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  • Chris Sobey


The top players on the ATP Tour have been falling like flies with injuries over the last couple of months and with Djokovic and Wawrinka out for the rest of the season, Murray's participation not looking good, Federer's back causing him problems again and now Nishikori out for the rest of the season it looks like new World Number One Rafa Nadal won't get a better chance to re-establish himself as the top player in the men's game.

Nadal has a great chance of winning Cincinnati this week given the quality of the event has been severely diluted and it looks like the same could apply for the US Open, but with that Grand Slam throwing up surprise winners in recent years its more likely this will occur again as Nadal has always found it difficult to produce his best tennis at Flushing Meadows due to the quick conditions not suiting his game.

Theres already been plenty of shocks at Cincinnati this week and fourth seed and Washington and Montreal winner Alexander Zverev lost against American NextGen star Tiafoe, eighth seed Tsonga was knocked out by Karlovic and ninth seed Goffin's poor form continued as he lost against the controversial Kyrgios. Tenth seed Berdych crashed out against Del Potro, 12th seed Bautista Agut lost against Wild Card Donaldson from America and the 13th seed Sock's disappointing form continued when he lost against Sugita.

At the time of writing the fourth-round contenders were almost complete with just top-seed Nadal and Gasquet, Mannarino and 15th seed Querrey and Ramos-Vinolas and Muller left to play. Players who had already made it through to the fourth round were Kyrgios and Karlovic and Kyrgios is favourite to progress as he leads the head-to-head 3-0, third seed Thiem, who plays the winner of Mannarino and Querrey and Carreno-Busta faces compatriot Ferrer for the third time with the head-to-head standing at 1-1. From the bottom half of the draw Basilashvili faces Wild Card Donaldson, 14th seed Isner faces compatriot and Wild Card Tiafoe for the second time and Isner won their previous encounter, Dimitrov faces Del Potro for the sixth time and trails the head-to-head 5-0 and finally Khachanov faces Sugita for the first time.

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