Western and Southern Open 2021: Osaka, Medvedev Wins Highlight Wednesday's Results

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured Columnist IVAugust 18, 2021

MASON, OHIO - AUGUST 18: Naomi Osaka of Japan plays a backhand during her match against Cori Gauff during Western & Southern Open - Day 4 at Lindner Family Tennis Center on August 18, 2021 in Mason, Ohio. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
Dylan Buell/Getty Images

Some of the top players in the world were on display in round-of-32 play at the Western and Southern Open in Cincinnati on Wednesday. 

Below, we'll break down the day's top results and highlights from a full slate of action. 

Key Men's Results

No. 1 Daniil Medvedev def. Mackenzie McDonald, 6-2, 6-2

No. 3 Alexander Zverev def. Lloyd Harris, 7-6, 6-2

No. 4 Andrey Rublev def. Marin Cilic, 5-7, 6-3, 6-1

No. 7 Pablo Carreno Busta def. Dominik Koepfer, 6-4, 6-2

No. 8 Casper Ruud def. Reilly Opelka, 6-7, 6-0, 7-6

No. 9 Hubert Hurkacz def. Andy Murray, 7-6, 6-3

John Isner def. No. 11 Jannik Sinner, 5-7, 7-6, 6-4

No. 12 Felix Auger-Aliassime def. Karen Khachanov, 6-7, 6-3, 6-4

Key Women's Results

No. 1 Ashleigh Barty def. Heather Watson, 6-4, 7-6

No. 2 Naomi Osaka def. Coco Gauff, 4-6, 6-3, 6-4

Paula Badosa def. No. 3 Aryna Sabalenka, 5-7, 6-2, 7-6

Angelique Kerber def. No. 4 Elina Svitolina, 7-5, 2-6, 6-4

Karolina Muchova def. No. 7 Bianca Andreescu, 6-4, 6-2

No. 10 Belinda Bencic def. Shelby Rogers, 7-6, 6-1

No. 11 Petra Kvitova def. Veronika Kudermetova, 6-2, 6-4

Jessica Pegula def. No. 12 Simona Halep (walkover)

Jelena Ostapenko def. No. 13 Jennifer Brady, 6-7, 5-4 (walkover)

No. 14 Victoria Azarenka def. Alison Riske, 6-2, 7-5

Elena Rybakina def. No. 15 Elise Mertens, 6-3, 6-2

The men's side of the draw was mostly chalk, with Isner's win over Sinner the top upset of the day. The women's side was mayhem, however. 

While Barty and Osaka, the top two seeds, made it through, Sabalenka, Svitolina, Andreescu, Halep, Brady and Mertens either lost or were forced to withdraw. Suddenly, the field looks dramatically thinner for Barty and Osaka. 

wta @WTA

A match for the books 📚<a href="https://twitter.com/paulabadosa?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@paulabadosa</a> upsets the No.3 seed Sabalenka in a terrific three-set battle!<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/CincyTennis?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#CincyTennis</a> <a href="https://t.co/n8U9W9fifS">pic.twitter.com/n8U9W9fifS</a>

Simona Halep @Simona_Halep

Unfortunately, a scan this morning showed that I have a small tear in my right adductor and therefore it would be too risky for me to play tonight. I will rest up and do everything I can to be ready for the <a href="https://twitter.com/usopen?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@usopen</a> 🙏🏻<br><br>To the fans in Cincy, it was beautiful to see you again ❤️ <a href="https://t.co/MaLAl4PQPe">pic.twitter.com/MaLAl4PQPe</a>

Osaka, of course, was the day's main headline after a tough matchup with Gauff, and after she chose to skip the French Open and Wimbledon this season for mental health reasons. Osaka did participate in this summer's Tokyo Olympics, though she lost in the third round.

She spoke about her hiatus from the major tournaments with reporters after her win Wednesday. 

"I wonder what affected me... made me not want to do media?" she said. "[Maybe] I was scared of bad headlines. I should feel like I'm winning, having people come to watch me is an accomplishment. But that started not being an accomplishment for me, so I felt like I was very ungrateful on that fact."

WTA Insider @WTA_insider

Osaka: “I’ve had a really weird year. I think some of you know what happened to me this year. I changed my mindset a lot. <br><br>"Even if I lost I would have felt that I’m a winner. There’s so much stuff going on in the world…. just waking up in the morning is a win.”<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/CincyTennis?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#CincyTennis</a>

wta @WTA

Sealed with an ACE 🎾<br><br>🇯🇵 <a href="https://twitter.com/naomiosaka?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@naomiosaka</a> defeats Gauff in an intense three set battle to secure her spot into round three 🔥<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/CincyTennis?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#CincyTennis</a> <a href="https://t.co/Y94ezszkG2">pic.twitter.com/Y94ezszkG2</a>

Christopher Clarey @christophclarey

Poised and powerful comeback performance at Western &amp; Southern Open from Naomi Osaka who loses one point on her serve in the final set and defeats dangerous Coco Gauff 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 in Osaka's first match since the Olympics <a href="https://t.co/1I36cOIQcd">pic.twitter.com/1I36cOIQcd</a>

There were fewer surprises on the men's side. 

Fresh off his ATP Masters 1000 title in Toronto, Medvedev completely dominated his match, hardly breaking a sweat against McDonald. 

Tennis TV @TennisTV

100-25 (!) on hard courts since the start of 2019 🤯<br><br>2019 champion <a href="https://twitter.com/DaniilMedwed?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@DaniilMedwed</a> sweeps past McDonald 6-2 6-2 to reach the R16 in Cincinnati!<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/CincyTennis?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#CincyTennis</a> <a href="https://t.co/WUW467LweW">pic.twitter.com/WUW467LweW</a>

"It's not easy to go from winning a tournament to another tournament in different conditions," he said on the court after his victory, per ATPTour.com. "You're tired physically, especially in the first matches because then you get into the tournament and it gets easier. I'm really happy that I managed to win quite easily. I was fighting a bit more for every point, trying to finish as early as possible."

Gold medalist Zverev handled his business, meanwhile, winning in Cincinnati for the very first time. 

Tennis TV @TennisTV

'Only took me seven years' 😅<a href="https://twitter.com/AlexZverev?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@AlexZverev</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/CincyTennis?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#CincyTennis</a> <a href="https://t.co/o2oNYn62fd">pic.twitter.com/o2oNYn62fd</a>

Hey, there's no time like the present. And on a day of upsets at the Western and Southern Open, he wasn't one of them.