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Sunday, 23 August 2015

Cincinnati Masters Tennis Picks 2015 (August 23rd)

The Final of the second Premier Event and Masters tournaments of the summer take place on Sunday and then it is full steam ahead to the US Open which begins in eight days time.

Of course there are still a couple of events being played next week with some big names in action, but the majority of the favourites for the US Open title in the men's draw will be on a rest week. The WTA event in New Haven is a lot stronger than the ATP event in Winston Salem, but both have decent fields.

For now the focus is on the two Finals to be played on Cincinnati on Sunday which has the top two players in the fields meeting one another in both.

Roger Federer v Novak Djokovic: I think it was important for Roger Federer to beat an exhausted Andy Murray in straight sets in the Semi Final on Saturday and he should have the physical freshness compared with Novak Djokovic. The latter reached the Final in Montreal last week and he has had to overcome difficult moments in both weeks while an elbow issue has taken a little something from the serve which has given opponents a chance.

Any issues with the serve will give Roger Federer every chance to earn a measure of revenge for his defeat in the Wimbledon Final. Federer has yet to see his serve broken this week, although Djokovic is the best returner he has faced all week, and Cincinnati has been his domain for many a year.

Federer is looking for his seventh title in Cincinnati and has won four of the last six editions of the tournament. Compare that to Djokovic who is yet to win the title here has he looks for a sweep of the Masters events in his career and I do think the quicker conditions in Cincinnati favour Federer who is capable of getting to the net as well as earning a few more cheap points from the serve.

I am just not convinced Djokovic is in prime position with his fitness and the moment and has had to dig deeper than Federer through the week. That can contribute to a third defeat in the Final of Cincinnati to Federer and importantly give the latter the chance to move back to World Number 2 and earn the bottom half of the draw at the US Open.

Serena Williams - 4.5 games v Simona Halep: There have been some doubts with how both Serena Williams and Simona Halep are dealing with some injuries and mental issues on the court at the moment. Both players have had their ups and downs this week and there are going to be some difficult moments for both to overcome.

Serena Williams has been struggling with an arm injury that has taken away some of the potency from the serve and perhaps makes her a vulnerable favourite at the US Open. On the other hand, Simona Halep has had a difficult time dealing with a leg injury, although she did have her best performance of the week with a comfortable win over Jelena Jankovic.

There didn't look to be any issues lingering then, but this match is played in the heat of the day and that could cause cramp issues for Halep to overcome. That was a big issue for her last week in Toronto and might be the factor that eventually allows Serena Williams to take control and win this match.

Of course the arm problems has made the serve vulnerable which is a concern, but Serena Williams can give herself a timely boost going into the US Open in eight days time. I like the American to win the Cincinnati Premier Event after a tough 64, 63 match.

MY PICKS: Roger Federer @ 2.00 Paddy Power (2 Units)
Serena Williams - 4.5 Games @ 1.91 Paddy Power (2 Units)

Cincinnati Tennis Update: 15-13, + 0.34 Units (56 Units Staked, + 0.06% Yield)

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