 opponents in 2018.
Kevin Anderson, who is currently in sixth position in the ATP Race To London for a spot at the Nitto ATP Finals, takes a 34-12 season record (22-6 on hard courts) into his clash against No. 11 seed Goffin, runner-up at The O2 season finale in London last year, in a first-time meeting. Goffin, who came into the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 tournament with a 2-5 record since falling in the Roland Garros fourth round (l. to Cecchinato), has earned confidence-boosting victories over last week’s Rogers Cup finalist Stefanos Tsitsipas and Benoit Paire in Cincinnati this week. Del Potro or Goffin will play Del Potro or Kyrgios.
Elsewhere, seventh seed and 2016 titlist Marin Cilic is level with Karen Khachanov of Russia at 7-6(5), 3-6, 1-1 in their third-round match carried over from Thursday. The victor will meet No. 13 seed Pablo Carreno Busta, who was a 6-4, 6-2 winner over Robin Haase in the third round. . read full article