Saturday School: Most successful players in the current Cincinnati field

The United States of America gears up for its second largest tournament after the US Open. The Western and Southern Open held at Cincinnati is a part of the US Open Series and is categorized as a Masters event. Played immediately after the Rogers Cup, this event is often challenging for the players to adapt upon. Only Patrick Rafter, Andy Murray and Rafael Nadal have won the Rogers Cup-Cincinnati Masters-US Open triple and only six players have completed the Canadian Open-Cincinnati double. 
One of the most elusive Masters tournaments, the Cincinnati Masters has a strong player field for the 117th edition. A data was collected for the players drawn in the 2018 Cincinnati edition. This data showed the win rate of the players since 2010. The following are the men who have played with a win rate of more than 70% in the past eight years.

1) Roger Federer (Win Rate: 92%)

In the history of the Cincinnati Masters, no player has been as successful as Roger Federer. The Swiss Maestro has won a record seven titles at Cincinnati and since 2010, he won the event each time except in 2011 and 2013 when he reached the quarterfinals. In 2018, he will be making his 16th appearance at the Cincinnati Masters and the first since 2015. Federer has won 23 and lost only twice in the last eight years at Cincinnati. Tomas Berdych (2011) and Rafael Nadal (2013) are the two players who registered wins against the World No.2 in the past eight years.

2) Andy Murray (Win Rate: 76%)

Two time Cincinnati champion, Andy Murray will make a return to the Cincinnati Masters, marking his first Masters event in his comeback trail after his hip surgery. The Brit has reached at least the quarterfinals at Cincinnati since 2010 barring only once in 2012 where he was defeated by Jeremy Chardy in the Round of 16. Murray won the event in 2008 and 2011 and finished as the runner-up when he last appeared in this tournament two years ago. With a 19-6 win-loss record since 2010, Murray will look forward to buildup on his record this year and is likely to be challenged by Roger Federer in the third round this year.

3) Novak Djokovic (Win Rate: 73.9%)

The only missing Masters event from Novak Djokovic’s resume in order to complete the Golden Masters in a title at Cincinnati. The Serb came scarily close to achieve this feat in the second decade of the 21st century, finishing as the runner-up in 2011, 2012 and 2015, being defeated by once by Murray and twice by Federer. After winning Wimbledon this year, the Serb fell in the round of sixteen to 19-year old Stefanos Tsitsipas at Toronto. The Serb is 6-4 on hard courts this year and will have to get past Steve Johnson, Marco Cecchinato or Adrian Mannarino, Grigor Dimitrov, Rafael Nadal and Alexander Zverev or Marin Cilic who are drawn in his quarter.

4) Grigor Dimitrov (Win Rate: 73.7%)

Grigor Dimitrov entered the Cincinnati Masters for the first time in 2011 and failed to get past the Round of 16 till 2015. However, in the past two years, the Bulgarian has had good runs at Cincinnati, reaching the semis in 2016 and winning the event in 2017. Having lost nine of the fifteen matches he played on hard courts this year, Dimitrov will find it an uphill task to defend his Masters title this year.

5) Rafael Nadal (Win Rate: 72.2%)

Rafael Nadal has won a record 32 Masters titles in his career of which one of them came at the Cincinnati Masters in 2013 after he defeated Roger Federer in three sets. Apart from that triumph in 2013, the Spaniard reached the quarterfinals thrice and was ousted in the Round of 16 twice. Last year he lost in the quarterfinals to eventual runner-up Nick Kyrgios. It is the only the third hard court event that Nadal will enter this year.

6) Marin Cilic (Win Rate: 70.5%)

Marin Cilic last appeared at the Cincinnati Masters in 2016 and went on to win the tournament which is the lone Masters title in the Croatian’s arsenal. He defeated Andy Murray in the 2016 Cincinnati finals to win his first ever Masters title. Apart from 2016, Cilic has performed moderately in the rest of the years since 2010. Last year, an adductor injury forced him to withdraw before the tournament. He reached the Australian Open finals this year and finished as a quartefinalist at the Rogers Cup.
The 2018 Rogers Cup promises to be a promising one as the Big Four feature in a Masters event together for the first time since the 2017 Indian Wells. They will be challenged by the Next Gen players like Alexander Zverev, Dominic Thiem, Andrey Rublev, Stefanos Tsitsipas, Denis Shapovalov, Francis Tiafoe, Karen Khachanov and many more. The Cincinnati Masters are won by players other than the members of the Big Four since the past two years. With Roger Federer back in Cincinnati, Rafael Nadal coming from an impressive run Toronto and Novak Djokovic eyeing the Golden Masters, this year’s Western & Southern Open promises to be a one to watch out for.

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