The Cincinnati Masters, otherwise known as the Western & Southern Open started today in earnest with a long list of round one matches commencing. Mardy Fish is playing in his last W&S Open as he continues his US Open Series farewell tour. The American had received a Wild Card to the open, and faced Viktor Troicki.
The Serbian has had an inconsistent season, although some good wins have seen him rise back up the rankings. The American came out with nothing to lose, making the most of his wild card. Fish started the better of the players, breaking early in the first set. From here the set was dominated by Fish, who broke once more before sealing the set 6-2. Set two was more of the same, as the American was having a great day, whilst the Serbian was having a very poor one. Again, the wild card took control of the set by breaking the Serbian early. In a repeat of the first set, Fish was just too good for Troicki and broke again to seal the match in straight sets. Troicki continues to slump this summer.
Fish has earned a round two match against Andy Murray who has just won Montreal after defeating World Number one Novak Djokovic in a three hour, three set thriller. It was the first time in two years that the Brit had defeated the Serbian, the last time being at Wimbledon in 2013. Murray who has won his second masters title of the year is likely to start his campaign for the second seed at the US Open as well as the Cincinnati title probably on Wednesday night. Fish and Murray have an equal head to head, it currently stands at four all. They have not played each other for a few years now. With Fish being rusty, it would take a miracle to beat Murray in his current form.
Kei Nishikori has withdrawn from the Cincinnati open citing fatigue. There are rumours that the Japanese player is also coping with a hip injury. When the Japanese player lost to Murray in the semi-final in Montreal, it was noted by some commentators that he was struggling towards the end of the first set. Nishikori has never admitted to their being any kind of injury, rather that he was just more tired than he had expected to be after his run in Montreal and his defeat of Rafael Nadal. Whatever the reason for the withdrawal, it does not seem that this will effect his entry to the US Open at Flushing Meadows. As a result of this Alexandr Dolgopolov has taken Nishikori’s spot in the draw. The qualifier would have been in the main draw anyway, but has been handed a place straight in the second round. Thanks to the withdrawal Benoit Paire also made the draw, sliding in as a lucky loser. Dolgopolov is set to face Bernard Tomic, while Paire advanced over Gilles Muller and will have to take on Novak Djokovic in the next round.
In other results veterans Philipp Kohlschreiber and Gilles Simon were ousted in the opening round, Kohli losing to Portugal’s #1 Joao Sousa, and Simon falling to the big serving Ivo Karlovic in three sets.