By Erwin Ong
(CINCINNATI) August 9, 2013 -- A roar from the crowd greeted Mardy Fish on the grounds of the Western & Southern Open on Friday, where the American was on hand to help fill in the draw for Men’s Singles Event. This ATP Masters Series tournament, the fourth stop in the U.S. Open Series, is held from August 12-18, 2013.
Fans filled the Lindner Family Tennis Center’s Grandstand Tent to be the first to hear about the tournament’s potential match-ups.
With this draw ceremony, the campaigns of the 16 seeds – led by Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray, and Spaniards David Ferrer and Rafael Nadal – are now set, along with those of the entire field.
The top half features No. 1 seed Novak Djokovic, who will face Frenchman Richard Gasquet in the quarterfinals if seedings hold. Also of note in this section is the special exemption that was made for Vasek Pospisil. As a reward for the Canadian’s amazing run at this week’s Rogers Cup in Montreal, a main draw spot was granted to Pospisil. He will play 15th seed Gilles Simon in the first round. Pospisil’s compatriot Milos Raonic is also in this section and the Canadians could face each other in the quarterfinals.
Americans John Isner, Sam Querrey, and Jack Sock all share this quarter with Djokovic. Sock received a wildcard into this event along with Ryan Harrison, who opens with the flashy shotmaking of Alexandr Dolgopolov; Brian Baker, who returns from injury yet again to get his promising tennis career back on track; and James Blake, who has been burdened with the Herculean task of disarming the hot streak of Poland’s Jerzy Janowicz. Fish will open against Philipp Kohlschreiber and, if he wins, will face Roger Federer as a second-round opponent. The top 8 seeds receive first-round byes at this tournament.
Opposite from Djokovic in that top half is a potential quarterfinal match between David Ferrer and Juan Martin del Potro, seeded third and seventh respectively. Janowicz could beat Ferrer in the third round, and Japan’s Kei Nishikori could do the same against Del Potro in that same round.
In the bottom half of the draw, Andy Murray will face the winner of the match between Mikhail Youzhny and the unpredictable Ernests Gulbis. Gulbis, from Latvia, reached the quarterfinals of the Rogers Cup in Montreal this week before falling to Raonic. Murray could face Fabio Fognini in the third round. The Italian amassed a 13-match winning streak last month, winning two titles in the process. Sixth seed Tomas Berdych should be Murray’s opponent if seeds hold.
The final quarter of the men’s draw features both Rafael Nadal as the fourth seed and Roger Federer as the fifth and with a potential meeting in the quarterfinals. Rafael Nadal will face a qualifier in his opening round. Other notable players in this quarter include Kevin Anderson, who reached the final of the BB&T Atlanta Open earlier this summer, and Tommy Haas, who reached the semifinals at last week’s Citi Open in Washington, D.C. Americans Brian Baker and Mardy Fish are also in this section.
View the entire draw here: http://assets.usta.com/assets/663/15/ATP_Singles_Draw.pdf