ATP Masters 1000Cincinnati MastersRoger Federer

Cincinnati Draw 2019: Federer Begins US Open Series in Ohio

The Swiss is bidding for an eighth Western and Southern Open title

The Western and Southern Open draw is out and Roger Federer will be making his first appearance on the court after his tough loss in the Wimbledon final back in July.

The Swiss was a beaten finalist in Ohio last year, again at the hands of Djokovic, but returns to the Lindner Family Tennis Center with a stellar record of seven titles and a 46-9 win-loss record. He will face either Matteo Berrettini or Juan Ignacio Londero in the second round, and you can see his projected opponents below.

Federer's Projected Opponents

  • Round 1: Bye
  • Round 2: Matteo Berrettini / Juan Ignacio Londero
  • Round 3: Stan Wawrinka / Nikolasz Basilashvili
  • Quarter Final: Stefanos Tsitsipas
  • Semi-Final: Novak Djokovic
  • Final: Rafael Nadal

Full printable PDF draw.

Thoughts on the Draw

federer cincy 19

First up for Federer is either Matteo Berrettini or wildcard Juan Ignacio Londero. The Swiss made Berrettini look like an amateur on the grass at SW19 and since then the Italian has been recovering from an ankle injury sustained in practice so Cincy is his first tournament back. 

Londero is a hard court novice with just four matches on the surface at tour level and a 1-3 losing record. He is at a career-high ranking though, played a couple of matches in Los Cabos last week and Berrettini could be rusty so it's a bit of a fifty-fifty match for me. Whoever Fed faces I'd pick him to come through comfortably.

Round three will most likely see Wawrinka, Dimitrov or Basilashvili on the other side of the net. Stan got the better of Grigor in Canada earlier this week, so the Bulgarian get's an immediate chance to avenge the loss.

Given Dimitrov's woeful form he's not someone you'd put money on despite him being a former champion, but if Cincy is a slightly quicker surface then his shot-making skills might pull him through. However, I make Stan the favourite to make the third round given he's made a semi-final and three quarter-finals at this tournament in recent years.

Into the quarter-finals and Tsitsipas is the top seed, the Greek has several hard court matches already under his belt having made the semi-finals in Washington but he was knocked out by Hurkacz in Montreal which was somewhat of an upset. Medvedev is also in this section and he's in fine form making the final in Washington and playing in today's Montreal semi-final so he's one to keep an eye on assuming he hasn't overplayed.

As for the semi-finals, Federer is in Djokovic's half so they could meet in the last four. That would be an exciting encounter given the Wimbledon final, and it'd be good to get an immediate rematch. Does Djokovic's domination continue or can Fed bounce back like nothing happened? Of course, they both have to win three matches to make it happen, and Djokovic has a tricky draw with Querrey, Herbert, Kyrgios and Isner all in his section so it's not a given.

For the final Nadal is the top seed in the other half along with Thiem, Nishikori and Zverev who are all capable of making finals at this level so take your pick 🙂

Finally, the formerly retired Andy Murray is back in the singles arena and faces Gasquet in the first round in his first match since undergoing more hip surgery after the Australian Open. Along with Stan and Grigor, that's the match that will draw the most eyeballs.

Expectations for Fed? Hopefully, he can hit the ground running, I expect one tricky/ropey match early on but if he can get through that then I like his chances of finding his feet to make the latter stages.


What do you guys think of the draw? Predictions for Fed? 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. I have no idea what to expect. Part of me thinks he’ll have a good tournament considering he’s played at a very high level all year post australia but then another part of me doubts he’s recovered mentally from Wimbledon. Would be good to get through a tight match and close it out without any problems to restore some confidence. Intriguing week ahead

  2. For the reasons you’ve given I dont expect any R2 problems for Rog, and Stan hasn’t enough confidence against him esp given he’s not been winning either except vs Dimi who is in even worse shape so I am looking forward to that revenge match in the SF. Djoko’s path isnt that difficult given neither P-H nor Isner are a match for him, Kyrgios is all bandaged up and not in the form he was in – and Djoker is in far better form than he was when Nick defeated him before. A shoe-in for Djoker I feel but Roger’s path a little trickier just because he’s 38 now and off-days happen, but also Medvedev, who I expect him to play, or Tsitsi, IF he can get there will be rather more challenging.

