Rafael Nadal is the only top-five player left in the Cincinnati draw following all of the players that have pulled out of the tournament. Roger Federer and Kei Nishikori are the most recent high-ranked players to announce withdrawing from the Western & Southern Open. Nadal remains as the brightest light in the Cincinnati field as he looks to put a bad loss from last week behind him. The Spaniard has a bye into the second round of the Masters Series event in Ohio and, with the results from Monday, he now knows who he will face at that stage. His match certainly doesn't look to be easy as Nadal has drawn a veteran French player that has posted strong results on the hard courts before.

Nadal versus Gasquet preview

Richard Gasquet advanced in Nadal's section of the draw, a player that is not seeded at the Cincinnati Masters. Gasquet defeated wild card John Patrick Smith 6-4, 6-4 to advance on Monday. Smith is a 28-year old qualifier from Australia still looking to make a name for himself on the ATP Tour. The order of play for Tuesday is already out for the Cincinnati Masters, and the Nadal/Gasquet match does not appear on the schedule. That means that the two will face one another on Wednesday.

While Gasquet is a talented player, he is also one that Nadal has dominated in their head-to-head series. The Spaniard is 14-0 against Gasquet with head to heads going all the way back to 2003. Nadal is 4-0 against Gasquet on outdoor hard courts, the surface and conditions that the Cincinnati match will be played on.

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In those matches, Nadal is 10-1 in sets played, so the French player truly has his work cut out for him if he plans to reverse the trends.

Gasquet is in sharp form

Gasquet did play Alexander Zverev well in the 2017 Rogers Cup last week. The two players met in the 2nd round with the Frenchman extending the German to a third-set tiebreaker. Zverev went on to win the title in Montreal, so Gasquet showed up and represented himself well in a match against a top-notch opponent. He had a tough draw at Wimbledon but performed well at both Eastbourne and Halle during the grass court component of the ATP season. Gasquet is a player that could re-emerge in the rankings in the months ahead following all of the injuries that have affected the players in the top five. If he can get over the Nadal-hump in the round of 32 in Cincinnati, then Gasquet would have as good of a shot as anyone on his half of the draw to make the championship match on Sunday. However, with such a one-sided head-to-head series it's hard to picture Nadal getting too troubled in this upcoming match.