Just a quick post here as the draw for next week's Western & Southern Open is now out and it looks set to mark the first time since 2014 that Roger will play both US Open Series Masters 1000's events. You can see his projected opponents below:
Federer's Projected Opponents
- Round 1: Bye
- Round 2: Karen Khachanov / Diego Schwartzman
- Round 3: Jack Sock
- Quarter Final: Grirgor Dimitrov/ Tomas Berdych
- Semi Final: Alexander Zverev / Milos Raonic
- Final: Rafael Nadal
Thoughts on the Draw
First up is either the big hitting Russian Karen Khachanov or Diego Schwartzman. Roger played Khachnaov in Halle where he showed he can be dangerous but he's not the most consistent of players at the moment. I think he may struggle with Schwartzman who's in decent form himself although I'd probably just give Khachanov the edge in three sets. I think that will suit Federer too as Schwartzman is arguably a tougher opponent as he'll make a lot of shots thanks to his speed around the court.
Round 3 is seeded against Sock who's another player in patchy form. He made the Semi Finals in Washington but then lost to Ferrer in Montreal. On his day his forehand can be a handful but there's too many areas Fed can exploit should they meet.
The Quarters has Berdych and Dimitrov as the likely opposition. Berdych withdrew from Montreal with a rib injury so I'm not sure what to expect from him and Dimitrov is impossible to predict. He had an easy draw at the Coupe Rogers but lost to Haase so whilst he excels at getting on ATP Hot Shot of the Day when it comes to winning matches he's not putting it together at all. He did make the semi finals last year though so is probably the favourite to come through.
Semis is then Sascha Zverev who's been in top form on the hard courts and plays his semi final today in Montreal. Raonic is the other highest seed but he has a wrist problem so it's up in the air whether he will play or not.
The final, of course, has Nadal as the top seed but he has a tricky path including Richard Gasquet, Gilles Muller, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Kei Nishikori and Dominic Thiem all potential opponents. So it's a long way away for both guys but Roger has the slightly easier path on paper.
Based on the draws and ranking permutations it could be an interesting week with Andy Murray set to lose his Number 1 ranking to either Fed or Rafa. Rafa is slightly in the driving seat for now. But if Fed were to win the Coupe Rogers he would get back World No. 1 with an equal or better finish than the Spaniard in Cincy.
Anyway, let me know your thoughts on the draw. Should Fed play Cincy if he wins Montreal?