  3. Thanks Jonathan, for the post. I am just so glad that Fed will be back on court. It will be interesting to see how he does on hard courts. I was really disappointed with Fed’s loss here last year, so hoping for the best for 2019 as a start to the season.

  4. “Can Fed bounce back like nothing happened?” – I like that and hope so. Allez!
    “The formerly retired Andy Murray” – 😆 A good one! Not rusty at all after the break, Jonathan.

    1. Hahaha! This one takes the cake, “formerly retired”. It beats the “former world no 1 Andy Murray” quote Jon put a few years ago.

      1. I’m wondering, if they built-in certain metal not only into his hip but also into his mouth, making his big vertical smile EN-compliant (mot higher than 5 cm)? Those who loved his antics, would have to choose between drowning and hanging themselves 😉
        Do we really need Sirs on the tour?

      2. Haha I thought the retirement thing was a farce in Australia. So did Fed when he was asked about it, says he spoke to Murray and knew it wasn’t nailed on so all the eulogies were stupid. I don’t mind Murray tbh, he can be funny.

        @PRF Murray has had veneers, smiling far more now, must be part of the deal.

  5. Rather unfortunate that Fed always seems to get Stan in his part of the draw.
    It looks pretty tough to me,Medvedev in form,then Djoker and perhaps Nadal.
    Interesting to see how Sir Andy gets on.

      1. Formerly retired former and future No.1 is still No. 1 and For Ever the winner of my Open Mouth Contest (look slide show on my blog, if you like). 😉

        Sir may not win any single match more, but he can still present his antics, so loved by many, hahaha …

  6. Stan always gets Dimitrov or Paire (both friends), Fed always gets Stan (friends). But Stan not that dangerous these days. Medvedev will be overplayed, Nadal does not go for Cincy, rather for USO. Tsitsipas down. Zverev done. Djoker? Nobody knows. Thiem in very good form, but after winning Kitzbuehel and getting jetlag+virus, like last year), he will maybe kind of skip Cincy. If not, if he is 100% fit and healthy, can beat Nadal and meet Fed in the final. From all candidates, he would be the most dangerous, more than Rafa, I guess, not the unknown is his health and he will not go for everything in Cincy, saving energy and fitness for a bigger plan.
    Sir Metal Murray? Sho7ld start with challengers, like Stan and Nishikori did after their respective serious injuries.

      1. He only wants to show his antics and need a big crowd for that 😉

        Gasquet? He is someone able to lose anytime to anyone. Being a brilliant player has nothing to do here 😉

  7. I have never been to a prof tennis match before. Going to see Fed. When do you expect him to play in third round? Do they generally schedule him for evening? Any tips? Thanks.

  8. Well, here we are almost half way through August. The time flies in the summer. Is this the first time Fed didn’t go to a beach for a holiday after Wimbledon? I don’t ever remember them staying in Switzerland. Hoping he is well rested and motivated for the rest of the season. And no lingering thoughts….

    Is it me or are a lot of players unable to serve these days, male and female. I know there has been some windy days but so many dfs. I for one am happy to see Andy out of retirement. I miss the antics. The players I have my eye on for Cinci are Medvedev, RBA, NK and Khachanov. I would love to see NK take out Djoker and do the love fest thing after the match. Wicked thoughts.

    Next week is the Vancouver Open so going to that one day. Beautiful setting and decent players for only $35 a day.
    Fingers crossed we see Roger lifting that beautiful Rookwood vase. The big one not the smaller version.

