The current edition of the Western and Southern Open is serving up to be one of the most loaded Masters 1000 tournaments in over a decade. For the first time since Novak was in his prime, the entry list is stacked with the participation of the entire men’s top 20. In that list, there are 6 different men who have at least reached the final of Cincinnati, just in the last 4 years, with 4 different champions. Aside from the star studded list of players occupying the world’s top 20 rankings, there are 40 or so other talented players who on their day can also make a surprisingly deep run.
The man needs no introduction. Traditionally after a shock loss, there is almost no better player, past or present, who can exact revenge so forcefully. Expect him to storm through Cincinnati and the US Open. Djokovic famously won Cincinnati after the first Covid lockdowns in 2020- before skipping the tournament in 2021 to focus on the US Open after a tough Olympics loss. In 2022, Djokovic was then banned from competing in any tournament in the North American hard court swing due to vaccine mandates. This edition will mark the first time Djokovic has played Cincinnati in 3 years- and the number 1 spot is up for grabs this week.
After a shock loss to Carlos Alcaraz in the final of Wimbledon, Djokovic will have Alcaraz’s name on his hit list at the next 4 majors. It is the first time in a very long time that Djokovic has experienced being put in this position, and the disrespect by pundits will only add fuel to the fire for Djokovic. Expect Djokovic to still win the most majors out of anyone over the next 2-3 years. Djokovic is already being heavily doubted in his ability to beat Alcaraz to the punch and win the majority of the majors, so expect Djokovic to prove the doubters wrong. Regardless of the result here in Cincinatti, pencil in Djokovic winning the most majors out of anyone over the next few years. Alcaraz may be the next all-time great, but Djokovic is going nowhere and has been the best player at grand slams over the last 5 years. With a jaw-dropping 11 slams since 2018, doubt Djokovic at your own peril.
Carlos Alcaraz, Daniil Medvedev and Jannik Sinner are all players who have the biggest shots at winning Cincinnati alongside Djokovic. Add in the raw ability of the other top 10 players, and this tournament is truly up for grabs.
All in all, which players do you think will make up the last 8 spots at the Cincinnati Masters?