Racquet Recap 🎾 Cincinnati - Tuesday

Federer & Djokovic Return📊, Kygsipas Doubles😂, Thiem Out🤕, Kyrgios/Tsitsipas Playing Laver Cup📣, Shots Of The Day

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NO SPOILERS 🎥


If you don't want to see the results yet, and want to catch up with the highlights first, stop scrolling now. (Highlights that are available will be linked here).

Djokovic 🎥 Querrey

Londero 🎥 Federer

Dimitrov 🎥 Wawrinka - Last few games (Match Of The Day 🔥)


RESULTS 🎾

💥 = Beatdown \\ 🤕 = Injury \\ ‼️ = Upset \\ 🤯 = Epic


Featured Matches

— Federer d Londero: 6-3, 6-4 💥

TL;DW: Londero didn’t really know what hit him today. The first set was over in 21 minutes, after the Argentinian played one poor game (with 2 double faults) to start the match, and then never even got a sniff at the Federer serve thereafter. Londero didn’t play badly after the early blip, dominating his own service games with ease. But as usual against Federer (and especially in Cincy), one break is all it takes for the Swiss to kill a set dead. A serve-bot-esque opener, with just 9/43 return points won, in 9 games, between the two players.

The 2nd set was interrupted by an hour long rain delay at 2-2, but upon resumption Federer started far quicker than his opponent, breaking immediately for 3*-2 after a Londero double fault. Federer had to save his only BP of the match a game later, while trying to consolidate, but did so with a lovely half-volley at the net. A few games later and Fed had closed out an hour long, very routine, win.

This was Federer in his Cincinnati element. Hugging the baseline, serving big and keeping points in a consistent staccato rhythm. Little signs of rust after his 3 week break.

What’s next for Federer? Plays Wawrinka or Rublev on Thursday.


— Djokovic d Querrey: 7-5, 6-1

TL;DW: A very close first set, in which Querrey led by a break (thanks to a very slow start and 3 double faults by Djokovic) until the American double faulted, and unforced-errored, away his advantage. Novak then took control, showing very little signs of rust after his 3 week gap between Wimbledon and Cincy.

The world No.1 got a bit lucky to avoid being broken at the start of the 2nd set, after Querrey set up 4 BP’s in the Serb’s first two service games. But the American missed badly on the first two, and Djokovic found good 1st serves to save the latter two. It was then one way traffic for Novak, with Querrey increasingly suffocated by Djokovic’s excellent returning. The American started to miss more and more, bringing about a decisive double break for the world No.1. Novak’s strength of forcing opponents to go for way too much, from tenuous positions, while trying to take on their 2nd or 3rd shot after the serve, is very much alive and kicking.

Querrey will rue his double faults and unforced errors, at crucial moments in set 1, but thereafter he was simply outplayed. Most telling stat today?

  • Querrey’s 12 month avg for 1st serve points won: 82%

  • Querrey’s 1st serve points won today: 62%

Very good opening match from Djokovic, who should be happy with both his serving (hitting 15 aces, his 2nd most ever for a straight sets Bof3 win) and returning performances. Perhaps most importantly though, his evident hunger during the match put to rest any immediate concerns that he would suffer a drop-off in motivation post-Wimbledon.

What’s next for Djokovic? Carreno Busta on Thursday.


Wawrinka d Dimitrov: 5-7, 6-4, 7-6(4)

TL;DW: Dimitrov played one of his best sets of the year to take the opener. The Bulgarian was serving nearly 10mph faster than he had vs Wawrinka last week in Montreal (signs of an improvement in his recent shoulder issues?), and managed to win 93% of his 1st serve points (as opposed to the 63% overall last week). Wawrinka’s 1st serve deserted him at 5*-6, and Dimitrov pounced to take a one set lead.

But, in what must have felt like déjà vu to Dimitrov fans, the slumping Bulgarian seemed to fall apart thereafter. A puzzling flurry of double faults surrendered Dimitrov’s serve at the start of set 2. And an even more flummoxing flurry of forehand unforced errors put him behind in the score (a double break) in set 3. Two significant lapses in Grigor’s level, and two openings that provided Wawrinka with all he (should have) needed to take the win.

However, surprisingly the Swiss then donated both his break advantages back in the deciding set, and despite breaking once more (for 6*-5) to attempt to serve out the match for the third time, lost serve *again* to send the match to a tiebreaker. The Swiss finally closed out the match after some good forehands and serving, but he’ll be wondering how he didn’t finish it earlier.

Some good signs from Dimitrov (in sets 1 and and the end of 3), in perhaps one of his ‘best’ losses in recent months. Odd, inconsistent win for Wawrinka.

What’s next for Wawrinka? Plays Rublev tomorrow.


Also:

Finished from yesterday:

  • Opelka d Coric: 4-6, 6-3, 7-5

  • Paire d Verdasco: 6-4… Ret’d

  • Rublev d Basilashvili: 6-7(4), 6-4, 6-2 ‼️

  • Medvedev d Edmund: 6-2, 7-5

  • Tiafoe d Monfils: 7-6(7), 6-3 ‼️

Monfils was 5-2 up in the first set, then had 4 set points in the tiebreaker, and still ended up losing it. Tiafoe then managed to put in a solid shift in the 2nd set, against a quite irritated Monfils, to get a much needed win. Gael still not 100% after his ankle injury in Montreal.

  • Goffin d Fritz: 6-4, 4-6, 6-4

  • Shapovalov d Sousa: 2-6, 6-3, 6-2

Very good win for Shapo. His level in sets 2 and 3 is the best sustained tennis I’ve seen from him since Miami.

