Back-to-back Masters Series events takes us to Ohio and 4-time runner up here, Novak Djokovic, has the opportunity to be the first man to win all 9 Masters Series events since their inception in 1990. It would be a career ‘Golden Masters’. If he is to do it, he will have to negotiate possibly two of the hottest players right now who happen to be Canadian. Vasek Pospisil and Milos Raonic, who squared off last week in Montreal.
The USTA awarded wildcards to James Blake, Ryan Harrison, Jack Sock and Brian Baker. Baker is on yet another comeback trail. He had a fairytale comeback last year only to be cruelly sidelined again with a torn meniscus in his right knee.
Let’s break it down:
ATP Level: 1000
Surface: Outdoor Hard
Defending Champion: Roger Federer – 5 time champion in Cincy goes for a record 6th. He badly needs it too but could face old foe Nadal in the quarters.
Nasty Floater: Ernests Gulbis – Took down Andy Murray in Montreal and could face him again in the 2nd round.
Veteran Watch: James Blake – Keeps getting the wildcards but exactly where is his career heading? Shouldn’t someone else get the chance at this point?
Up and Coming: Vasek Pospisil – We all saw what this kid can do in Montreal. If he gets past Gilles Simon, he could face Djokovic.
Slumping: David Ferrer – A rare pick for this category but he is yet to find his feet on the US hard courts. Could face Janowicz 3rd round.
On Fire: Milos Raonic – If he has the energy left he could maintain his run but he’ll need to get past Djokovic in the quarters.
My pick: Rafael Nadal – The guy is just a phenom. The way he is playing I give him the edge over everyone.
Did You Know? The Cincinnati tournament was first played at the Avondale Athletic Club more than a century ago.
Watch: Cincinnati Uncovered
Thanks for reading and check back next week for more picks!