World number two Roger Federer will return to action at the Western and Southern Open, while the next episode of Nick Kyrgios’ colourful career is sure to attract interest.
Federer has not played since reaching the final of Wimbledon in July, where he lost in four sets to Novak Djokovic, with the 34-year-old Swiss one of three top-10 players to bypass the Rogers Cup in Montreal.
David Ferrer – the world number seven – is set to be the only top-10 player absent in Cincinnati when the ATP 1000 event starts on Sunday, with the Spaniard still yet to recover from an injury to his right elbow.
Ferrer confirmed his withdrawal on Twitter on Thursday: “Sorry to say I will not be at the Cincinnati tournament and still do not know when my return to the circuit will be.”
In Cincinnati, Federer – the second seed – has been given a bye through the first round and will take on the winner of Roberto Bautista Agut and Pablo Cuevas in the second round, as he begins his preparation for the US Open.
Kyrgios was again in the headlines for the wrong reasons at the Rogers Cup, backing up his alleged tanking at Wimbledon by sledging Stan Wawrinka in a manner that earned the young Australian a fine from the ATP World Tour.
Having accounted for Fernando Verdasco in the first round, Kyrgios was heard telling Wawrinka: “[Thanasi] Kokkinakis banged your girlfriend”, with the Swiss third seed later withdrawing, citing a back injury.
Kyrgios was then booed during his third round loss to John Isner and the way the Cincinnati crowd greet him will be fascinating.
Just to add some more spice to the Kyrgios show, the 20-year-old world number 41 will face Richard Gasquet in the opening round of the Western and Southern Open – the same player he was accused of throwing points against to in a topsy-turvy fourth round encounter at the All England Club in July.
American veteran Mardy Fish will make his penultimate professional singles appearance, with the 33-year-old set to retire after the US Open.
Fish has been given a wildcard and will take on Serbia’s Viktor Troicki in the first round.