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So, Federer loses first round in Cincinnati. In a way, it’s not a huge shock. That kind of run has to end sometime, and it is very common for tournament winners to go out 1st round in the next event due to tiredness. But also his opponent – Dominik Hrbaty – is no slouch, and this is perhaps just as relevant. There are no easy matches in TMS events as the fields are stacked with talent.<br /><br />This is something that tennis journalist John Wertheim has been picking up on in his column on <A href=””></a>. There can be huge early round matches that would not be out of place in a slam quarters or even better. A random sample:<br /><br />Toronto:<br />Nadal vs Hewitt rnd1, Haas vs Agassi rnd1<br />Cincinnati:<br />Novak vs Safin, rnd1, Hewitt vs Keurten, rnd2<br /><br />Even the qualifying events can have grandslam winners in: Thomas Johansson had to qualify for Toronto, which is appalling considering he won the event back in 1999. Perhaps a wildcard wouldn’t have been amiss? To his credit he got to the semis.<br /><br />All 20 of the top 20 ATP players entered these two masters events. Given that they are 64-man fields, the quality is extremely high. Arguably, some of the TMS events are harder to win than a slam. OK, they are best of 3-set rather than 5, but they are over a week rather than 2. Look at who Henman beat to win in Paris last year:<br />Davydenko, Grosjean, Kuerten, Federer, Roddick, Pavel<br />That’s a huge list (except for perhaps Pavel).<br />