Strong fields in Cincinnati for one of the biggest non-Slam events of the year
The Cincinnati Masters is one of the world’s oldest tennis tournaments and has been a feature on the calendar since 1899. Now the USA’s oldest professional event still played in its original city, the tournament continues to attract the world’s very best players to the Lindner Family Tennis Center.
Keep reading for our Western and Southern Open tennis betting preview.
Djokovic once again the tennis betting favourite
Considering he has lost just twice since the beginning of March it’s no surprise that Novak Djokovic is yet again the favourite for this week’s ATP Tour event.
Only Ivo Karlovic, Roger Federer, Andy Murray and Stan Wawrinka have beaten the world number one this season and his return to action after Wimbledon saw him reach the Rogers Cup final last week. A win in Cincinnati would see the Serb become the first singles players to claim the career Golden Masters as he currently holds titles at eight of the nine Masters 1000 tournaments.
The top seed does have a tricky draw – he’s likely to face his French Open conqueror Stan Wawrinka in the quarters before facing Kei Nishikori or Tomas Berdych in the semis – but on current form he should continue his US Open preparations by going deep into the tournament.
Roger Federer is the reigning champion in Cincinnati and the 33 year old has won the title on six previous occasions. He faces a potential quarter final with old rival Rafael Nadal and a semi final against Andy Murray; the man who is about to leapfrog him into second place in the world rankings.
The Scot’s terrific 2015 continued in Canada where he played excellently and finally ended his long losing run against the world number one, winning the Montreal final 6-4 4-6 6-3. His form means that he is currently ‘the best of the rest’ and he looks likely to be Djokovic’s closest opponent again this week.
Serena the tennis betting favourite to retain her title
Last year’s WTA Premier 5 Tournament of the Year has also attracted a strong field looking to continue their preparations for the US Open.
Serena Williams is the reigning champion and the favourite for the tournament although perhaps surprisingly has only won the event once since it returned to the WTA Tour in 2004.
Williams’ preparation for the US Open was unexpectedly dealt a blow last week when she lost the Rodgers Cup semi-final to Belinda Bencic despite being a set up. The world number one described her performance as ‘amateur’ as the Swiss teenager become the youngest person to beat Williams since Maria Sharapova over a decade ago.
Bencic’s win in Toronto means she is one to watch this week, while Simona Halep‘s run to the final last week has put the Romanian back on track after her early Wimbledon exit. The world number three beat some strong players including Agnieszka Radwanska and Angelique Kerber on her way to the title and she could go well.
As ever, the women’s tournament is notoriously difficult to predict with lots of upsets expected. Last week saw many lower ranked players upset seeds with Caroline Wozniacki, Wimbledon finalist Garbine Muguruza and Ekaterina Makarova all exiting in the second round. In addition, this week’s fourth seed, Petra Kvitova, lost her first match at the Rogers Cup to Victoria Azarenka and could be another early casualty this week.
Maria Sharapova is a former winner in Cincinnati and returns to action this week for the first time since her semi-final loss at Wimbledon while it may also pay to keep an eye on Timea Bacsinszky who is one of the Tour’s most improved players this year.