After missing most of last week's tournaments in Montreal and Toronto because of vacation, I am back home and eager to watch Cincinnati this week. I did catch the tail end of the last week's tournaments and was disappointed that the finals for each were so one-sided. Of course, not being a Rafael Nadal fan myself I was disappointed by the result, but I won't get into that since I know there are many Rafa fans out there, so time to quickly move on.
This tournament in Cincinnati is a big one for Roger Federer and his fans. It's difficult to know what to expect, though I have high hopes that his back will cooperate and that this will be the time he finds his form again on one of his favorite hard courts. Interestingly enough, Mirka has been joining him on court in his practices the last two days. Also of note is that yesterday he was using the new racquet, today his old one.
These two pictures were from yesterday with the new racquet and they seemed to be having a serious discussion.
This one is from today and look at the racquet - obviously his old one again. They also look quite a bit happier in this picture. It will be quite interesting to see what he comes on court with for his first match. It would also have been interesting to have been able to watch both practices and see if there was a difference in the way he played with each.
He will be playing Phillipp Kohlschreiber in his 2nd round match, a tricky customer. This is such an important match for him to establish himself with a solid win and show that he is ready to compete solidly without the confusing losses to low ranked players. I really feel like he can have a great week here in Cincy, maybe quelling the media's negativity and putting himself in the running for the U.S. Open. It's been four whole years since he was in the final there, five since he's won it. How about showing he is still at the top by winning it this year?!
I am also curious to see how Andy Murray plays this week after losing early in Montreal. He must be feeling a bit of pressure being the defending champion at the U.S. Open for the first time. I'm sure he would love to have a good run to give himself confidence after a disappointing week last week. Novak Djokovic was rather up and down in Montreal, and he has the chance to make history if he were to win this week in Cincy, becoming the first man to have won each of the Masters 1000 tournaments. A lot on the line for many as things heat up heading into the last grand slam of the year.