They call it Tennis Tuesday, and this Tuesday at the Western & Southern Open it is all about the tennis.
Venus Williams, Juan Martin del Potro, Garbiñe Muguruza, Simona Halep, Jack Sock and more top-notch matches in a day that includes 29 singles and nine doubles matches as first-round play wraps up and second round battles begin.
Here’s the five matches we think you can’t miss on a day of must-see action around the grounds.
Juan Martin del Potro vs. Tomas Berdych
First match, Center Court
When this blockbuster first-round pairing was announced at Friday’s draw party, the room - packed with hundreds of tennis fans - collectively gasped. As has been the case for much of his season, 2009 US Open champ and fan fave del Potro is in for an early-round battle. Both players have been ranked as high as No. 4 in the world, with del Potro, 28, owning a 4-3 head-to-head advantage against the 31-year-old Czech.
Dominika Cibulkova vs. Ana Konjuh
First match, Grandstand
Cibulkova was at that draw party, and when her name was drawn against Konjuh she calmly said it was a match she’d like to exact some revenge in having lost to the youngster earlier this summer at Wimbledon, 6-4 in the third set. Both these women possess powerful baseline games that excel on fast hard courts, Cibulkova having won the WTA Finals last year (and reaching the 2014 Australian Open final) while Konjuh had her breakthrough at the US Open a year ago, making the quarterfinals.
Simona Halep vs. Taylor Townsend
Second match, Grandstand
Twenty-one-year-old Townsend had the American fans thrilled on Court 10 on Monday with a three-set win over Olympic gold medalist Monica Puig, meaning she’s now won three matches that have gone the distance having come through the qualifying draw in the same fashion. It’s these two players’ first-ever meeting, with Halep playing (once again) with a shot at the world No. 1 ranking, though she’s coming off a surprisingly disappointing loss in the Toronto semifinals, where she won just two games against eventual champion Elina Svitolina.
Dominic Thiem vs. Fabio Fognini
Second match - evening session, Grandstand
Have you seen Thiem play tennis yet? If not, we’d highly recommend checking out the Austrian that many see as the next Top 5 player in men’s tennis, and likely a French Open champion having already been to the semifinals there twice. But the dynamic Italian Fognini is always unpredictable, though Thiem did win their only meeting - on clay in Munich two years ago.
John Isner vs. Tommy Paul
First match - evening session, Center Court
If you’re a fan of American men’s tennis then this is the match to see on Tuesday, with longtime leader Isner taking on fast-rising Paul, who at 20 has had a breakthrough summer, making the quarterfinals in both Atlanta and Washington, D.C. The south where both these guys hail from - North Carolina the state they call home - but Tuesday they’ll do battle for the first time ever on tour.
What else to keep an eye on? There’s so much to choose from. Venus Williams takes on American Alison Riske, while American teen CiCi Bellis is trying to win a second straight match against Frenchwoman Alize Cornet. Sloane Stephens beat Lucie Safarova in a third-set tiebreak last week in Canada and they meet again on Tuesday, while Nick Kyrgios and David Goffin do battle, as do David Ferrer and Steve Johnson as well as Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Ivo Karlovic.
See? We told you it’d be quite the busy day. Pull up a chair, tennis fans!