ATP Masters 1000Cincinnati MastersRoger Federer

Cincinnati Draw 2018: Federer Starts His US Open Series

Hey all, long time no post! I've been a bit busy after Wimbledon so haven't really had time to produce any content but I've read all the comments and kept up with the results in Toronto. Roger's obviously not there having announced his withdrawal weeks ago but the Swiss is already in Cincinnati practising and the draw is now out. You can see his projected opponents below.

Federer's Projected Opponents

  • Round 1: Bye
  • Round 2: Joau Sousa / Peter Gojowcyck
  • Round 3: Andy Murray / Lucas Pouille
  • Quarter Final: Dominic Thiem / Kei Nishikori
  • Semi Final: Kevin Anderson / Juan Martin Del Potro
  • Final: Rafael Nadal / Sascha Zverev / Marin Cilic

Full printable .pdf draw

Thoughts on the Draw

Federer Cincy 2018 Practice

The first question most fans have is what will Federer wear? 😀 The Uniqlo strategy is a lot different to Nike's and because the partnership was clearly a bit of a rush job Roger's outfits aren't really planned or released in advance. In fact you could only buy his Wimbledon clothing well after the tournament had finished so who knows what he will be sporting in Ohio.

Onto the draw and after the customary bye it's either Joao Sousa or Peter Gojowczyk. Both those guys are in pretty poor form with Gojowczyk not having won a tour match since May before he got injured at the French. Both guys lost in the first round in Toronto and I think it's a fairly comfortable opener for Roger. Sousa did test him once in Halle and Gojowcyk has beaten top 10 players before but Roger is comfortably the favourite.

Round three gets interesting with Murray as a potential opponent. The Scot has to get past Lucas Pouille first who took a bad loss in Toronto to Felix Auger Aliassime. Murray had some moral boosting wins in Washington a fortnight ago but I'm still not sure on his overall fitness. Pouille's level is also hard to predict, he can look in great form one day then the next he's losing to journeymen so again I like Fed's chances whoever he faces.

Into the Quarter's and Thiem, Nishikori and Stan are all in this section. Thiem is becoming a perennial flop off clay so I'm not sure what to expect from him. If Cincy is playing fast I don't really like his chances with his huge swings. The more compact Nishikori is probably the favourite to come through having looked in great form in Washington but after bombing out to Robin Haase at the Rogers Cup nothing's a given. Personally I'd like to see Stan come through, I've watched some of his recent outings and now he's getting some matches in his legs things are slowly but surely improving for him. He was able to give Nadal a decent match two days ago having saved match points in his third round win.

As for the semi finals Roger's Wimbledon conqueror Kevin Anderson is a likely opponent. The South African is in the Semi Finals over in Toronto today, playing Tsitipas who is also in his quarter here. Del Potro is the top seed in this section but he withdrew from the Rogers Cup to rest his left wrist, I'm not sure if that's just precautionary or he has a niggle. Goffin, Kyrgios, Chung and Fiasco are the other names that stand out on paper as capable of putting together some wins. I think I'll pick Del Potro to come through though, he's got an ok record in Cincy and his game translates well to a quicker hard court assuming that's what the tournament have prepared.

As for the final Nadal is the top seed and he's rolling nicely through the Rogers Cup. Cilic is in his half but I imagine his confidence will be shot after blowing a 6-2, 4-2 lead against the Spaniard last night. Zverev is also in this half and he was looking top drawer having won Washington but he put in a “pathetic” display against Tsitipas in yesterday's Quarter Final having served for it at 5-4 in the second. Djoker is also in this section but he looked to have gone all Pepe Imaz in Toronto rather than the DjokoVajda we saw at Wimbledon. So looks wide open to me….

Predictions / Expectations

Not much really, with Fed's scheduling setup in the latter part of his career he often comes into tournaments as an unknown, it's been 4/5 weeks since he last played which was obviously a pretty poor performance by his own lofty standards so I'm not sure what to expect. I assume he's been practicing on hard courts back home and whenever he can get to a tournament early it usually translates to better performances. Having arrived 2 days ago he's got ~5 days before his first match here so hopefully he can hit the ground running on Tuesday or Wednesday.

What do you guys think of the draw? Let me know in the comments.


Huge fan of Roger Federer. I watch all his matches from Grand Slam level right down to ATP 250. When I'm not watching or writing about tennis I play regularly myself and have a keen interest in tactics, equipment and technicalties of the sport.

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      1. Yes, I am not suprised but sad to see after the draw was made. It could have been better for Federer otherwise…but it could also been worse i guess.

  1. Hope he makes to finals and win it. Draw seems tricky but probably helps him too after break..It would be great if ha can get it done, seems like looong time since big win.

