Rafael Nadal has the chance to return to World No. 1 by winning Cincinnati

Singles draw for the Western & Southern Open, the seventh ATP World Tour Masters 1000 event of the season, was made on Friday.

Rafael Nadal will compete at the Western & Southern Open for the first time since 2017. He has done very well in Cincinnati – winning there in 2013. He has also reached another two semifinals (2008 and 2009) and another four quarterfinals (2006, 2010, 2011 and 2017).

Our champ will face Borna Coric or a qualifier in his first match. He could meet either Felix Auger-Aliassime or Jannik Sinner in the quarterfinals.

Rafa’s potential route to the final:

  • First round: Bye
  • Second round: Borna Coric
  • Third round: Roberto Bautista Agut or Francisco Cerundolo
  • Quarter-final: Felix Auger-Aliassime or Jannik Sinner
  • Semi-final: Carlos Alcaraz or Casper Ruud
  • Final: Daniil Medvedev

If the men play to seed the quarter-final line up will be:

  • Daniil Medvedev vs Andrey Rublev
  • Stefanos Tsitsipas v Hubert Hurkacz
  • Casper Ruud vs Carlos Alcaraz
  • Felix Auger-Aliassime vs Rafael Nadal

View Singles Draw

Rafa could pass Danill Medvedev at the top of the ATP Rankings if he wins the Cincinnati title and the Russian fails to reach the quarterfinals. He will be seeking his fifth title of the 2022 season as he looks to improve upon his stellar 35-3 record on the year.



  1. Let us wait an see – Rafa has surely surprised us sooooo many times another number one spot will make us all so happy and once again appreciate just how lucky we are to be able to watch this amazingly talented, humble and hard working player. A joy to watch him play!!!!!

  2. Rafa-welcome back. Injuries are the bane of any athlete, regardless of ranking. This has been a roller coaster year for you, Rafa, with magical victories and gut wrenching challenges. How you have been missed in Montreal-the missing factor has been the passion of your game and your fierce fight. The defeat of several top
    seeds in Montreal and Toronto underscores how consistent you have been throughout your career. It is a totally different tournament without you. So, be assured-we are with you whenever and wherever you choose to play.
    Stay healthy, stay Rafa👍👏💪🤛🎾🍀❤️

  3. Dear God bless
    Rafa’s health, mind (Wisdom to play ALL WIN BALLS) and strength (endurance and resiliency all the way) to play excellently in Cincinnati. Heaven’s grace, favor and mercy over him. Teach him HOLY SPIRIT to Fight a good fight – How to be the “FIRST in the FIGHT” Isaiah 11:2 Anointing in Rafa with the mind and heart of Christ to WIN All MATCHES and take the
    CHAMPIONSHIP, in JESUS powerful name, Amen

  4. Any comparison of Rafa to Medvedev is a joke. Medvedev is a narcissistic bore with an attitude and is only No. 1 due to crazy circumstances and (begrudgingly said) a little skill. Rafa out shines him in EVERY way.

    I’m so tired of the people and their theories about Rafa faking injuries etc. Can you imagine him faking ANYTHING? The way he fights for every point should say enough that if he can be on the court he WILL BE. And HAD HE BEEN on court he would be at #1 since he first got there.

    Regardless, I want him to stay healthy as long as he can just so I have to joy of seeing him play. Win or lose I want him to play – of course I want him to win 🙂 and so does he. He will know when it’s time to call it a career. I just pray it’s not for a few more years. He will be the GOAT for ages. Vamos Rafa!

  5. I agree with those who say Rafa should not be concerned with winning at Cincinnati. But realistically, that’s just a thought that we fans need to internalize. As for Rafa he is consistent at taking one match at a time, always trying to win (even when injured) and evaluating whether he won or lost in objective terms. I don’t think he will change that very much at this stage.

    I do think the prospect of being year end No. 1 is something that might appeal to Rafa as long as he is not chasing points as if he a youngster, like Carlito. All we know now is that after the US Open Rafa intends to play the Laver Cup and an exhibition in South America. To end the year at No. 1 he would probably need to play the Paris Masters and the ATP finals. Maybe a third tournament as well. Lots of things could change his calculation including injuries and the birth of a baby boy Nadal. Whatever he decides will be fine with his fans. But it would be great if he entered the AO seeded No. 1.

    A word to young voter and all those so down on Rafa due to the possibility of injury. Lots of elite tennis players miss time due to health concerns, not just Rafa. Roger has been out more than a year. Dominic Theim was out with a wrist injury for many, many months and still is not right. Andy Murray will not give up. Sascha has been out since Paris. Medvedev missed time with surgery. And of course Djokovic misses time due to self imposed exile. Many other top players miss time or are currently playing with nagging injuries including Carlito, Sinner, Taylor Fritz and Nick.

    So chill out about injuries. Take it as it comes. Enjoy these great times in Rafa’s career while we can.

  6. I just want Rafa to not put himself under any pressure in Cincinnatti. It does not matter if he doesn’t win, it will be good match practise before USO. Let our boy 100% healthy and no one is safe. Vamos my Champion 🇪🇦🇪🇦☘☘🇪🇦🇪🇦❤❤

  7. A reasonable draw for Rafa. Certainly he should get through the first few rounds without much of a problem as long as he’s able to serve ok.

    At this stage in his career, Rafa won’t be too concerned about being no.1 and neither am I. Of course the advantage of reclaiming the top spot would be in terms of tournament draws.

    II want to see him reduce his schedule after the US Open and maybe just play the Laver Cup and ATP finals to minimise the wear abd tear on his body.

  8. Rafa has no points to defend for the rest of this year.
    Win or lose, Rafa is no 1 in our books. He is the GOAT of tennis.
    A true sportsman.
    But I say, Rafa should go for it. He has earned the right to be at the top of the rankings.
    Let’s hope at the ATP Nitto finals that he can win at least one of these too.
    VAMOS Rafa. We love you..

  9. Nadal has a higher chance of being injured than being number 1. We don’t need AI or machine learning to tell us this.

  10. Even if it doesn’t happen now, Daniil’s got 2000 points to defend at the US Open, and Rafa none. I just hope that Rafa’s fully over the injury, Fingers crossed!

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