Djokovic back to business in Cincinnati – in Sinner’s part of the draw

Novak Djokovic faces a tough task as he looks to bounce back from his defeat in the Wimbledon final

Novak Djokovic Cincinnati 2023 (AI/Reuters/Panoramic)

The US Open approaches, and the warm-up tournaments get bigger and more important. Next stop – Cincinnati, where there are plenty of fascinating things happening on the men’s side of the competition.

Djokovic back in the USA

Novak Djokovic has not been allowed to set foot in the United States since the final he lost at the US Open 2021 due to his refusal to be vaccinated against Covid-19. Now no longer mandatory in the USA, the Serb will be present at the Cincinnati Masters 1000 this time and will return to the court for his first matches on tour since his defeat in the Wimbledon final.

The draw has given him a course that may not leave him much time to gain momentum in what will be his only preparation tournament before the US Open; the current world No 2 withdrew from the Toronto Masters 1000. The man with 23 Grand Slam titles could thus face Alejandro Davidovich Fokina who is in the semi-finals in Toronto – if the Spaniard defeats Tomas Martin Etcheverry in the round of 64.

Sinner, de Minaur – men in form

Djokovic also has Jannik Sinner in his half of the draw, but also men currently in good form: Alex de Minaur, finalist in Los Cabos and in the semi-finals in Canada, and Gaël Monfils, while he will also have to keep an eye on Taylor Fritz.

Alcaraz faces tricky task

In the other part of the draw, Carlos Alcaraz will also have a tough path if there is to be a rematch of the Wimbledon final. The Spaniard, beaten in his second match in Toronto, could start his tournament against John Isner if the latter gets past a qualifier. If he progresses, there are some equally perilous rivals in store; he could face Tommy Paul in the third round, the man who beat him in Canada, and Frances Tiafoe and Casper Ruud are also in his quarter.

Coric defending champion, Tsitsipas faces an American

Borna Coric, the defending champion, will do battle with Sebastian Korda while Stefanos Tsitsipas has the toughest of starts: he will play the winner of the match between Ben Shelton and Christopher Eubanks.

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