ATP Cincinnati: Medvedev Can Win Title


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Dimitrov This column defeated Shapovalov in Montreal last week as the Canadian lost to Alex de Minaur, reducing his record to a poor 1-9.

And he has another difficult opener in Cincinnati this week, where Dimitrov is a legend.

The Bulgarian emerged as the champion here in 2017, a year after reaching the semi-finals, and while his own form is hardly sparkling, it’s certainly better than the error-strewn tennis that Shapovalov has been producing.

His double-faults have increased to alarming levels, with six+ in his last six matches. In two of the last four, he’s managed to reach 12.

A look at the head to head record shows Dimitrov leads by 2-1. If you filter that to only hardcourts, it is 2-0. Dimitrov has not lost a set.

The bookies have this as virtually a pick ’em and it’s Dimitrov who looks worth siding with.

Pablo Carreno Busta and Miomir KECMANOV Carreno Busta have been playing well in Montreal this week. They reached the final. However, that six match run could prove to be a problem in Cincy.

Having just finished his match in Canada, Carreno Busta will be in Ohio Tuesday. He’ll have to adjust to the quicker conditions at Ohio.

It’s much easier to speed PCB in this venue and Kecmanovic might have the skills to make it happen. He’ll be happier in these conditions – he certainly played well on the fast Australian courts at the start of the year when he reached the round of 16 at the Australian Open.

In the US, he reached the quarter-finals at Indian Wells as well as Miami. He seems to have caught Carreno Busta right when he needs him.

He’s worthy of support at +116.

Filip Krajinovic and Dan Evans Finding a good-priced, underdog in the money line was difficult this week. I am turning to this one for a higher price.

The +450 on offer about Krajinovic serving 10+ aces looks worth chancing given the quicker conditions expected in Cincinnati, which has long been one of the faster venues on the ATP Tour.

These two met last week in Montreal where a see-saw match was won by Evans in three sets but only 21 games.

Across those 21 games, Krajinovic managed seven aces, while a look further back to find their match played in the fastest conditions (Cherbourg in 2016) shows that the Serb managed nine in a straight-sets victory which lasted 23 games.

If this continues to three sets, which would be the case considering that it is a tight match with a lot of matches (Cherbourg in 2016), then it should last more than last week’s strange contest on hardcourt.

He should have been better for this outing, and although it may be a loss-loser, I think the cost is way too high.

Round two of the upsets?

After being knocked out by Jack Draper, Stefanos Tisipas may be again vulnerable early in the week.

As one of the eight top seeds, Tsitsipas will get a bye in the first round and will play the winner of the Krajinovic/Evans match.

Evans reached the semifinals in Montreal, proving he is in great form. Krajinovic, on the other hand, has caused problems for the Greeks every time they have met. They won at least one set each and were victorious in the most recent clash.

Despite his success, Felix Auger Aliassime is still struggling for consistency.

Last week, he lost to Casper Ruud 6-1 6-2 at home. This is a loss that he might struggle with.

A likely opponent in the Atlanta title match would be Alex de Minaur, but one can imagine that the Australian will be an underdog.

Best futures pick

Daniil Medvedev will be able to justify favoritism and show he is ready to defend the US Open title by winning this year’s Cincinnati Masters.

The Russian won here in 2019 and seemed on course to do so again 12 months ago before his famous brush with a TV camera knocked him out of his stride in the semi-finals.

A recent Los Cabos winner, Medvedev lost his first match to Nick Kyrgios last week. However, it is not a disgrace that he has been beaten by Kyrgios.

This early defeat should help Medvedev to focus his mind on this event. He is determined to win matches before the US Open.

There are injuries doubts about a few of his main competitors – Rafael Nadal will be returning for the first tournament since Wimbledon, and recently said that he still feels the effects from his injury in London. Kyrgios was forced to leave Montreal last week due to an abdominal strain.

Carlos Alcaraz hasn’t been at his best of late and may well find conditions a bit too speedy for his liking here so Medvedev gets the nod at around +400. Play Fantasy Sports Here

How to Watch ATP Cincinnati

What ATP Western and Southern Open Location Cincinnati, Ohio, USA Time Sunday August 14 to Sunday August 21 How to Watch Tennis Channel

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