The National Bank Open, formerly Rogers Cup

Top 4 seeds dominate Western & Southern Open

August 24, 2021

For the first time since 2012, the top 4 seeds at a Masters 1000 event were the four remaining players heading into the semi-finals on Saturday. When this feat was last accomplished at the 2012 Shanghai Rolex Masters, the top 4 seeds were Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray, and Tomas Berdych.

Nine years later, three of those four players are still playing – including Djokovic, the current World No. 1. However, the Serb superstar pulled out of the 2021 Western & Southern Open, which left the door open for the young guns to shine in Cincinnati.

Daniil Medvedev [1] vs. Andrey Rublev [4]

The tournament No. 1 seed, Daniil Medvedev, was coming off of a brilliant week at the National Bank Open presented by Rogers in Toronto, where he soared his way past American Reilly Opelka 6-4, 6-3 in the finals to capture his fourth ATP Masters 1000 title. However, Medvedev’s tournament in Cincinnati ended just shy of the finals, as he was knocked out by compatriot and good friend Andrey Rublev.

Rublev, who was seeded fourth, had an outstanding time in Ohio. He defeated in-shape opponents Marin Cilic, Gael Monfils, and Benoit Paire before ousting Medvedev 2-6, 6-3, 6-3 in the semi-finals. Despite playing fantastic tennis, it was no match against the No. 3-seeded Alexander Zverev on Sunday.

Stefanos Tsitsipas [2] vs. Alexander Zverev [3]

Stefanos Tsitsipas made back-to-back Masters 1000 semi-finals for the first time in his career on Saturday. He lost his match in Toronto to runner-up Opelka and faced a tougher foe in recent gold medallist Alexander Zverev in Cincinnati. Their three-set thriller took two hours and 43 minutes and a final-set tiebreak to determine the eventual winner – Germany’s Zverev.

Tournament No. 3 seed Zverev cruised his way to the semi-finals, defeating South Africa’s Lloyd Harris 7-6(3), 6-2, Argentina’s Guido Pella 6-2, 6-3, and Norway’s Casper Ruud 6-1, 6-3. The only time Zverev’s tournament looked in doubt was against the No. 2-seeded Greek, when he was down a double break in the decider.

Alexander Zverev [3] vs. Andrey Rublev [4]

The Sunday finals didn’t quite match the excitement of both semi-final matches, as it took Zverev just under an hour to dismantle Rublev 6-2, 6-3. The German won an astonishing 93 percent of points on first serve and 88 percent of return points on Rublev’s second serve.

Zverev captured his fifth Masters 1000 title and is now one away from becoming the eighth winningest player at the ATP Masters 1000 level. Djokovic and Rafael Nadal still lead the way with 36 titles – each!