Cincinnati – 1R

Historically, the Canadian Open-Cincinnati combo is tougher to win than the Indian Wells-Miami combo. It’s very interesting whether Novak Djokovic will be the first man to win both combos within a season. Obviously there’s a reminiscence in his 2011 season to the previous most impressive season of the Open era, which occurred 27 years ago – John McEnroe lost his first match of the season in Paris then (like Djokovic this year) and the second one in Cincinnati (to Vijay Amritraj in the second round) just after winning the Canadian Open. Will Djokovic in some sense repeat it? For me he was a 100% favorite to win in Montreal, now I’m pretty convinced he wins easily first three matches in Cincinnati, from semi-finals onwards I give him “only” 70% to get another ‘Masters’ title. Except Robin Soderling all the best players appeared in the main draw with a few notable names absent last week: David Ferrer, Jurgen Melzer, Xavier Malisse, Tommy Haas, James Blake & Andy Roddick [15].
The latter played his first tournament match since Wimbledon and finished it in a bad atmosphere. Roddick led with a set and break against Philipp Kohlschreiber [47], but double faults crept into his game which caused two breaks within three service games (had been unbroken before). After losing the 2nd set he broke his racquet and received a warning. Roddick wasted four break points in the 1st game of the final set, and in the following game at 30-30 made another double fault – thumped the ball into the stands with fury and Carlos Bernardes gave him the second code violation which meant losing a point and game in the consequence. Roddick couldn’t deal with this decision, began to focus more on discussing with Bernardes than on his own game and quickly lost the set and the entire clash 7-6, 5-7, 1-6. He said he wants to play next week (he will enter a tournament a week before the US Open for the first time since 2002): “I got to get to Winston Salem and try to get a couple matches. That’s it. For me it’s silly to think about New York yet. Obviously if I go and win Winston Salem then it’s a different ballgame, or final of Winston Salem it’s a different ballgame. So a lot can change in a matter of two weeks.” A-Rod will drop out of the Top 20 next Monday for the first time in 10 years.

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