  9. If the great Swiss goes through Rounds 2 and 3 we may have :
    QF against Tsitsi : AO 2019 revenge
    SF against Djoko : Wim 2019 revenge
    F against Nadal : RG revenge…
    What a symbol a win would be !
    He already has the Wim plate to put the vase on it… #103believe ! 

  10. What do I think?

    I think nothing matters for me – just talking about me – as a fan right now for Fed.

    If one cares – as I do – about Roger winning and not just the joy of having him out there – (which I agree is great in and of itself) then beating Novak or winning Cinci is just a hallow concession “also-ran” after Wim ’19.

    Novak can lose with a smile on his face as big as the Grand Canyon for all I’m concerned.

    Fed’s loss was as heartbreaking as it gets and only a GS championship will bring a little balm to the wound for me.

    Just my deal.

    1. Yes true, that’s how many of us are feeling, I guess. But still excited to watch him again. How is his spirit – if we are down still? I guess he has backpacked the disappointment and dropped it somewhere in a deep gorge and now focusing and looking forward to great in-form tennis performance – Cincinnati – one of his favorites 😊

      1. It’s all in context. Not sure another potential title in Ohio can hold much weight to the potential for a 9th Wimbledon, while beating Nadal and Novak back to back for #21.

        It was truly the match of a lifetime for Fed – opportunity wise.

        Glad there is a bigger world than winning pro-tennis… cause in the world of tennis…hard to recover.

      2. But … sure…

        Maybe if he can pull it off, sports history will remember the “Great Ohio Redemption” and how it erased all the heartbreak of last month.

        Plus, I’m sure he’ll beat Nadal in the SFs and have CP’s on Novak in the USO Final or for the title at Wimbledon again next year. …Happens all the time.

        GO CINCI !!!!

      3. Sorry for the rant.

        I’ll be glad to see him win in Cinci.
        Won’t make up for SW19, but I need to remember it is just a game with yellow fuzzy balls and sticks.

  11. The best medicine against a tough loss is a new match.
    Right now I think that the biggest hurdle for Fed is mental. He has played well all year and wants to rebound to settle his mind as quickly as possible.
    The rest of the pack does not seem to have a very clear motivation.
    Djerk-o-tronic must still be trying to understand what is that strange funky taste in his mouth after Wimbledon, no matter how triumphant he might want to show.
    Nadal is looking to fight and fight and then fight some more and sweat even more trying to decide which hat to wear in the hard court season.
    Tsitsipas is still looking for a new shoelaces’ supplier.
    Stan will try to improve to 2 good matches in a row. I find him a bit unmotivated, really.
    Dimitrov was found crawling under his bed looking for his second service. Until now he only found dust balls and a dead cockroach.

    1. Stan had some tough draws of late, he looks to be working hard off court although his instagram game is stronger than his on court one at the moment 😆

  12. I still find it amazing that Fed is at the top of the w/l list for this year … 38/5 even though Nadal may take his place soon. I hope Fed has had a good birthday and some time to regroup mentally.

  13. I think he’ll hit the ground running and make the semis at least. He made the final last year even though the only aspect of his game that was working was the serve. He’s going to want to have a good week and give himself some confidence going into New York. He’s only played truly great at the US Open once since 2012, and hopefully he has a strong sense of urgency about winning the title there, kind of like he did in 2008. The only guy that will beat him if he’s playing great in best of 5 is Djokovic (and I’d prefer he get drawn in his half at the USO instead of Rafa’s).

    1. Yeah 2015 his last good USO tbh and even then he flopped in the final. Hopefully can put a run together in NYC this year, better if courts are fast but they won’t be.

  14. Fingers crossed and all the luck in the world . He’s a true champ so am sure he can ditch any doubts after Wimbledon. That’s why he’s so great he can move on and so must all his fans!
    Best of luck to him we are so lucky to have him still playing at the top as Jon Macenroe says ! Watch and enjoy while we can , there will never be another Fed !

