Monday, 19 August 2013

WTA / ATP Cincinnati 2013: That's a wrap!

A pretty solid week all round in Cincy, let's take a look at the highlights.

The Champions:
Victoria Azarenka
Victoria Azarenka: By all accounts, the 2013 WTA Cincy final was one of the best of the year so far as Azarenka displayed terrific spirit to topple Serena Williams for the second time on the hard courts this year, 2-6 6-2 7-6(6).  Serena was nowhere near her best, but Vika has enjoyed some success against her this week and having that belief is paramount to the development of what should be a top rivalry over the years to come.  It also makes things very interesting for the US Open...

Rafael Nadal: Another remarkable week saw Nadal continue his unbeaten record on hard courts this year and lift his ninth (yes ninth) title of the year.  He overcame a solid effort from Roger Federer in a high quality quarter and then took out Tomas Berdych and John Isner in the semi-finals and final respectively.  He goes into the US Open as THE form player.  I would really like to see Nadal go up against Murray as that is the one player we haven't yet see Nadal play in 2013.

A good week for...
John Isner
Jelena Jankovic: Last week she was in the bad section, but JJ really turned it around this week with a solid run to the semi-finals where she earnt a set against Azarenka in a break-happy semi-final.  She also posted solid wins over Ekaterina Makarova, Sloane Stephens and Roberta Vinci and it is promising to see her playing well at the big events this year.

Caroline Wozniacki: 2013 has been pretty rough for Caro so it was nice to see her make the quarters and notch up a big win against an albeit inconsistent, Kvitova.  This week is New Haven, aka the Wozniacki Open where she has won the title four times and lost just once in 18 matches.  Another good week could give her the impetus to produce a solid showing at Flushing Meadows.

John Isner: With wins over Novak Djokovic and Juan Martin del Potro, it was a really fantastic week on tour for Isner.  The big man's best results always come on home soil and he certainly looked to be in good form as he managed to finish off a lot of matches without going to the tiebreak.  I am disappointed to still see him in the line-up for Winston Salem though because if he is well rested, I think he has chances of making a US Open quarter-final with the right draw.

A bad week for...
Ana Ivanovic
Novak Djokovic: 2013 has still been a good year for Djokovic, but if you hone in on his last four months compared to what he has done over the past two years, it has been below average from the world number one.  Djokovic lost another tight match, this time to Isner in the quarters and he will go into the US Open without a title since April where beat Rafael Nadal in the Monte-Carlo final.

Ana Ivanovic: Ivanovic was cruising to a straight sets victory over Alize Cornet in the first round at 6-2 5-2; however the Serb wasted a string of match points and ended up losing a heartbreaker, 2-6 7-6 6-4.  Ivanovic built up some good results in Carlsbad, but a result like this for such a confidence player is extremely worrisome heading into the US Open.

Maria Sharapova: First match back after Wimbledon and it was a rusty offering from Sharapova who went out in three sets to Sloane Stephens.  She will now go into the US Open with just one match under her belt.  She has done it many times before, most notably in Australia where she made final and semi-finals in 2012 and 2013 without playing any lead-up tournaments... don't count out Maria just yet.

The Talking Points:
Marion Bartoli
Marion Bartoli retires: Without a doubt, the story to come out of Cincy was the shock retirement of Marion Bartoli.  There had been no underlying impression that Bartoli was close to hanging up her tennis shoes, but a three set loss to Simona Halep proved to be the final match of her glittering career.  I have already written an article HERE about my feelings.  Sad though!

Maria Sharapova and Jimmy Connors split: Just one match into the Sharapova-Connors partnership and Maria pulled the plug.  I think it is a bit embarassing for both parties...

Fabio Fognini, Hero to Zero: After a terrific few weeks in Germany where he won his first two titles, Fognini was back to what he does best... causing drama.  In a straight sets loss to Radek Stepanek where he had recovered a deficit of 6-2 4-0 to 6-2 4-4, the Italian threw in an extraordinary final game of three double faults and a point penalty.  The final foot fault was an obvious tank and should certainly have been addressed by the ATP.

Fognini losing the plot

Moo's Predictions:
Champions: I correctly predicted Azarenka would win Cincy, but was way off with calling Murray.

Quarter-Finalists: Not bad for the women as I was 4/8, but better for the men with 6/8.

Best prediction of the week: I had one of my best weeks of the year in calling Vika to beat Serena in the womens final.  I was also happy with my tip of Vesnina making the third round.  In the mens, I correctly predicted Isner would reach the quarter-finals, but did not think he could topple Djokovic.

Did you enjoy Cincinnati this year? Please feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments section.


  1. Murrays loss was a tank, as was his loss to Gulbis in the previous tournament, he did the same last year, just put in token efforts then bailed out and practiced for the open, it's insulting to his opponents, the fans and the people putting on the tournaments, but if that's what Lendl wants, that's what Lendl gets.

  2. I am not sure I would call it a tank, but he obviously would have put a lot more effort in to overturn the deficits if it was a Grand Slam. There was certainly an incentive of ranking points if he won those matches to help his chance of making world number one next year.

  3. J'ai suivit le tournoi de Cincinnati avec la victoire de Nadal (vamos!!)

    Je l'ai dit déjà plusieurs fois, ton blog est une vrai pépite d'or.

    Tes posts sont très bien documentés c'est un vrai régal !

    J'espère que tu continueras encore et encore ...


  4. Thanks for your kind words, Lajiao :-)