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Wednesday, 19 August 2015

Cincinnati Masters Tennis Picks 2015 (August 19th)

It was a mixed bag of results for the picks yesterday with some luck helping the Kevin Anderson pick come in, while a lack of it prevented Grigor Dimitrov covering against Vasek Pospisil despite having break points in two of four Pospisil service games in the second set. A break in either would have led to a cover, assuming Dimitrov held onto serve as he did in that set, while the Bernard Tomic pick never looked likely to come in.

Wednesday looks like being a stop-start day in Cincinnati and I would be surprised if the entire schedule is able to be completed for the day. Thursday is also expected to be a rain-filled day and the Masters/Premier Event being played here might see players having to put double duty in to get the tournament back on schedule for the end of the week.

Tommy Robredo v Sam Querrey: This match has been set as a pick 'em contest, but Tommy Robredo has to be confident he can beat Sam Querrey at the Cincinnati Masters for the second season in a row. He has won all three previous matches against Querrey and all of those have been on the hard courts where you would expect the American would have his best chance to beat Robredo.

There is no doubting that Querrey has a big edge when it comes to the first serve and he will get his aces and unreturned serves to add the points up. However, Robredo is the much better player off the ground and he will be willing to go as long as is needed in the rallies while eventually exposing the backhand wing of the American.

The second serve has been attacked by Robredo in the past and that is where the Spaniard has to try and make hay in this one too. He will get balls back in play which may result in some drawn out rallies in which Robredo will be expected to win the majority and thus create chances to win this match.

Robredo has to serve effectively to prevent giving Querrey any real chance to get his nose in front, while David Goffin has laid out the perfect game plan to nullify Querrey in his win over him last week in Montreal. Tommy Robredo will know what he needs to do too and I think the rainy conditions may just make the court play slow enough for Robredo to take advantage and win the match.

David Goffin - 2.5 games v Fernando Verdasco: David Goffin might not have beaten Fernando Verdasco before, but he pushed his opponent in both of those losses which took place early in his career. The Belgian is a lot better these days and I think he has overtaken Verdasco to the point where he will come in with a real belief he can win this match and move into the Third Round.

Both players had to battle back from a set down in their opening matches to win those, and both Goffin and Verdasco played their best tennis in the final set to make sure that happened. The bigger game is definitely with Verdasco who has the edge in terms of power, but Goffin has the better movement and he isn't short of power himself, especially off the ground.

Neither player is really that trustworthy behind serve which is a concern, but I think the recent form has definitely seen Goffin producing the better tennis. The left-handed Verdasco will cause some problems with the angles he is going to produce off the ground but Goffin is 7-1 against left-handers this season so he should be aware of what is going to come at him.

Of course the power of Verdasco can be tough to deal with when he is at the top of his game and he did secure an impressive win over Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the First Round to boost confidence. However, I think Verdasco may struggle to back that up as Goffin gets enough balls back in play and uses his superior movement to wear down Verdasco in a 63, 46, 64 win.

Jack Sock v Kevin Anderson: The North American hard court swing leading into the US Open might have looked an ideal time for Jack Sock to pick up some valuable Ranking points. He is back up to his career best Ranking of Number 30, but Sock might have expected more out of the events in Atlanta and the defeat in the Washington Quarter Final to compatriot Steve Johnson would have been a disappointment.

There have been some strong wins for Sock this summer against the likes of Richard Gasquet and Grigor Dimitrov that can't be dismissed, but I think he would have still expected a little more. It is tougher for Sock with his current Ranking to put together a strong run in one of the Masters events as he is likely to run into some of the higher Seeds early in the events and that is the case again this week as he meets Kevin Anderson.

Anderson was a little fortunate to beat Leonardo Mayer yesterday having had to dig deep once he dropped the second set and he was the inferior player for the first two sets. He will need to pick up his play after a couple of disappointing defeats on the hard courts over the last month and this is going to be a match with a couple of points here and then making the difference.

It might come down to which of the players serves better on the day, but Sock should have the edge in the groundstrokes and has had the better results this last month. In a tight match, I like the American to book a Third Round clash with Roger Federer after a three set win over Kevin Anderson.

