It is the second day of action at the Western and Southern Open at the ATP Cincinnati Masters 1000 event on Monday but it is the first full day of matches after we began the tournament with a couple of games on Sunday.
The first round continues on Monday and although we don’t get any of the top eight seeds until the second round, there are still some recognisable names and form horses on show over the course of the day.
There are two men’s matches on the main court on Monday but before they come along we have to wait for a couple of women’s matches to be played out. When we do get the men on court we finish off the day session as two legends of the game collide when Stan Wawrinka takes on Andy Murray in something of a game of the ages. The men also open up the night session on this court when the former Wimbledon finalist Matteo Berrettini takes on the home man Frances Tiafoe in another standout tie.
We have three matches over on the Grandstand court to enjoy over the course of Monday and we get going right at the start when the talented Alex Molcan takes on Diego Schwartzman before the home star John Isner takes to the court for the first time this week. He meets Benjamin Bonzi. The third men’s match comes in the night session and looks a belter as Denis Shapovalov takes on Grigor Dimitrov in what is an absolutely horrible draw for the pair of them.
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Three more men’s matches take place over on Stadium 3 on Monday and the men begin the action on this court as well with the former Wimbledon semi-finalist Roberto Bautista Agut going up against Francisco Cerundolo who had a good run in Miami earlier in the year and will want more of the same here. The second match on court will keep the British eyes interested as Holger Rune takes on Cameron Norrie before in the early evening Sebastian Korda looks to put his wildcard to good use when he takes on the Olympic silver medallist Karen Khachanov.
Best of the Rest
There are four other matches taking place over the course of the day on Monday with American players involved in three of them. Brandon Nakashima opens up the action over on the Porsche Court when he meets Aslan Karatsev before J.J. Wolf picks up the baton in his match against Emil Ruusuvuori. The other American on show is Marcos Giron. He meets David Goffin on Court 4 but before that Marin Cilic meets Jaume Munar.
I’m a little bit surprised that Grigor Dimitrov is not a warmer favourite for his match against Denis Shapovalov than he is. The Bulgarian leads their head to head 2-1 but he has won both of their hard court matches which I think is significant. Even if it isn’t that significant I can’t be having a Shapovalov who has won just one of his last 10 matches dating back to Rome in May. He actually competed well against Alex de Minaur at home in Montreal last week but when the crunch moments came he didn’t have it.
Dimitrov hasn’t thrived on the hard courts this year with the exception of a decent enough run in Indian Wells but at least he has been winning matches recently and that is most certainly significant. That means that should this one get close then he will have a little more confidence and belief to get over the line. I’m not sure it will get close though. The Shapovalov serve is coughing up too many double faults for my liking and if Dimitrov can just play a controlled game he should come out on top here.
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