Western and Southern Open 2021: Andy Murray's Win Highlights Monday's Action

Joe Tansey@JTansey90Featured ColumnistAugust 17, 2021

MASON, OHIO - AUGUST 16: Andy Murray of Great Britain returns a shot to Richard Gasquet of France during the Western & Southern Open at Lindner Family Tennis Center on August 16, 2021 in Mason, Ohio. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

The main draw of the Western and Southern Open got off to a delayed start, but once the weather cleared, a handful of top-tier players moved into the second round. 

Andy Murray produced the most notable first-round victory in the men's singles bracket, as he took care of Richard Gasquet in two sets under the lights in Cincinnati. 

Diego Schwartzman, Jannik Sinner and Felix Auger-Aliassime backed up their seeded statuses with straight-set victories. 

In the women's singles, French Open winner Barbora Krejcikova breezed through her opening match. Petra Kvitova and Elise Mertens joined her as seeded players to advance on Monday.

Some of the top seeds in each bracket will take to the court for the first time on Tuesday, with Alexander Zverev and Ashleigh Barty headlining the slate.

The full schedule can be found here.


Monday Scores

Men's Singles

No. 10 Diego Schwartzman def. Dan Evans, 6-2, 4-6, 6-3

No. 11 Jannik Sinner def. Federico Delbonis, 6-2, 7-5

No. 12 Felix Auger-Aliassime def. Marton Fucsovics, 7-6 (7-0), 6-3

No. 14 Alex de Minaur def. Filip Krajinovic, 0-6, 6-4, 6-4

Guido Pella def. No. 15 David Goffin, 6-3, 6-3

Fabio Fognini def. Nikoloz Basilashvili, 7-6 (7-3), 6-3

Lloyd Harris def. Yoshihito Nishioka, 6-3, 6-4

Dominik Koepfer def. Jan-Lennard Struff, 7-6 (7-2), 5-7, 6-3

Benoit Paire def. Miomir Kecmanovic, 5-7, 6-3, 6-2

Albert Ramos Vinolas def. Taylor Fritz, 4-6, 6-4, 6-4

Andy Murray def. Richard Gasquet, 6-4, 6-4

Karen Khachanov def. Kevin Anderson, 6-2, 6-4


Murray avenged a loss to Gasquet that he suffered two years ago in Cincinnati during the start of his comeback. 

Tennis TV @TennisTV

2019 Cincinnati R1: Gasquet d. Murray 6-4 6-4 2021 Cincinnati R1: Murray d. Gasquet 6-4 6-4 In a repeat of his first match post-resurfacing surgery, @andy_murray gets it done in straights! #CincyTennis https://t.co/o7rb1OyfWr

The win was just the fifth of the season for the 34-year-old, who entered the tournament as a wild card. 

José Morgado @josemorgado

Andy Murray plays well to beat Richard Gasquet 6-4, 6-4 and reach the 2nd round in Cincinnati. -- Just Andy's 5th ATP main draw win of the year. Gets Hurkacz or Davidovich next. -- Gasquet will drop to outside the top 80 (was defeding SFs points from 2019). [getty] https://t.co/owWVtr8HeX

Murray is ranked outside the top 100 in the men's world rankings, and he was 4-4 with two Grand Slam match victories going into the tournament. 

The three-time major champion is no longer a favorite to win tournaments, but he is still one of the sentimental favorites with the crowd. 

Murray should be the underdog in his second-round match, which will likely come against ninth-seeded Hubert Hurkacz, who takes on Alejandro Davidovich Fokina in his opening match. 

Murray and Hurkacz reside in the same quarter of the bracket as top seed Daniil Medvedev, who is coming off a victory at the National Bank Open in Canada. 

All of the seeded men who won on Monday will have to go through one of the top eight seeds to capture the title in Cincinnati.

Schwartzman was drawn alongside Casper Ruud and Zverev. Toronto finalist Reilly Opelka is also in that part of the bracket. 

Tennis TV @TennisTV

100% win rate for the birthday boys today 💯 @dieschwartzman joins Jannik Sinner in the second round as the Argentine battles past Evans 6-2 4-6 6-3 #CincyTennis https://t.co/yAteRmvCaB

Sinner and Alex de Minaur will have to get past Denis Shapovalov and Andrey Rublev, respectively, just to get into the quarterfinals. 

Auger-Aliassime faces one of the toughest second-round matchups against Karen Khachanov, who is coming off a silver medal at the Tokyo Olympics. Stefanos Tsitsipas and Matteo Berrettini were also drawn into the quarter. 


Women's Singles

No. 9 Barbora Krejcikova def. Daria Kasatkina, 6-3, 6-2

No. 11 Petra Kvitova def. Madison Keys, 7-5, 6-4 

No. 15 Elise Mertens def. Nadia Podoroska, 6-3, 6-4

Heather Watson def. Aliaksandra Sasnovich, 6-2, 3-6, 6-1

Jelena Ostapenko def. Tamara Zidansek, 7-5, 6-1

Yulia Putintseva def. Zhang Shuai, 6-2, 6-0

Paula Badosa def. Petra Martic, 4-6, 6-4, 7-6 (11-9)

Jill Teichmann def. Sorana Cirstea, 6-2, 6-0

Allison Riske def. Leylah Fernandez, 6-2, 6-2

Angelique Kerber def. Maria Sakkari, 6-2, 6-2 


The women's singles draw is equally as deep as the men's.

Any of the seeded players who won on Monday could make a significant run on the Cincinnati hard courts. 

Krejcikova had the easiest opener of that collection of players. She limited Daria Kasatkina to five game victories over two sets. 

Tennis TV @TennisTV

100% win rate for the birthday boys today 💯 @dieschwartzman joins Jannik Sinner in the second round as the Argentine battles past Evans 6-2 4-6 6-3 #CincyTennis https://t.co/yAteRmvCaB

Kvitova won the must-watch match of the first round over Madison Keys in two sets. 

Western & Southern Open @CincyTennis

Petra Power 🔋 @Petra_Kvitova knocks out 2019 champion Keys 7-5, 6-4 to tie up the lifetime head-to-head at 4-4. #CincyTennis https://t.co/LR9F2MfOe7

The 31-year-old is looking to finish off her season with a strong run on the hard courts in Cincinnati and the U.S. Open. She was eliminated by the second round in each of the season's first three majors. 

Kvitova will face some tough challenges in Cincinnati. Iga Swiatek and Elina Svitolina are the other seeded women in her part of the bracket. 

That part of the draw should have the best second-round matchup of the entire tournament. Svitolina, the No. 4 seed, will take on Angelique Kerber.

The former world No. 1 ousted Maria Sakkari in straight sets to close out play on Center Court and is in need of some good results on the hard courts. 

The three-time Grand Slam winner was eliminated in the first rounds of the Australian and French Opens but rallied with a semifinal appearance at Wimbledon.

If Kerber strings together a few wins in Cincinnati, she could enter New York with plenty of confidence and might be a sleeper pick to win the title. She has one U.S. Open on her resume from 2016.