Andy Murray - 5.5 games v Mardy Fish: Matches between Andy Murray and Mardy Fish were generally very close affairs in the past, but this one should be a little more comfortable for the World Number 2 after a confidence boosting title success in Montreal. Beating Novak Djokovic in the Final on Sunday will give Murray the belief he can go all the way at the final Grand Slam of the season at the US Open, but I also think he will want to back up that week with another strong one in Cincinnati.

It isn't just the solid form that Murray showed last week in Montreal, but the fact of the matter is that Fish is not the same player that gave Murray so many problems back in 2011 when they last played one another. Their last two matches were played in Cincinnati in 2010 and 2011 with each getting one week each, but Fish is retiring at the US Open and this is only his fourth singles match in the last two years.

Issues off court have ended the Fish career abruptly and playing someone like Murray is going to really show the time spent off court. He still serves big, but Murray is going to get enough balls back in play to wear Fish down and I have to think the British player will eventually get on top in this match.

Fatigue could be an issue after last week, but Murray didn't spend a lot of time on court in Montreal and he should be ready to go. With the wet conditions in Cincinnati, the Fish serve might not be as potent as normal too and I expect Murray to break him down in a 64, 62 win.

Elina Svitolina - 2.5 games v Eugenie Bouchard: A hard fought First Round win would have done Eugenie Bouchard the world of good after what has been an extremely disappointing 2015 season. Bouchard was never going to match the success of 2014 but to fall off as much as she has was a complete surprise to the point that she is an underdog in this match with Elina Svitolina.

Last season Bouchard would have been a big favourite to win this match, but it was Svitolina who beat her at the Miami Masters to make it two out of two in their professional career matches. Svitolina had a decent win in the First Round over Alison Riske and she also reached the Semi Final in Stanford over the last month, although she did suffer a one-sided loss to Victoria Azarenka in Toronto last week.

There is plenty of positives in the Svitolina game, but she is only 20 years old and that means there are some inconsistent performances and she can be a little erratic. However, Bouchard has been producing a lot less than Svitolina and her confidence looks to be in a very dark place even after winning her First Round match.

Too many collapses in matches has to be a concern for Bouchard fans and I am not sure she is ready to win a match against someone who can produce what Svitolina can. In a three set match, Svitolina can come through and surpass this number with a comfortable 61 or 62 set.

Victoria Azarenka - 3.5 games v Caroline Wozniacki: There is no doubting that Victoria Azarenka missed a trick last week in Toronto as she was disappointingly beaten by Sara Errani. Many of the top players exited the tournament early and a strong run might have seen Azarenka crack back into the World top 20 so there has to be some disappointment there, especially the manner in which she was defeated by Errani.

There had been suggestions this week that Azarenka is suffering from some kind of illness, but she put that to bed in the press conference and then came out and demolished Lauren Davis on the court. On the other hand Caroline Wozniacki has definitely been not feeling at 100% and she was critical of the WTA for 'forcing' her to play in Toronto last week.

With the US Open coming up at a rate of knots, Wozniacki might not be so keen on this Second Round match, especially as Azarenka has won all three previous matches in 2015 without dropping a set. If Wozniacki is still feeling below par, Azarenka should be able to take advantage and continue her dominance of their head to head.

Break points will be available for both players and it will come down to who is able to take those opportunities best. Victoria Azarenka should have the edge in that department with the slightly better fitness and I like her to come through 64, 63.

MY PICKS: Tommy Robredo @ 2.00 Ladbrokes (2 Units)
David Goffin - 2.5 Games @ 1.91 Bet Fred (2 Units)
Jack Sock @ 1.83 Bet Victor (2 Units)
Andy Murray - 5.5 Games @ 2.00 Bet Fred (2 Units)
Elina Svitolina - 2.5 Games @ 1.83 Paddy Power (2 Units)
Victoria Azarenka - 3.5 Games @ 1.73 Bet365 (2 Units)

Cincinnati Masters Update: 4-5, - 2.88 Units (18 Units Staked, - 16% Yield)

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