The tour on North American cement continues: after Toronto and before the US Open, the Western&Southern Open in Cincinnati. The absence of Novak Djokovic weighed on the table, but Rafael Nadal returned. Forced to resign from the Canadian “1000” due to still not perfect physical condition.
The number one role is obviously occupied by Daniil Medvedev, who would lose the top spot in the standings if he does not reach the quarter-finals if Nadal wins the tournament. A remote possibility, but not impossible. Leading the Italian battalion, of course, are Jannik Sinner and Matteo Berrettini.
In short: the number one in the world and the number one in the standings will have to face in the second round (obviously, after a bye) the winner of the match between Cressy and Van de Zandschulp. Also in the same room is Kyrgios, who will face Davidovich Fokina first and presumably Andrey Rublev.
The top of the draw is packed with Tsitsipas, Hurkacz and Berrettini. The number two of the Italian group, who could meet the (at least) semi-finalist of the Montreal ‘1000’ in the round of 16, does not show off his chest.
Also far from trivial is the first round challenge with Frances Tiafoe and hypothetically Karen Khachanov in the second round. Presiding at the bottom of the draw, of course, is the return of Nadal. After withdrawing from Wimbledon in the semifinals and losing in Canada, the Spanish phenomenon will return against Coric or a qualifier.
In the round of 16 the potential challenge with Roberto Bautista Agut, in the quarterfinals the worst challenge could be with one from Félix Auger Aliassime, Pablo Carreño Busta and especially Jannik Sinner.
Rafa wants to continue his good season
Rafael Nadal said he had a small tear in the abdomen and needed to take things “a little bit easier.” “Of course, I had a small tear in the abdominal so it’s dangerous,” Rafael Nadal said.
“The abdominal is the place that is dangerous because in every serve you put a lot of effort there, so I need to take things a little bit easier and do the highs the proper way.” Nadal said that while things were going well for him at the moment, the injury was still a “dangerous” one, adding that he was excited to continue his good season in Cincinnati.
“Because at the end of the day it’s more than one month without serving and without playing any set,” Nadal said. “So I need to analyze after every day that the abdominal is still OK with no feeling because, as I said, it’s a dangerous thing.
But things are going well for the moment, so hopefully I can manage to be ready,” he continued. “I’m excited. I want to play tennis again on the tour. I’m having a good season, I’m enjoying it, so I want to enjoy this week in Cincinnati”.