  • Schwartzman d Djere: 7-6(2), 6-3

  • Bautista Agut d Hurkacz: 7-6(6), 6-3

  • Carreno Busta d Isner: 6-4, 6-7(1), 7-6(6)


SHOTS OF THE DAY 😮


— Brilliant first volley from Dimitrov. (TennisTV)


— Wawrinka creating a short angle, from the centre line, which couldn’t have existed about 20-30 years ago. (TennisTV)


— Wawrinka breaking AGAIN, for 6*-5 in the 3rd set, before being broken right back AGAIN. (TennisTV)


— Dimitrov breaking Wawrinka to force a tiebreaker. (TennisTV)


— *Enormous*, fully open-stance sliding forehand, from Shapo. Slap of the day. Slap slap slap. (TennisTV)


— A trademark sliding backhand down the line from Djokovic. (TennisTV)


— Djokovic so controlled with the original backhand. Doesn’t try and go for an outright winner, just wants to force Querrey to play a volley, confident that he’ll be able to make up the ground. (TennisTV)


— Always a great angle. You can see Federer moving to cover down the line after his first volley, and also moving back, to ensure he has the space and time to hustle cross-court if Londero goes there instead (which he does). (TennisTV)


— Federer only faced one BP all match, and he saved it in serious style. A double-handed half-volley winner.

— Another angle. 🔥:

INTERVIEW/PRESSER BEST BITS🎤


Djokovic post-win:

“The fact that I’m a reigning champion didn’t affect me positively or negatively. There was just excitement to be back on the court competing because it’s been quite awhile since the Wimbledon final. But at the same time, I had the nervous start because I haven’t played a match in four weeks. It took a while to adjust to his big game. I made three double faults in the opening game and didn’t have the greatest of starts.

“It was a tricky match, a quality opponent and a big challenge, but I’m happy to be tested right from the start. Hopefully the next performance will be even better.”


Federer post-win:


ORDER OF PLAY FOR WEDNESDAY 📅


CENTRE COURT

— Approx 2pm Cincy (ET), 6pm UK — 

🇩🇪 A.Zverev vs Kecmanovic 🇷🇸  (1st Meeting) 🔥

  • Prediction: Zverev in 3

— NB 8:30pm ET, 1:30am UK —

🇷🇺 Khachanov vs Kyrgios 🇦🇺 (1st Meeting) 🔥

  • Prediction: Kyrgios in 3


GRANDSTAND

— 11am Cincy (ET), 4pm UK — 

🇯🇵 Nishikori vs Nishioka 🇯🇵 (1st Meeting)

  • Prediction: Nishikori in 3

🇬🇷 Tsitsipas vs Struff 🇩🇪 (H2H: 1-1) (Hard H2H: 1-0) 🔥

  • Prediction: Tsitsipas in 3

— NB 7pm ET, 12am UK —

🇪🇸 Bautista Agut vs Tiafoe 🇺🇸 (1st Meeting) 🔥

  • Prediction: Bautista Agut in 2


STADIUM 3

— 11am Cincy (ET), 4pm UK — 

🇦🇺 De Minaur vs Opelka 🇺🇸 (H2H: 2-0) (Hard H2H: 2-0) 

  • Prediction: De Minaur in 3

🇨🇭Wawrinka vs Rublev 🇷🇺 (H2H: 1-0) (Hard H2H: 1-0) 🔥

  • Prediction: Wawrinka in 3


COURT 4

— Approx 12pm Cincy (ET), 5pm UK — 

🇷🇺 Medvedev vs Paire 🇫🇷 (H2H: 1-0) (Hard H2H: 1-0) 🔥

  • Prediction: Medvedev in 2

🇧🇪 Goffin vs Pella 🇦🇷(H2H: 3-1) (Hard H2H: 2-1) 🔥

  • Prediction: Pella in 3

🇫🇷 Pouille vs Shapovalov 🇨🇦 (1st Meeting) 🔥

  • Prediction: Shapovalov in 3

Full Schedule


EXTRAS 🔍📊🎤


— Del Potro has officially pulled out of the US Open.

Delpo currently has 2050 ranking points in the live rankings (sitting 15th). Missing the US Open will take him down to 850 points, which is currently worth about 69 in the rankings. He'll obviously get a protected ranking, but still...



— Cincy slightly slower than Montreal (which was 42-ish) this year apparently, even though it's hotter in Cincy. Will probably end up above 40 by the end of the tournament.


Dimitrov's shoulder (something that’s been bothering him for a while) appeared to be feeling better at the start of his match vs Wawrinka today.

— Vs Wawrinka last week vs this week:

  • 1st serve speed avg in Montreal: 117mph -

  • 1st serve speed avg in Cincinnati in opening set: 126mph

But the speed declined as the match went on. Maybe still not in perfect shape:

  • 1st Set: 126mph

  • 2nd Set: 123mph

  • 3rd Set: 121mph


— 👆Doubles didn't go too well for Novak yesterday (as usual)…

— 👇But singles did (also as usual):



— Grigor cursing the gods for giving him a single-handed backhand on shots like these.


NEW BALLS PLEASE 👀


— Linesman with a 10/10 stoic reaction to being bullseyed by a Wawrinka serve.


— Goffin has been especially angsty (for him at least) recently. EmoGoff.



— Ah N. Kyrgio & P. Tits. An iconic duo if ever there was one.

Also, who knew Petros Tsitsipas was playing doubles with Kyrgios. Wild.


— Soo, when is the Uniqlo designer gonna admit they just *really* like Liquorice Allsorts?


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GAME, SET, MATCH 👋


— The Racquet is created, and written, by Matt.

— You can find me on Twitter here, and Instagram here.

See you tomorrow for Day 3 of Cincinnati!