Fans’ guide to the week: August 15″22
Originally published on: 12/08/10 17:21
When? August 15-22
Where? Cincinnati, USA
Event type: ATP Masters 1000
Surface: Outdoor hard
Prize money: $2,450,000
Draw size: S-56, D-24
2009 Champion: Roger Federer
He may have been edged out by Andy Murray in Toronto at the weekend, but three-time Cincy champion Roger Federer arrives in Ohio competing in his second tournament since Wimbledon. The defending looks to imitate the form that saw him drop only one set – against Aussie Lleyton Hewitt – en route to his 16th Masters title. Can he claim a 17th and draw level with Andre Agassi’s mark of premier Tour titles?
World No.1 Rafael Nadal leads the Masters 1000 tally with 18 titles after claiming Monte Carlo, Rome and Madrid victories in the run-up to Roland Garros. The Spaniard has never won in Cincinnati, reaching the semis last year before losing in straight sets to Novak Djokovic. But after the success of the clay and grass court seasons, conquering the American hard courts is next on his agenda as he continues his campaign to claim that elusive US Open title.
Toronto champ and last year’s semi finalist Murray is at home on the hard courts having won 12 of 14 career titles on the surface. After spending a chunk of time in Miami working on his fitness and strength, the 2008 titlist returns to Cincinnati ready to impress “Murray Mania” on the courts
Things are looking up for Argentine David Nalbandian and after a nine-month absence due to illness, he won his first title in over a year at the Legg Mason Classice earlier this month. After eleven striaght wins before falling to Murray last week, the former No.3 looks likely to pick up the dark horse tag in Cincinnati.
Lleyton Hewitt returns after also pulling out of last week’s Toronto Masters. A quarter-finalist last year, Hewitt hopes to put his injury woes behind him in preparation for the US Open. Nicolas Almagro, Mikhail Youzhny and Robin Soderling will be looking to also better their impressive seasons in Ohio, while the American contingent – lead by Andy Roddick, with Isner, Querrey and Fish hoping to do some damage – will be out in force once more.
When? August 16-22
Where? Montreal, Canada
Event type: WTA Premier
Surface: Outdoor hard
Prize money: $2,000,000
Draw size: S-56, D-48
2009 Champion: Elena Dementieva
We head to Montreal this week for the WTA Rogers Cup, where defending champion Elena Dementieva will be hoping to revive what might have been a stellar season until a calf injury ended her hopes of Roland Garros glory in the semi-finals. The Russian returned to action in Stanford where she reached the quarters before losing to Maria Sharapova in three sets. Last year she beat her compatriot, along with Sam Stosur and Serena Williams, to claim her maiden Premier 5 event. Can she do the same again?
20-year-old Caroline Wozniacki is one of many who stand in her way. The world No.2 won her eighth career title two weeks ago in Denmark defeating Anna Chakvetadze and Klara Zakopalova along the way. The Dane will be keen to carry her fine form into the US Open, with plenty of points to defend as last year’s beaten finalist.
After briefly trading places with Wozniacki in the rankings last week, Jelena Jankovic is top seed in Canada, but is another player who has been hit with a litany of injuries this season. After a unexpected first round loss to Aisa Kleybanova in San Diego the Serb crashed out in Cincy to Akgul Amanmuradova and will be keen to set the record straight sooner rather than later.
Kim Clijsters will arrive in Canada on a high after titling at the weekend, and while Maria Sharapova fell victim to the US Open champ, she must be pleased wth her return to form these past few weeks. Svetlana Kuznetsova has also been gaining momentum on the courts recently after her San Diego win, and can’t be counted out.