  2. Tennis world seems to brighten up again with Fed and you showed up around, yey! Long time indeed, welcome back Jonathan. Yeah I’m more concerned about his outfit than his draw 😆 So far what he wore were penny plain. Hopefully we’ll see a nice one like Cindy ’15. As for the draw, love to see vs Andy and vs Stan but not vs Delpo.
    Sasha’s ‘pathetic’ display – haha people think the kid needs spanking?

    1. yes,he hasn’t done himself any favours with those petty,indeed spiteful comments.Still he is very young
      and there is time for improvement hopefully.

    2. Its nice to see someone younger spank him. Its good to bring him back down to earth. Hope Tsitsipas gets better, he is decent and will get better in the future.

  3. As for Roger I never thought he would be joining the league of Dorks wearing his cap back to front?
    A tricky draw withAnderson,Kyrgios ,the young Greek God and the Possum in the mix although he won’t play them all
    thank God.However he has avoided the Joker so Nadal can have fun with him in the quarters,if he doesn’t withdraw before

  4. Great post Jon. Pretty decent draw, by his lofty standard at least the semis. The only sad part, I will miss most of his matches due to travelling ;( So Rog, please do well.

    Rogers Cup has been interesting, Tsitsipas doing very well. Kudos to him for taking out Sasha. Nadal not playing well but still manages to grind out Ws, oh please someone stop.

      1. I know, I was thinking the same thing!
        Looks like new stadium seats in place? Sid , where are you? On a jet to Cinci?

      2. I know feel so sad I am going to miss a lot of his matches at Cincy :-(, guys please cheer for our man -focus n hold ha ha ha

  5. Looks like I can’t count at 7am…9th? So refreshing to wake up to a new post and cooler weather. Please rain…the trees need a drink. And weeks of heat, two days of cool and then back to the heat.
    Hat on backwards, love it. I’m guessing Roger will wear black shorts and some sort of white patterned shirt? I loved Cincy “15 .
    Toronto is quite entertaining. Tsitsipas seems to have a good mental attitude and fh but holes in his game include the bh . If they get through, I could see Nadal playing him like Roger. Anyway, like Jonathan said, I don’t know anything about tennis.
    As usual, the draw is too hard to predict. How will Roger play since most matches are on his racket. Too many variables with Stan and Andy back in the mix.
    Thanks for the new post, Jonathan. Are you back home from your travels?

  6. I’m not expecting much, really. Semi-final would be an achievement. And even that would be flattering considering that stupid teenager jerk look. What’s the point of wearing caps (already not a very classy hat as it is although I need to use one myself…) backwards? Why, oh, why? Why not complementing it with shades worn backwards to go with it?
    On a side note, risking to get too repetitive: Tsitsipas does it again.

  7. Didn’t he do well?What a match,makes Saschas comments even sillier.Such fearless tennis and no sign of fatigue (yet)Lets hope for the biggest upset of them all tomorrow ?

    1. I don’t like Alex’s attitude/posture. Not that it’s fundamentally incorrect; he behaves very much like a brat. He’s either moaning, throwing the tool around or making excuses.

  8. Reasonable draw, could be some “interesting” matches. Really depends on Roger, doesn’t it – how will he come out playing? Always such a joy to see him playing well, and he often DOES play well here, so feeling cautiously hopeful. Hope Sid will give us the on-site scoop!

    Anybody going to Austin for the RoddickFoundation conversation?

    I too have been really interested to see Tsitsipas’ run in Toronto. He’s another one who plays with joy, and I like how he stays light-footed on the court. I hope they convince him to come to Laver Cup – they’ve got to be thinking about it, though I don’t know how hard it would be for him to get out of a tourney he’s already signed up for (St. Petersburg maybe?) The mixed generations thing was one of the best things about it last year I thought.

    1. Oh, also wanted to note seeing that Feli lost in 1st round qualies – it was just a few years ago he was Roger’s opponent in the final.

      1. The “flying all over the ****ing court” comment was the qf? Dang, misremembered that completely.

      1. Nah more about geography/politics. I know Greece is in Europe technically, but at best it’s a stretch. I’m not sure they feel European, or want to be part of the EU after Goldman Sachs cooked the books.

      2. Ah, Jon, Greek is the cradle of European democracy/culture, isn’t it? I was in Athens not long ago, and it looked southern Europe to me. Except their way of typing…

  9. I think Fed’s going to be pretty sharp this week. He obviously loves the Cincy courts and he’ll want to get into great form before he goes to New York. Facing Murray in the third round would be interesting, but given Andy hasn’t taken a set in three matches in Cincy where he was in much better form, it would take a lot for him to beat Fed here.

  10. Come on Tsitsipas, I don’t feel you will win but please give it all you’ve got. Maybe all the Greek fans will help you across the finish line. Watch Nadal hit to his bh with lots of spin.