  15. Love Fed as most have posted. Can’t wait to see him in Cincy and hope he goes all the way #8 title for Cincy “when” he wins😀. Eimby was a heartbreaker so yeah, hope he’s dropped that liss into a deep ravine. Not a Joker fan and wouldn’t mind a Rafa/Fed final–almost anyone other than Joker. Fed’s mental outlook needs to be strong and he’ll do well. Again, 🤞🏽for #8 in Cincy🎾🎾

  16. I am so pissed off at the current state of the tour. Its virtually a free pass for Nadal and Djoko all the way to the finals. That wasn’t the case when Roger was 32-35 yrs old. And Roger is at an age where winning titles consistently is getting tougher.
    I will be so bumped if Roger doesn’t win one of the next two slams. That bite (Wim19 loss) will go deeper if that was his last final. I am not holding any hopes for any other big titles. As always has been, just watching Roger play is the biggest fun there is.

      1. That’s correct.
        I thought Anderson would mean business after the Wimb18 QF. I thought Zverev would mean business after WTF 2018 title. I thought Tsitsipas would mean business after AO19 QF. I thought Thiem would mean business after IW19 title. What a bunch of failures at the slams. At least Murray and Stan were doing some damage between 2012-2016. Such a big void at the moment.

      2. This weekend being a case in point. After all, both sides of the Canadian Open have been a bit of a joke.

  17. Honestly, I couldn’t care less about salving any wounds or consolation prizes for Wimbledon. It’s not like a Masters title is going to compensate for letting a Grand Slam title slip from match point up. Only another major title can really do that.

    Anyway, I’m sure Federer’s already digested the defeat, extracted whatever lessons he can from it, and put it behind him psychologically.

    The big focus in Cincinnati is surely getting HC matches under his belt so he can prep for New York. It’s been eleven years since he won there. Since then a lot of bad luck in Flushing Meadows; in 2010-11, he twice blew MPs against Djokovic; in 2014 he was playing well enough to win if he hadn’t burned out from playing Rogers Cup and Cincinnati back-to-back; in 2015 he cruised to the final but wasn’t quite sharp enough against Peak Djokovic; in 2017, after a better-than-vintage first half of the season, he tweaked his back in Montreal. Etc.

    He’s playing well enough to take a historic sixth title in New York, and after skipping Rogers Cup he should have enough energy left to do so, if he gets enough matches in Cincinnati.

    Last year he made the Cincinnati final despite being in a slump. This year, I don’t see anyone except Djokovic who could give him trouble till the final.

    Federer’s won the last four HC matches against Nadal without dropping a set or being broken, so I like his chances if they should meet. These days, Nadal has better chances against Federer on grass than on HC, and we saw how things went down at Wimbledon.

    C’mon Roger!

  18. Fed should have player Rogers Cup. It was the fastest HQ tournament since Shanghai 2016!!
    Anyways Rafa won and then skipped Cincy. The other side of the draw just became very open!!

  19. Congrats to Bianca in Toronto! I believe she is the real deal. Lots of variety, power, etc. If Serena didn’t retire with back spasms, I wonder who would have won.
    The men’s final was boring. Medvedev came out flatter than a pancake.

  20. I know it takes a lot out of you to get to a final, even if you blow away the opposition, but that’s brutal for the next tournament to lose their second seed & anchor of the bottom half, after the draw’s been done (& a couple of matches have been played, so there’s no redoing the draw…)

    I guess we see hoe Roger is playing. He’s been looking good all year, no reason he can’t get to the final if he brings that same level. Now, has he sorted whatever was going on in his head? In a sense I’m not sure it matters… he likes Cincy, it suits him, I’m sure he’d love to win here again… but it’s not Wimby. I don’t think the jellylegs phenom will be as pronounced if he does get that far.

    Apparently the family isn’t with him? Not sure what to think about that. It will give him more energy for tennis, & I do think he’s better than he was at managing wh3n they’re not right there, but this is a question mark for me.

