Alejandro Davidovich Fokina v Novak Djokovic takes place on Thursday at 12am (UK time).
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Novak Djokovic begins his preparation for the US Open with the second round of the Cincinnati Open this week, a tournament he has historically done well in. The Serb has won the Cincinnati Open on two of the past three occasions he has taken part, but this will be his first appearance at the tournament since 2020 — when he beat Milos Raonic in the final.
Even when he wasn’t winning the Cincinnati Open, it was a rare sight to see a final not include Djokovic, with the Serb a runner-up on five occasions before finally winning in 2018. But while many of his opponents in Cincinnati will have had a warmup tournament, Djokovic sat out of the Canadian Open due to fatigue, managing his time ahead of Flushing Meadows.
Looking to capitalise on any ring rust will be Alejandro Davidovich Fokina, who entered the Cincinnati Open off the back of a good run in the Canadian Open. The Spaniard reached the semi-finals in Toronto, just the second time he has made it to the final four of an ATP Tour 1000 tournament after his final appearance at the 2022 Monte-Carlo Masters.
The run to the semi-finals in Toronto ended what had been a couple of underwhelming tournaments in Sweden and Germany, and Davidovich Fokina will be hoping to build momentum going into the US Open. In the first round at Cincinnati, Davidovich Fokina faced Tomas Martin Etcheverry and was comfortable in his 6-3, 6-3 victory over the Argentinian.
Prediction: Novak Djokovic in straight sets
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