Cincinnati Draw: Felix vs. Berrettini Among Many First-Round Blockbusters

  • Posted: Aug 12, 2023

Cincinnati Draw: Felix vs. Berrettini Among Many First-Round Blockbusters

Alcaraz, Djokovic in opposite halves as top two seeds

The Western & Southern Open draw was revealed on Friday, with top seeds Carlos Alcaraz and Novak Djokovic in the same field for the first time since their Wimbledon final epic. While the top two players in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings can only meet in the title match at the Cincinnati ATP Masters 1000, there will be plenty of intrigue long before that in the opening round.

Among the many must-see first-round matchups, breakout American stars Ben Shelton and Christopher Eubanks will clash on home soil, 13th seed Cameron Norrie will meet Gael Monfils, and 16th seed Alexander Zverev will face Grigor Dimitrov.

Perhaps the biggest of the early blockbusters will see 12th seed Felix Auger-Aliassime bid to break out of his recent slump when he meets Matteo Berrettini. Auger-Aliassime defeated the Italian two years ago in Cincinnati, but that is his only win in the pair’s Lexus ATP Head2Head Series, which Berrettini leads 4-1.

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Both men will be eager to make up for early exits in Toronto, where Berrettini lost to countryman Jannik Sinner in the second round and Auger-Aliassime was upset by Aussie Max Purcell to bring his losing streak to four matches.

Other first-round showdowns in Cincinnati include Andy Murray vs. 11th seed Karen Khachanov, ninth seed Taylor Fritz vs. Jiri Lehecka, and Toronto semi-finalist Alex de Minaur vs. J.J. Wolf.

Defending champion Borna Coric will open against Sebastian Korda in another marquee matchup, with the 15th seed in line for a potential Cincy final rematch against fourth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas in the third round.

Another potential third-round showdown could see Zverev and third seed Daniil Medvedev renew their rivalry, with Medvedev leading their Lexus ATP Head2Head 9-6.

Top seed Carlos Alcaraz will open against John Isner or a qualifier, and the Spaniard is seeded to meet Tommy Paul in the third round and Casper Ruud in the quarter-finals.

Novak Djokovic will begin his campaign against Toronto semi-finalist Alejandro Davidovich Fokina or Tomas Martin Etcheverry, with Norrie and Sinner potentially beyond that.

Main-draw play at the 2023 Western & Southern Open will take place from 12-20 August.

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