    A word about PHH’s name – it’s Pierre-Hugues Herbert, so the “Hugues” is part of his first name – NOT part of or the principal part of his last name as with the Hispanic names.

    1. Bye, tricky match vs Evans, routine matches, walkover, blowout final. Hardly warrants a withdrawal IMO. Looks like he intended never to play it. Maybe it’s for ticket sales…

      No family, said they arrive in a week. Prob rather enjoy summer in Switzerland for a bit longer.

      And ye I did know PHH wasn’t double-barreled just saw I wrote Hugues Herbert standalone.

  21. No more Nadal in the final. Federer stays in the upperhalf to meet Djokovic in the semi. Who replaces Nadal to win the bottom half?

    1. LL Kukushkin gets in I think.

      Weird from Rafa, he had a bye, a walkover, a quick three-setter that he ran away with due to Fognini being injured and the easiest final imaginable. Daft!

      1. There is still Thiem in this half, but I don’t know, if he could heal his virus infection from Montreal. Don’t see him practicing in Cincy and he has entered doubles, which means in my understanding, no deep run is assumed. Maybe Opelka wins this half 😉

        Of course Rafa is not fatigued, but needs time to prepare well for US Open. He needs to tell something the tournament’s management. Fatigue is just “something” 😉

      2. Nothing weird about it. He got enough points to ensure 2nd seed for USO (wow, that Wimby seeding must have rankled, mustn’t it?!) so can’t meet Djoker before the final, so why bother playing Cincy? No point. But “fatigue”? Really?! Injured QF opponent, I understand, walkover in the SF, rollover in the final – shouldn’t be fatigued, surely?

  22. Oh how I wish players wouldn’t pull out after the draw, it makes it lopsided
    as far as the seeds are concerned. Got to laugh at Nadal citing fatigue
    however can’t take it away from him he won how Is they say like a
    mongoose on amphetamines…..feel free to correct me if I’m wrong.

    1. An alternate justification for eventual losing to “Kokkinakis” in Cincy first round.
      Not sure, but I think, Nadal can skip anything like Fed since years.
      So they have a deal – Nadal skips some, Fed skips others.
      Do you expect Nadal to say, he hates Cincinnati?
      It’s obvious, he goes for USO And seed no.2 is guaranteed for him. So what he has to look for in Cincy?

    2. BTW – Fed has withdrawals after draw in his CV>. Murray for sure. Not sure about Djoker.
      What’s bad, is ATP rule for LL getting then the seed of the withdrawn player..

  23. Fed says he has been caravanning 😎
    No disrespect to anyone who takes this form of holiday,but somehow I can’t see Fed and Mirka doing this.
    Perhaps they have tastes we know not of.Or perhaps it is a gold plated caravan on a most exclusive site.😀

    Yes Nadals formidable luck continues.I wonder how much time he actually spent on court to win that trophy.
    Still it is hardly his fault if all the other players are rubbish.

    1. Or ill (Thiem) or absent (Fed) 🙁
      We don’t know, where and how has Fed caravaning. Maybe bored by spending time in luxury venues. It’s for sure funny for children.

  24. Well, off-topic here.
    Peronism won again here in Argentina, for those who doesn’t know it’s like a fusion between national socialism and marxism (or just the worst populism without any concrete ideology). Hyperinflation and default is guaranteed, poverty will rise to more than 50% due to the inminent devaluation that is taking place right now.
    I better kill myself now, don’t have enough money to go anywhere else, I hate this country and it’s dumb people.

    1. I sympathise with you ,sometimes one despairs about politics and the rise of populism.
      What is happening in my country at the moment is atrocious.
      However nothing,but nothing is worth getting so upset about.
      You can still watch tennis(hopefully)and lose yourself for a few hours with that.
      All the best.