    1. Well we never know. I was surprised all the way from Djoko to Anderson included, and although I feel same thing as you Sue, this time also, then the hope is strong to be surprised again. Happy birthday to Stefanos, with a happy win too, that’s the wish!!

  11. Welcome back! I just hope he plays more aggressive than that QF at Wimby. Hopefully Seve has had words. Will be good to see him. Supporting Stefanos in his absence!
    Not sure about Muzz. Mayer might trouble him.
    Novak was weird. I picked him to win Toronto but yes pazyamor got in the way.
    No way Rafa does Back to Back!
    Delpo will threaten but I hope Fed gets to final and thrashes Sascha! ?

  12. I’ve lowered my expectations after wimby.
    I felt I always expect 2017 but we are in 2018. Since Wimbledon 2017 Roger is playing on a level or two under the magical standard of the first half of 2017.
    This year the most prominent difference is top 10. He barely met top 10 opponents and he’s 50-50 which is below career average. Last year he was destroying the top players one after the other. Only two losses were Zverev and Goffin.
    With this draw, SF is very likely.
    Don’t think I’ll see too much of Cincy because it happens when I usualy asleep but who knows…

    I feel so dumb. I’ve watched so many Roger matches alone and never realized there’s a live chat here.

    1. yes being in the Uk means all the good matches will be around 3-5 o clockish?
      Still it is nice to discuss them with kindred spirits.

    2. If you wouldn’t mind boys drifting away from tennis to discuss cricket or football and girls’ talk of dude’s hair (yes we are allowed to call the goat ‘dude’!) 😆 But yeah it’s great especially when we need a group hug.

      1. I certainly needed a hug after the IW final. That was a painful one.
        Was also the turning point of the season IMO. Let’s hope this trip to the US will bring a positive turning point. 🙂

      2. My theory is when the Nike contract was up in March, they put a curse on Fed. Ever since his results haven’t been the best. Actually, I think the contract ended during the final at IW.

  13. I am hoping for a Greek God win (has anyone else noticed that apart from the brown eyes he looks very like the
    Western iconography of Jesus)Hope I am not committing heresy or offending anyone by saying this.
    Nadal is very difficult to beat in a final though and has had(as usual)an easier route to get there,although the Stan match
    was a tussle.Anyway lets hope for the best.

  14. Nadal looking very strong, I will forever wonder how he managed to fix his knees…could he please let
    us all in the secret. I would like if the youngster had a perfect 20th he is a joy to watch, But looking
    to Roger hope he has a good tournament.

      1. I can sum up the match for you easily.
        Tsitsipas is tired after a lot of three set matches and Nadal is in good shape. He wins 6-2 in the first set. Same thing start of the second set but at 5-3, right after a kid screamed go Rafa during Stefanos’s first serve, Rafa told him to redo the first serve (the ref didn’t want to) and from that point Tsitsipas had a “resurge” of energy, broke Nadal when he served for the match (5-4) and managed to bring the set to a tie-break. At 4-4 Tsitsipas did an UE and at the end Rafa was just better. 7-6 for Rafa.
        6-2, 7-6 (4)

  15. @Vik,excellent summary.What is strange is that service choke from Nadal at 5-4.Tsits(or whatever we are going to call him?)really didn’t have to do much,Nadals serve just imploded.Strange that after so many years and victories he still gets
    tight.Not enough to lose the match though.

  16. I was going to say Titty but that would be going too far.Actually back in the olden days when milk was delivered on carts,my mothers milkman was actually called Mr Titty.?

  17. I’m a Leo too, my b’day today. No ohbh though, lol. Off to see Felix and Vasek in Vancouver Open tomorrow. And Rick Hansen (anyone know who that is)?
    Tsitsi seems good.

    1. Glad you asked about Rick Hansen!! He’s a well known Canadian Paralympic athlete. In the 1980s he circled the world in his wheelchair in the ‘Man in Motion World Tour’. He continues to raises lots of money for and awareness of spinal cord injury-related programs. He’s an inspiration. I believe he’s a guest speaker at the Vancouver Open. Have fun 🙂

      Fed is back on the court tomorrow – yeah!!!!!!! 🙂 Wonder what the match kit will be?

      1. Hey Chris, I suppose I worded that wrong. I know all about Hansen. He’s done so much for people with disabilities. Off to the Van Open today BUT the air is extremely smokey. Almost 600 fires burning in British Columbia and smoke coming from California. I wouldn’t want to be exercising in this.
        The best present would be Roger winning USO!

  18. When watching at the pictures of his press conference yesterday in Cincinnati, I’d like Ro99er to give us the recipe to look as fresh as ever after a hard training session. He seems to be cool, rested,  and as happy as a junior to compete again. Hope it will be a great Cincy.

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