What to watch on Thursday
Day seven of the 2021 Western & Southern Open at the Linderer Family Tennis Center in Mason, OH on Sunday August 22, 2021. (Ben Solomon/Western & Southern Open)
With all eight men’s and eight women’s singles matches on tap today, along with a slew of doubles matches, it’s a great day to be a tennis fan at the Western & Southern Open. We hope you have your running shoes on to hop from match to match. If not, you can always kick back in the Grand Courtyard and watch the big screen, or hang out in the shade of the food court and people watch.
The morning starts off with seeds Taylor Fritz and Andrey Rublev facing off on Center Court and recent Wimbledon finalist, fifth seed Ons Jabeur taking on two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova on the Grandstand. Continuing the Wimbledon connection, reigning champion Elena Rybakina plays American Alison Riske-Amritraj.
Things heat up after 1 p.m. with both world No.1 players taking the court. Iga Swiatek, who dominated the women’s tour earlier this year with a 37-match winning streak, takes on 2019 Western & Southern Open champion Madison Keys, who upset 16th seed Jelena Ostapenko yesterday. Maddie’s serve will be key – only Serena Williams has hit more serves at this tournament than her.
Men’s No. 1 Daniil Medvedev, also the 2019 champion here, meets unseeded Denis Shapovalov who upset 2016 champion Grigor Dimitrov in the first round. An all-American matchup between Sebastian Korda and John Isner highlights that four American men are in the Round of 16, the most since 2003. The other two are Fritz and Ben Shelton, who won the NCAA singles title for the University of Florida in May and yesterday upset world No. 5 Casper Ruud.
Last night, Borna Coric upset second seed Rafael Nadal for the second time in Cincinnati. He’ll need to bounce back for an afternoon match against 15th seed Roberto Bautista Agut.
Be sure to check out the amazing doubles matches that are happening around the grounds today. If you are a recreational player you’ll pick up some tips, but sometimes it just seems like the pros are playing a whole different sport! Top doubles is a game of quick reflexes. Don’t blink!