      1. Thank you so much. ¿Where are you from?
        I hope I can still pay all my services and watch Roger. It’s unbelievable how non-viable this country is, everything is rotten to the core. What strikes me the most is people defending this shit, they have no clue of economy whatsoever.
        They won’t stop until we become the next Venezuela.

    2. Yup the Argentine eocnomy is a mess. Basically a vassal state. Government issuing 100 year bonds, hyper inflation. Not good at all.

      1. It’s a chronic disease with these people, both government and citizens (if we can call citizens to some of them).
        Argentina used to be the most rich country long time ago. Now we are comparing to African countries levels in just a century, it’s beyond insanity.

      2. @Alexander
        Are you Argentine? You hate the country and dumb people.
        You are extremely unhappy with your country and it’s citizens.
        You don’t see any solution for you, but killing yourself.
        You have not enough money to migrate to US or anywhere else.
        What about all the refugees from North Africa, trying to reach Europe to live here?

        They have courage and many of them don’t survive the trip or are then unhappy with living in Europe. But they don’t kill themselves.,they fight for (better?) life.

        I’m from Poland. After a kind of revolution and transformation into modern capitalist economy in 80-ties, after some years of hyperinflation and shock reform, resulting in regular people losing everything and some getting somehow millionaires..

        With big corruption, (before we had small corruption) necessary as “primary accumulation of capital”. They say. You must only steal your first million, next will come legally (by exploiting those who were not able to steal the first one).
        That’s what was the core of transforming from socialist-marxist society to so called “free(???) market economy.

        I could tell a lot more, but this is not the place.
        You must find your way. Everyone must. Argentine is not unique. You want to find a paradise for yourself? Look for it in your soul and heart , not in what you see around you.

      3. Anyone who doesn’t like capitalism needs their head checking. It’s clearly not a perfect system and there’s plenty of crony capitalism, banker manipulation and no true price discovery across the world but it’s still the best system out there.

        “You must find your way. Everyone must. Argentine is not unique. You want to find a paradise for yourself? Look for it in your soul and heart, not in what you see around you.”

        This is overly simplistic. What good is looking in your soul and heart if you have bills to pay and mouths to feed? Or you don’t have the means or flexibility to just jump ship and move elsewhere? Individual sovereignty is not easy to come when the government is designed to oppress you.

  25. Well,I come from a country that has allegedly the fifth wealthiest economy in the world,although you certainly
    wouldn’t think so looking at the homeless on the streets etc.
    However out of respect for our host and other posters I think we had better steer clear of politics and focus on tennis.
    Watched the Cilic /Albott match.Cilic was dire,so many unforced errors,just threw it away.
    Also Garrin/Mannarino.Garrin soundly beaten,which was surprising as I had thought he was rather good.But
    Mannarino is a tricky customer.Saw him play Fed in Basle and until half way through thought Fed had had it.But he a Phoenix from the ashes to win.Often it takes him a while to figure out how play against that opponent,how to win.In best of three,not much time.😊

  26. ATP Points-wise Cinci and USO are very very important to Fed. If Djoko slips, it should be a super booster for Fed. And the, that YE#1 is still quite alive for Fed as opposed to Djoko who has tons to defend post USO.
    Lets go Roger!

  27. So it’s Fed vers. Londero tonight. Did anybody watch L’s match v. Berrettini (maybe Roger did!) ? How was he? (He beat Gasquet a little time ago, Båstad I think – did anybody watch that?)

    1. I saw a handful of points. Berrettini looked a bit rusty. The court looks quite high bouncing from what I saw in the Murray match so helps the clay courters a bit.

  28. Good match between Stan the man and Dimitrov.Stan rather good I thought though helped by unforced errors
    And double faults from Dimi.

    1. Gregor MUST hire a dedicated coach only for second services.
      “Write this down 500 times: I shall not miss my second service.”

  29. Hello, for the semi-final, if Federer can make it, can you tell if Federer will play in day or night at this moment? Or it is still not decided? Thanks!

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