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Monday, 12 August 2019

Cincinnati Masters Tennis Picks 2019 (August 12th)

After a brutal start to the Canadian Masters following a really poor end to the week before, I quickly realised I needed a few days to just reset in what is a very long season of making picks on the Tennis Tour.

It has been a very strong 2019 to follow from a good 2018, but the last couple of weeks have been tough and I have regularly struggled when the ATP tournament is played in Montreal and the WTA tournament is played in Toronto. With that in mind and the poor luck I had been experiencing early last week, the decision was the right one as far as I am concerned.

This week the Tour moves to Cincinnati and both the ATP and WTA's biggest players have arrived at the last major stop before the US Open begins in two weeks time. Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic are both in acton, but the two title winners from last week are missing as Rafael Nadal and Bianca Andreescu both have decided to take this week as the chance to rest before the last Grand Slam of 2019 begins.

Serena Williams has to be a doubt having withdrawn from the Toronto Final after playing just four games. Back spasms were to blame, but she will be given until at least Wednesday to make a decision as the former World Number 1 looks to complete preparation for the US Open too.

Conditions in Cincinnati are usually considerably different to those in Canada and even in New York City with the courts tending to be some of the fastest hard courts on the Tour. Things may have changed in 2019, but traditionally that is the case and it is something to consider.

The schedule for this tournament can be quite tight with Second Round matches beginning as soon as Tuesday and those markets won't be formulated before I get some kip. It basically means some of the threads may need to be added to on the day of the matches, although I will try and get nay picks out as soon as possible.

I had gone through the First Round matches that had been confirmed on Sunday but there were no matches of note for Monday. That is until the market for the matches involving the Qualifiers from Sunday had been put together and I haven't identified too many Tennis Picks that appeal on this day.

Hopefully it will be a significantly better week than the last couple of weeks have been and build some momentum towards the next three weeks as the US hard court season comes to a close.

Guido Pella - 2.5 games v Casper Ruud: It says something about how Guido Pella is playing the best tennis of his career that he has never played in the main draw at the Cincinnati Masters. Twelve months ago he was not in a position in the World Rankings to be considered an automatic entry into this Masters event, but now he has improved his Ranking by over thirty places and is on the brink of reaching a new career high as the Argentinian bids to get into the top 20.

At 29 years old Pella is having a really surprising season, although it has to be said he is only slightly above average as a hard court player. He still has a losing record on the hard courts over the last twelve months, but Pella has reached the Semi Final in Los Cabos and the Fourth Round in Montreal last week so the confidence has to be in a better place for the Argentinian.

Guido Pella's numbers are fairly average with 63% of points won behind serve and 38% of return points won on the hard courts in 2019. Those numbers have been pretty consistent over the longer twelve month look at his performances on the surface, and Pella has held 77% of service games and broken in 21% of return games on the hard courts since July 2018.

Casper Ruud has a winning record on the hard courts, but the majority of his time has been spent off the main Tour and his numbers are very average when you factor that in. While a decent clay courter, Ruud is just 3-10 on the hard courts on the main Tour and he has held 74% of service games played in those matches and broken in just 14% of return games faced.

The numbers definitely give Pella enough of an edge to want to back him to cover the handicap mark set for this First Round match. These two also met at the US Open in August last year and Pella dominated the match having faced just one break point in the straight sets win and the higher Ranked player broke in 38% of return games played.

I do think Ruud is much improved, but his best performances have been on the slower surfaces especially when it comes to the main ATP Tour level. Guido Pella can be a little up and down with his own performances on the hard courts, but he has had a good month and can win this First Round match.

MY PICKS: Guido Pella - 2.5 Games @ 1.91 Bet Fred (2 Units)

Season 2019: + 98.41 Units (1473 Units Staked, + 6.68% Yield)

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