ATP Masters 1000Cincinnati MastersRoger Federer

Cincinnati Masters 1000 Draw 2014

The Roger's Cup is still in full swing but with Cincinnati starting on Monday the draw is out and Roger has a very similar route to the final to the one in Toronto.

Cincinnati has been a great tournament over the years for the Swiss; both the court and the venue seem to bring out his very best tennis. With Fed either losing early or not playing the Roger's Cup in the last 3 years I've always had high expectations going into Cincy but this year is going to be quite difficult I think. If Fed is to make the final in Toronto it could be a big ask to perform well in back to back Masters 1000 tournaments especially as he has already played two tough 3 setters against Cilic and Ferrer this week. Fed went 33 yesterday and although he plays the most efficient game on tour he's not 22 any more so a potential 10 matches in 14 days is going to be tricky.

Federer's Projected Opponents

  • 1st Round: Bye
  • 2nd Round: Stepanek / Pospisil
  • 3rd Round: Bautisita-Agust / Monfils
  • Quarter Final: Murray
  • Semi Final: Raonic / Berdych
  • Final: Djokovic

Full .PDF draw

Thoughts on the Draw

Federer Cincinnati 2013

First up for Roger will be the winner of Stepanek / Pospisil. Quite tough to call but I'll pick Stepanek as I think he's too wily a competitor for Pospisil who is still inexperienced despite making the final in Washington 2 weeks ago. Stepanek has been known to cause Fed problems from time to time and they've played each other twice already this year, Fed winning both encounters although the one in Monte Carlo wasn't easy.

If Pospisil comes through then I'm not sure how that match up goes, they played last year when Fed was rebuilding his form after the USO and had a close one but Fed prevailed. However 2014 Fed will be too good for him I feel to really be overly challenged.

3rd Round looks like another good one for Fed with Bautista-Agut or Monfils the likely opponents. I hadn't seen much of Bautista-Agut until I saw him vs. Murray at Wimbledon and the guy has zero power on his groundstrokes. Quite strange how he is ranked so well with such a pusher game and I can't really see how he threatens Fed on one of his favourite hardcourts. Monfils on the other hand as we know is a loose cannon, one match he has one of the biggest forehands on tour, the next he chooses to just push the ball in play. Much depends on which Gael turns up but I'd like to see Fed take him out after Shanghai last year.

The Quarter Finals is where it gets interesting as Murray is the seeded opponent. He's been saying how it's great to train at 100% again but then lost 5 games in a row vs. Tsonga to lose in the Quarters in Toronto so his form is questionable. Always a tough matchup for Fed in non slams as Murray bores him to sleep with how he plays. Would be the first time these 2 have played since the Australian Open though so could be interesting. If Roger is holding up physically well after Toronto I'd pick him to win but if he's feeling a little laboured in the legs then Murray is the kind of player to exploit it.

Into the semi's and seeded opponents are either Berdych or Raonic are the likely opponents. There's no real dangermen in their sections of the draw so I think they could meet in meet in the Quarters. Berdych isn't playing that well this year but just doing enough to stick around the top 5. Raonic is having a good year but I wouldn't say he's necessarily broken through as he doesn't have many big wins on his resume yet.

The final would then likely be against Djokovic who has a good record in Cincy making four finals but is yet to win it. He of course crashed out early to Tsonga at the Roger's Cup but I expect him to bounce back though ahead of the USO and this is arguably the more important event heading into New York. If he were to win he'd also have won every single Masters 1000 at least once. He could face Simon in the 2nd round though who I think could test him.

Elsewhere in the Draw

Isner Cincy

Not a full strength field here as Rafael Nadal, Juan Martin del Potro, Kei Nishikori and Alexandr Dolgopolov are all missing and having quickly scanned the draw there aren't too many exciting first round matches.

I'm thinking Isner might do well here ahead of the USO as the surface should suit his game. He has to get past Kevin Anderson who made the Quarters in Toronto but I think Anderson prefers a slightly slower surface like we see in Canada, Indian Wells etc.

Ferrer could also make the latter stages after his performance in Toronto, I expected Fed to roll him over but it looked like he had got himself back into some form with the way he played.


