| By David Drucker

Yesterday marked the official beginning of the Masters 1000 Series tournament in Cincinnati, Ohio, the second of back to back Masters 1000 tournaments. Since 2005, the tournament has been won by Roger Federer of Switzerland four times. After an early exit in Montreal, perhaps Federer will look to get back in his comfort zone on the hard courts of Cincinnati. But before any of the major names took the courts, since most of them have first round byes, the first round action commenced yesterday and concluded with the biggest upset of the first round.

The upset bug has gotten the best of American Andy Roddick once again in the early stages of a major tournament, this time at the hands of Germany’s Philipp Kohlschreiber, a man who knows how to get under Roddick’s skin as he’s done in the past. Before yesterday, Roddick owned a 4-1 career record against the German, with the only loss coming in the 2008 Australian Open Round of 32 in a tough five-setter. Kohlschreiber was able to frustrate Roddick into uncharacteristic misses on the serve and groundstrokes. Roddick was frustrated to the point where he threw his racquet and hit a ball into the stands where he was then given a stern warning by chair umpire Carlos Bernades. Receiving a warning from Bernades seemed to irk the American quite a bit, as his game just fell apart after dropping the second set.

The 47th ranked German stood strong and retrieved ball after ball to force Roddick into miss after miss eventually taking the match, 6-7(5), 7-5, 6-1. For Roddick, you can blame it on the rust if you want being that this is his first tournament back since Wimbledon. However, I still believe Roddick should have been able to get out of the first round on a surface that he loves to play on and make a run to the third round or perhaps the quarterfinals. It’s back to the drawing board now for Andy as he looks to gain some confidence and get some match play under his belt before the U.S. Open gets underway. His last chance to get some matches in will be at the new Winston-Salem tournament in North Carolina.

A few other notable matches that took place included Argentine David Nalbandian who was able to get the best of up and coming Kei Nishikori of Japan. Nalbandian’s win now sets up a second round showdown with the number four seed, Andy Murray of Great Britain. American Ryan Harrison was able to move through to the second round where he’ll be playing the match of his life against world number one-ranked Novak Djokovic. France’s Richard Gasquet was able to best Alexandr Dolgopolov of the Ukraine in straight sets.

Masters 1000 Series in Cincinnati Match Results

►Philipp Kohlschreiber (GER) def. Andy Roddick (USA) 6-7(5), 7-5, 6-1

►Richard Gasquet (FRA) def. Alexandr Dolgopolov (UKR) 6-1, 7-6(4)

►Fabio Fognini (ITA) def. Viktor Troicki (SER) 6-4, 6-1

►Fernando Verdasco def. Thomaz Bellucci (BRA) 6-3, 7-6(4)

►David Nalbandian (ARG) def. Kei Nishikori (JPN) 6-4, 6-4

►Ryan Harrison (USA) def. Juan Ignacio Chela (ARG) 6-3, 6-3

►Feliciano Lopez (ESP) def. Juan Carlos Ferrero (ESP) 4-6, 6-3, 6-4

►Juan Monaco (ARG) def. Tommy Haas (GER) 6-7(5), 6-4, 6-3

►Alex Bogomolov Jr. (USA) def. Robby Ginepri (USA) 6-4, 6-3

►Grigor Dimitrov (BUL) def. Marsel Ilhan (TUR) 6-3, 7-5