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Saturday, 22 August 2015

Cincinnati Masters Tennis Picks 2015 (August 22nd)

I have a very early start today as I am getting ready to head off to Old Trafford for the Manchester United-Newcastle United Premier League game, but I do have a couple of picks from the Cincinnati Masters Semi Finals that I would like to get out.

It was a decent Friday for the picks despite Tomas Berdych's defeat as the other three Quarter Final picks came in, so hopefully a strong end to the week can see the picks finishing in the positive and improve the season totals which have been decimated over the last six weeks.


Roger Federer - 2.5 games v Andy Murray: It says a lot about the character and strength of mind that Andy Murray possesses that he has reached the Semi Final here this week in Cincinnati. After an emotional win over Novak Djokovic in the Montreal Final last Sunday, Murray has looked short of physical well being all through the week, but has managed to dig himself out of some big holes.

He has saved match points against Grigor Dimitrov and Murray also dropped the first set against Richard Gasquet, but has still pushed himself through. This all despite looking like he has had very little left in the tank both physically and mentally.

By contrast, it has been a serene tournament for Roger Federer who missed Canada last week and instead wanted to play in his favourite Masters tournament in Cincinnati as the only preparation for the US Open. It has looked a good decision as Federer has breezed through his first three matches for the loss of just 17 games and he has yet to drop serve.

The one concern for Federer fans might be that he hasn't played in the day conditions all week and might take time to adjust to perhaps a speedier court. However, he looks stronger physically and I am not sure Murray has enough to recover if he falls behind against one of the best front runners in the game.

Federer needs to serve well to keep himself in the driving seat, but doing that should help him beat Murray for the second season in a row in Cincinnati and I like him to win this one 64, 64.


Jelena Jankovic + 3.5 games v Simona Halep: It is a shame for Simona Halep that she looks to be carrying some sort of leg injury at this stage of the season with the final Grand Slam of the season just a week away. She barely looked like she could serve properly at the end of her win over Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova on Friday and all of this should give Jelena Jankovic a chance for some revenge.

Jankovic has been beaten by Halep at the Indian Wells and Canadian Premier Events, but I think she can make this match more competitive like the former was rather than the straight sets loss she suffered last week. She is a player that gets stronger the deeper she goes into a tournament and confidence has to be high after a gruelling straight sets win over Anna Karolina Schmiedlova on Friday.

However, she didn't look as physically spent as Halep and Jankovic is the kind of player that can punish the Romanian by producing a set where she dominates as she did in Indian Wells. Halep has shown considerable fight to suggest she can find a way to battle into another Final, but this number of games could be very useful if Jankovic can make a strong start and win a set.

There is little time for Halep to recover after three tough matches already this week and Jankovic has enjoyed success in the past in Cincinnati. She should be the stronger player physically and that can be decisive in perhaps securing the upset, although I will be content with a competitive match where Jankovic can keep things tight on the scoreboard.

MY PICKS: Roger Federer - 2.5 Games @ 1.83 Paddy Power (2 Units)
Jelena Jankovic + 3.5 Games @ 1.91 Bet365 (2 Units)

Cincinnati Masters Update: 14-12, + 0.68 Units (52 Units Staked, + 1.31% Yield)

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