  • Isner
  • Ferrer
  • Hewitt
  • Verdasco

What do you think? Is it a tough ask for Fed to perform at back to back Masters 1000's?


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. Would love for him to do so πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚
        But a USO win would be much much better πŸ˜‰

  1. I know Pospisil is injured. He was injured in the loss to Gasquet 1st round. He had to pull out of doubles. So, maybe it will be Stepanek. Murray seems to be an unknown lately. Not playing to the level before his surgery. With Roger, tough for him to play all that tennis in such a short time frame. Hard to say how he’ll fare. I guess it depends on how his body feels and the amount of rest he can get.

  2. Yey, Cincy is one of my favorite tournament, Fed being successful and with its dry and sunny image πŸ™‚
    Difficult to read Novak’s form but I think he’s certainly going for the career golden Masters whatever call it.
    Hope Fed stays in good form there too to stop it. Allez!

  3. Yes agree, back to back with barely any rest will be tough but prob won’t play til Tues evening so Cld be ok. Looks pretty fit ATM but ends a quick match tonight to recoup.

  4. Looking at the draw, Tsonga Cld trouble Novak again if gets thru, and Anderson Cld trouble Muzza! Also Stan has a nightmare v Karlovic potentially!!

    1. I don’t think Anderson will beat Isner in first round. He plays better on the slower / rougher hard courts. Cincy always seems to be that bit quicker.

  5. Typo: It was Dubai that was close not MC πŸ˜‰

    If Roger wins Toronto, QF is all that i am expecting for Cinci. If he wins just 1 of the M1000 and looks good in the other, its good preparation for the USO. Fed hasn’t won a Masters in 2 year, so its about time he has a good chance. BTW, if Roger wins the Roger’s Cup, its the 1st title with Stefan in his box!

    I like his draw. some expect people ranked out of the 100s until the quarters, but i like Berdych SF, since he probably won’t make it lol.

  6. Tougher draw than the current one, but Roger should be able to make the Finals. Djoker will have the edge if he makes it that far, which I assume he would after the early exit here.

  7. Hey guys, where did THIS Jo Willy come from?? He loses to almost anybody…. now he beats Novak (who was not tired by the way !!!) and Muzza and now…. he just beat Dimi !!! Where did this guy come from? Can he be one of the few to beat Novak, Muzza and Roger?? I cannot understand Jo Willy. A clown…. yet is possible to beat the best of the best….

    Question guys…. is it a disadvantage for Roger that his opponent beats Dimi first and then has to play him???
    Because it seems like Dimi is there so the opponent can “practise” how to beat Roger…..

    Come on Roger… make it to the final and beat Jo Willy…

    Oh and why o why does Roger have all the evening or night sessions???

  8. Well we got to see that tweeter!! Pity he lost the point though. Hilarious how he went, tweeter, squash shot, slice, oh screw this, I’ll take the next point, and into the stands the ball went.

    I think there might be one issue in tomorrow’s final – the fact that he hasn’t played any day matches. They’ve all been night matches and Tsonga has had all day matches. That’s a factor that will favour Tsonga, certainly. Wouldn’t have minded the final going either way had Fed clinched Wimbledon- it would have just been a fun no pressure final, but sorry Tsonga, as much as I enjoy watching you play, I’m going to be all out Fed tomorrow.

    1. Lopez wasn’t really there. Terrible first serve percentage and a stack of UE. Tsonga – or at least the present version – is likely to be much more difficult. His power can really pose problems for Roger.

  9. This will be the biggest challenge yet for Roger. Tsonga is playing really well. Maybe something was wrong with Dimitrov..tired? i won’t be able to see much of the match live. Maybe better for the nerves.

  10. Congratulation to Roger and his fans for reaching Roger’s Cup final. It has been impressive week for him, yet, but I accept him to do will against Tsonga. I haven’t seen much of the tournament due to the fact Nadal is not playing a companied with heavy works the entire week πŸ™‚ but I check the scoreboards and the review from time to time
    So good luck for Roger in the final and for Cinci

  11. Jo-Willy got lucky. He has no chance against Roger in his current form. He hasn’t beaten Roger in over two years. There is no chance. As for Cincy, I really think he might take it a little bit easier for this one because the US Open is soon so I think he might only make it to the quarters or semis. As for Dimitrov, he’s a newer guy and hasn’t really played the big guns long enough to be a real threat. Jo-Willy may I remind everyone, lost to Roger in Austrailia in I believe straight sets. No chance.

