Na Li – Lucie Safarova 1
You often see that players who have done well in the big tournament in Canada leading up to this event, struggle to do well in Cincinatti too. The strain seems to big, and that’s one reason for going against Safarova, who reached the quarterfinal last week. Another reason is that she has never been passed the 2nd round here. A third reason is that Li is simply a better player and only played 2 matches last week, so she shouldn’t be too exhausted.
Mikhail Youzhny – Michael Llodra
Speaking of exhaustion Llodra is a player who just might could use a break. Along with partner Zimonjic he has won back to back titles in doubles, taking the crown in Canada on Sunday. It could take his toll on his singles effort. It has to be added that he beat Youhzny only last week and leads the Russian 4-2, but Llodra has an all-time poor track record here in Cincinatti. In 10(!) attempts he’s NEVER passed the 1st round.
Roger Federer – Juan Martin Del Potro 1
Federer has passed the 1st round on numerous occasions and I’ll stick with him even against Del Potro who has beaten Federer in their last 2 meetings. That was back in 2009 though when Del Potro was on top of his game. This is Federer home turf though, he’s won the title 4 times, including 2009 and 2010.