Thursday, August 2, 2012

A Look ahead at Toronto & Cincy

After four months of clay and then grass, for David it's now back to playing on his favourite surface again, and it's also back to the part of the season where two years ago he played his best tennis after hip surgery - the North American hardcourt swing. The last two seasons, David played three events ahead of the US Open, with Washington as an addition to his schedule that turned out great the first time around but then the second time not so very.
This time, Washington fell victim to the Olympics, and that leaves the two Masters events that traditionally constitute the build-up to the US Open (August 27 - September 9).
Here's a look at what's ahead in the coming weeks.

Rogers Cup, Masters Toronto (August 6-12)

(Getty Images)

This year, it's Toronto's turn again to host the Canadian Masters event, the only one that takes place in two different cities, Toronto and Montréal. And with the upcoming edition, Toronto will take a 5-4 lead, as far as David's appearances are concerned. David's best ever result at this event happened at Montréal, with the final he reached back in 2003. But whereas apart from that final appearance it's been early exits for David at Montréal (including his first-round loss to Stanislas Wawrinka, last year), at Toronto he made it to the quarterfinal stage twice, at what was his first edition in 2002, as well as at the most recent one, two years ago. Back then, after victories over David Ferrer and Robin Söderling, it was Andy Murray, who beat David in the quarterfinal and put an end to his eleven-match winning streak. Still, Toronto's Rexall Centre should be a place of good memories.
Just like at the previous Masters events this year, David won't be seeded. But unlike at the previous Masters events this year, not everybody is going to be there. The list of withdrawals already includes Rafa Nadal, David Ferrer, Fernando Verdasco, Gael Monfils, Stanislas Wawrinka and Juan Carlos Ferrero. More are expected to follow.
Edit: Roger Federer, Nicolas Almagro and Andy Roddick have pulled out as well.
The draw for Toronto will be made on Saturday. The exact time I still have to find out.

Western & Southern Open, Masters Cincinnati (August 13-19)

(tournament website)

It's traditionally the last of the three US hardcourt Masters events and for most players, it's the last tournament ahead of the US Open. But for David, it's also something else - the Cincinnati Masters, held in Mason, Ohio and also simply known as Cincy, is traditionally his worst of all Masters events. In the course of his seven appearances at this tournament so far, he reached one quarterfinal and he beat Roger Federer on his way to it, back in 2003. But apart from that, and in more recent times, his third-round defeat against Novak Djokovic in 2010 has been David's best result at Cincy, where he usually goes out in either the first or the second round. Last year, following his poor performance at Montréal, David managed to beat Kei Nishikori in the first round before he lost to Andy Murray in the second, with what was perhaps the worst serve perfomance I ever saw from him.
If David was asked to make a list of his favourite tournaments then I'm pretty sure that Cincy wouldn't be on it. But as it's going to be, also for David, the last event ahead of the US Open he'll certainly try his best to get as many matches as possible - if he gets the chance.
While at Toronto, not everybody is going to be there, chances are that they will all be back in time for Cincy. And David, once more unseeded, will have to hope for a bit of luck with the draw - for a change.
The draw for Cincy will be made on Friday, August 10, at 5.30pm local.


  1. Vamos David! That's all what I'm going to say ;)

  2. I'm definitely not going to say anything in connection with the draws... :)

  3. good luck!
    This may even mean? :)

  4. Vamos, vamos!
    Go go go !!!

  5. It can be said?
    More Iuck than before!

  6. live: