Alexander Bublik d Marcos Giron 3-6 6-3 7-6(5)
Pre-match, some were thinking Bublik would get the job done easily, but I knew this is something to leave alone. Bublik likes to muck around, but when the match is on the line, Bublik has the ability to focus.
Grigor Dimitrov d Roberto Bautista Agut (13) 6-3 6-4
Dimitrov has fond memories in Cincinnati, having captured his one and only ATP Masters 1000 crown in Ohio in 2017, defeating Nick Kyrgios in the final. The 30-year-old broke RBA 3 times in a rain-disrupted clash and won 76 per cent (26/34) of his first-serves to advance in 84 minutes.
Seb Korda d Laslo Djere 6-4 6-4
Sebastian Korda continued his impressive 2021, now being 23-11 on the season as he aims to win his second ATP Tour title (Parma) and to improve his current career-high Fed Ex ATP Ranking of No. 45 this week. Both players eased through their service games in the first set until 5-4, when Korda broke at his first opportunity to take a one-set advantage. The 21-year-old was ruthlessly efficient on serve in the opener, winning 83 per cent of serves and firing 3 aces.
Korda showed resilience in the second set, as he recovered from being a break down to win the final three games. The Floridian failed to convert two match points at 5-4 before rain interrupted play for more than an hour. Korda showed composure after the break, quickly converting his 3rd match point.
Hubert Hurkacz (9) d Alejandro Davidovich Fokina 6-1 6-7(3) 6-1
ADF was a good bet to win a set, but I think winning the match was a bit far-fetched looking at their respective form recently. Hurkacz serving 15 aces to 1, but only hitting 65% in serves. His inconsistency is there, but it is doubtful enough to trouble his game against his next opponent...Sir Andy Murray.
Marin Cilic d Aslan Karatsev 7-5 6-3
Pre-match I really had hope for Karatsev, but I think it is finally time to depart the Karatsev train. Despite being 17-5 W-L ratio on hard court this year compared to Cilic's 5-6, it was difficult to see Cilic winning, but Karatsev has fallen off a lot, proving inconsistencies everywhere in his game.
John Isner d Cam Norrie 4-6 7-6(5) 6-4
The 36-year-old American defeated the British lefty 4-6, 7-6(5), 6-4 to reach the second round in Cincinnati. In doing so, Isner hit 26 aces to reach 13,004 for his career. He is just the second player in history to reach the 13,000-ace milestone, joining Ivo Karlovic (13,709).
"Very cool. I do know that I'm within shouting distance of Ivo, of maybe getting that record," Isner said. "If he does retire soon, that certainly is a milestone that seems attainable, the all-time record milestone. I would like to hold that record, I'm not going to shy away from that. We'll see if I can get there."
Lorenzo Sonego d Carlos Alcaraz Garfia 6-3 7-6(6)
Sonego was the underdog pre-game, likely due to the sheer hype around the 18yo Spaniard. The Italian definitely had the game, and brought it out in a decently close affair, with inconsistencies and many traded breaks. Ultimately, Sonego had more experience and dealt with the day better.
Reilly Opelka d Corentin Moutet 7-6(3) 4-6 6-4
In a battle that has had rivalries since 2019 with Moutet winning controversially, Opelka used his form (and height ofcourse) to win in a tight 3 set battle, that was eerily similar to their last battle. Except this time Opelka came out on top!
Matteo Berrettini (5) d Albert Ramos-Vinolas 6-7(5) 6-3 7-5
Matteo Berrettini did not get an easy welcome back to action on Tuesday in his first match since Wimbledon, but the 5th seed found a way to reach the third round at the Western & Southern Open. Having no hard court experience did expect a challenge pre-match.
The Italian star rallied past Spaniard Albert Ramos-Vinolas 6-7(5), 6-3, 7-5 after 2hrs 20m to advance. The 25-year-old had not played since the final of The Championships due to a thigh injury.
"I'm happy for the win. I think I served really well. My strokes from the baseline weren't working the way I wanted them to, but I knew from the beginning it's been a long time since I played a match, especially on hard, so I expected to feel a little bit weird," Berrettini said. "But the most important thing was I was there, I fought every point, I tried to put myself in conditions where I could win the match. That's what I'm most happy about."
Berrettini has now won 15 of his past 17 matches and is 33-7 on the season. He will next play 12th seed FAA, one of his best friends on Tour, or Tokyo Olympics silver medalist Karen Khachanov.
Gael Monfils d Dusan Lajovic 7-6(0) 6-2
Monfils continues his better run on hard court, showing that his stop inside the top 20 will be back. Monfils survived being down a break early in the first set to topple the Serb. Lajovic had many chances, but could only convert 4/14 break points compared to 6/11 for the Flying Frenchman!
Frances Tiafoe d Ugo Humbert 7-5 7-6(9)
Tiafoe remained that bit more consistent against a Fiesty Frenchman in a tight affair. Tiafoe winning 87% of his first serves to pull off an incredibly tight match, taking the match on his 6th match point. Tiafoe's flat serve and groundstrokes is so consistent, that he forces his opponents to put extra spin and create more room for error.
Tommy Paul d Cristian Garin (16) 4-6 6-4 6-3
In a match that could have gone either way, it was the home crowd favourite Tommy Paul coming back in a great 3 set match lasting almost 2h 30m!
Benoit Paire d Denis Shapovalov (6) 6-3 4-6 7-5
There is something about Paire that has forced a huge change in the way Benoit Paire plays tennis. HIS GIRLFRIEND! It was Paire last month showing off his new girlfriend, that saw him win 2 consectuive matches for the first time in 18 months! He has now done this 2 more times in August! Shapo is in shaky form, and Paire made the most of it, serving 11 aces to 5, and breaking twice more to win in a tight three set match.
Midway through the second set, Paire called for an injury time out, and usually that was end of story, but Paire rattled out a break down in the final set to recover and win!