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ATP CINCINNATI - MAIN DRAW: Federer and Nadal battle for No.1!

ATP CINCINNATI - MAIN DRAW: Federer and Nadal battle for No.1!

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by Jovica Ilic

The origins of the Cincinnati Open could be traced way back to 1899 and Avondale Athletic Club, and it developed into one of the most prestige events in the USA in the last couple of decades. It was mainly played on clay until 1979 when it got permanent hard courts, and it is a regular stop on the ATP Tour since 1970. Ken Rosewall was the champion that season, followed by some big names, like Stan Smith, Jimmy Connors, John McEnroe, Ivan Lendl, Mats Wilander, Boris Becker, Stefan Edberg, Pete Sampras, Michael Chang, Andre Agassi, Andy Roddick, Roger Federer, Andy Murray and Rafael Nadal! Defending champion Marin Cilic will not be here, together with Andy Murray, Stan Wawrinka, and Novak Djokovic, but the crowd will witness the battle for the number 1 spot between Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer, as some of them will pass Andy Murray on the ATP list after Cincinnati.

Just like in Montreal, where he missed a huge chance to become world number 1, 2013 champion Rafael Nadal will be the top seed, opening his campaign against Richard Gasquet or a qualifier.

There are also David Goffin, Nick Kyrgios, Gilles Muller, Kevin Anderson, Ivo Karlovic and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, and the Spaniard will have to produce some good tennis in order to reach the semi-final.

Dominic Thiem and Kei Nishikori lead the second quarter, both struggling to make good results in the last couple of weeks. Sam Querrey will take upon Stefan Kozlov while Steve Johnson plays David Ferrer, in what also should be a nice first round match.

Daniil Medvedev, Fabio Fognini, Fernando Verdasco and Mischa Zverev will also try to spoil the party for the favorites and make a good result for themselves.

Milos Raonic and Alexander Zverev are set to play projected quarter-final in the third quarter, but there are also Borna Coric, Gael Monfils, Roberto Bautista Agut, John Isner and young Americans Jared Donaldson, Frances Tiafoe and Tommy Paul who will seek good result as well.

Zverev is still active in Montreal and Milos has not been in a great form recently, so there's window opened for some of the mentioned players to step up and take that semi-final spot. The bottom quarter is led by Roger Federer and Grigor Dimitrov, together with Tomas Berdych, Jack Sock, Juan Martin del Potro and Feliciano Lopez.

Berdych and del Potro should play a very interesting first round encounter while Roger will face Diego Schwartzman or Karen Khachanov in the second round. Full draw:

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ALSO READ: ATP Montreal: Denis Shapovalov still pushes the limits, will face Zverev

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