    1. I don’t think he has been lucky at all, he has beaten Djokovic, Murray and now Dimitrov. That looks like title winning form to me.

      Dimitrov has been on tour a long time already, he’s faced Roger twice, Djokovic numerous times and Nadal, taking sets off them as well as beating Murray at Wimbledon.

      1. Ok, Ajay, Deborah didn’t actually conclude what “no chance” mean. Maybe she implied, no chance Tsonga loses? πŸ™‚

  12. The goal for Fed isn’t the US OPEN? How he will manage two majors and a slam back to back?
    I think he will pull off this one….
    I do want him to be in it but I mostly want him to be Great GOAT on the slam.
    Last half year he proved his age in reverse (32 aka 23) but now 33 is 33 in both reversing.

  13. Decent draw, how Roger performs at Cincy is much dependent on his performance at Toronto. Hopefully he can secure a W at Toronto against Tsonga. I would not expect him to go deep at Cincy, maybe up to 3rd or Qtrs, after all he needs good rest before USO.

    1. Back to back Masters 1000 is tough. Nadal managed it last year though, then you get a week till USO so decent amount of recovery, no travelling needed either.

  14. Thanks for the post, Jonathan.

    A lot of comments above refer to the idea that not going too deep into Cinci would help Fed’s USO chances, particularly as he’s made the Toronto final. But I’m interested to know whether these comments are based on ‘common sense’ intuitions that Fed’s age means he can’t pull off what Dull did last year, or whether anyone has evidence which shows that a 32/33 year old Fed’s performance significantly drops without more days off than the tournaments’ full schedule allows. To my eye, he looks as fit as the proverbial fiddle!

    1. It would mean 10 matches in 14 days, that’s quite a tough ask for any player I think. But I agree on Fed looking very fit, he’s moved well all week.

      I dunno really how going deep or losing early at Cincy would effect his USO chances. Positives and negatives to both outcomes.

      Still a week between between Cincy and USO so not like he won’t have chance to rest.

    2. Personally I don’t think that will be a problem at all Rhodri. I was interested in that as well and apparently athletes suffer 2 declines: One in reactions, changes of direction and recovery time around the mid-late twenties and then another decline in straight-line running speed and recovery time once the player reaches their late thirties or even early forties.

      So the career arc of an average champion in tennis would be:

      Age 16-21: Developing your game to be good enough to beat top players, getting tour experience etc.
      Age 21-26: Dominating and winning the great majority of your major titles.
      Age 27-37: First decline starts, and you are probably no longer no.1, but can still win a major with the right luck / a good two weeks. Roger is here.
      Age 38+: No longer really a contender for anything important on the tour due to second decline, unlikely to reach any more slam finals. Younger generation have totally taken over and you can no longer keep up with advances in technology, fitness, etc.

      So basically the ideal time for Roger to call it a day would be 2018-19, before his second decline.

      PS: I can’t remember where I got this information from, you’ll just have to trust my memory, but it was a short scientific analysis on the subject. It’s quite old now so you can possibly add 1-2 years onto some of the ages that I wrote down. The analysis looked at many different sports, and the peak age for swimming was 21, chess was 31, and tennis 24. There were other sports as well but I can’t remember the results for those.

      Hoping for Roger in 3 today!

      1. Thanks a lot for that. Obviously, thie assumption is that Fed is like a normal sportsman, but we all know he’s superhuman πŸ˜‰

        Fed in 3 – good point. I want a victory but don’t want to be short changed by a match that only last an hour and a half!

      2. PS nice to think that Dull has, at least statistically, entered the first stage of decline. Can’t have him catching Fed’s GS tally…!

      3. With doping all that goes out the window. Players can peak earlier and last longer. We have been seeing quite a bit of that over the last decade.

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