Five to Watch Wednesday


Second round action continues Wednesday at the Western & Southern Open, with the bulk of the players who had first round byes making their 2021 tournament debut. Here are five matches to watch Wednesday:


Daniil Medvedev vs. Mackenzie McDonald

There are a couple winning streaks on the line for Daniil Medvedev when he takes the court Wednesday. The 2019 Western & Southern Open champion will be seeking his seventh straight win in Cincinnati while also looking to win his six straight match this season after picking up the title last week in Toronto. Standing in his way is American Mackenzie McDonald, a former NCAA champion from UCLA who reached his first career ATP Tour final earlier this month at Washington, D.C.


Naomi Osaka vs. Coco Gauff

Despite being just 17 years old, Wednesday will be the third time Coco Gauff faces four-time Major champion Naomi Osaka. The two have split their previous encounters, with Osaka winning at the 2019 US Open before Gauff was victorious at the 2020 Australian Open. The runner-up last year when the Western & Southern Open was held in New York, Osaka’s best result in Cincinnati was a quarterfinal in 2019 while Gauff is making her debut in Cincinnati. Osaka, who has a Japanese mother and Haitian father, has pledged to donate her prize money this week to earthquake relief efforts in Haiti. 


Stefanos Tsitsipas vs. Sebastian Korda

American Sebastian Korda will look to continue his impressive debut season when he takes on second seeded Stefanos Tsitsipas. The 21-year-old Korda, who’s sister Nelly recently won a gold medal in golf at the Tokyo Olympics, is 23-11 this season, including a title in Parma and the final at Delray Beach. The French Open finalist, Tsitsipas owns seven career titles, but is still seeking his first trophy at an outdoor, hard court event. 


Elina Svitolina vs. Angelique Kerber  

Three-time Major champion and two-time Western & Southern Open finalist Angelique Kerber will be looking to turn the tide Wednesday. Elina Svitolina owns a 9-5 edge in the head-to-head against Kerber and has been victorious in their last seven meetings dating back to the fall of 2016. Svitolina, the bronze medalist at the Tokyo Olympics, owns 15 career titles while the left-handed Kerber has won 13 times. 


Karen Khachanov vs. Felix Auger-Aliassime 

Karen Khachanov is seeking a place in his fifth straight Western & Southern Open Round of 16 when he faces Canada’s Felix Auger-Aliassime. Khachanov, a four-time ATP title winner, claimed the silver medal at the Tokyo Olympics in what was his first finals appearance since 2018. Auger-Aliassime, who turned 21 on August 8, is an eight-time finalist on the ATP Tour. Khachanve won their only previous meeting.