CINCINNATI, August 16, 2016
The seventh ATP Masters 1000 tournament of the season, the Western & Southern Open, features 18 of the Top 20 players in the Emirates ATP Rankings. Leading the way is Rio gold medalist and two-time champion (2008, 2011) Andy Murray, who is the top seed for the first time in an ATP Masters 1000 tournament. The other former champion in the field is 2013 winner Rafael Nadal, who also reached the semi-finals in 2008 and 2009. In 54 of the past 58 ATP Masters 1000 tournaments (since 2010 Monte-Carlo), a member of the Big Four has captured the title.
Eight matches were scheduled on a rain interrupted Monday with Frenchman Julien Benneteau knocking out the tournament’s number 10 David Ferrer. In the battle between the two 34-year-olds, Benneteau won 76% of his first service points and broke the Spaniard’s serve four times to prevail in one hour and 48 minutes.
Nick Kyrgios opened his Cincinnati campaign with an impressive 6-2, 7-5 win over Lucas Pouille. The 14th seed from Australia fired 16 aces and saved all three break points he faced, converting three of his own to close the match in only 67 minutes.
Reilly Opelka also found his way into the second round. Two weeks ago, the 18-year-old US-American used a wild card to grab his first ATP World Tour singles win at the Atlanta Open. On Monday, the Florida resident grabbed his first ATP World Tour Masters 1000 victory in Cincinnati, rallying 3-6, 7-5, 7-6 against Jeremy Chardy. Opelka withstood 22 aces, hitting 18 of his own to advance in two hours and seven minutes. He will next play seventh seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.
The tournament’s number two Stan Wawrinka will start his title bid against Jared Donaldson. The US-American youngster beat Nicolas Almagro 6-3, 7-6. Third seed Rafael Nadal will play Pablo Cuevas, who overcame Sam Querrey 4-6, 7-6, 6-3. Murray awaits the winner of the encounter between Ivo Karlovic and Juan Mónaco.