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Friday, 16 August 2019

Cincinnati Masters Tennis Picks 2019 (August 16th)

Earlier this week I had some poor luck with some of the selections made, but on Thursday it was my own fault as I allowed a couple of Picks to slip through that I should not have.

Those involving Roger Federer and Simona Halep broke the rules that have been successful in 2019 and I have to hold my hands up and say that's on me. I would still have picked the other three as I did even though two of those selections were losing ones on the day, but I have to say I am disappointed with myself for breaking my own rules.

On Friday we are into the Quarter Finals of both the ATP and WTA event being played this week in Cincinnati. We have had some upsets in Cincinnati which bode well for the way the US Open could go from an entertainment point of view, although Novak Djokovic continues to look like the man to beat.

In the women's draw I think a strong case could be made for almost ten different players at the final Grand Slam of the season, but it does mean the draw is going to be all-important there as players look to lay down a final marker in the final few days at Cincinnati.

Roberto Bautista Agut - 4.5 games v Richard Gasquet: 2019 continues to be a very special year for Roberto Bautista Agut who is getting married later in the year and producing his best tennis of his career on the courts. Another strong run in Cincinnati has taken him through to the Quarter Final and the Spaniard is a pretty big favourite to see off Richard Gasquet.

The latter has to be respected as he begins to round back into form after injury meant a later start to 2019 than the rest of the Tour. Richard Gasquet reached the Third Round last week in Montreal but it was Bautista Agut who ended that run and the layers don't really believe it is going to be much different this time around.

The Frenchman has been in decent form over the last couple of weeks with 84% of his service games being held and finding a break in 22% of return games. Richard Gasquet has a very similar number in terms of his serve over the last twelve months on the hard courts, although he has been returning a little more effectively.

It is the case here in Cincinnati too where Gasquet has produced some impressive numbers, although this match looks to to be the toughest he would have faced in this Masters event. There will be confidence in his play, but Roberto Bautista Agut has some very strong numbers of his own and has the mental edge thanks to the head to head between these players.

Over the course of 2019, Bautista Agut has held 88% of his service games played on the hard courts and broken in 24% of return games. This week the Spaniard is at 93% and 33% respectively in those categories and I think his win in the Third Round was very, very impressive and makes the Spaniard a deserved favourite.

In their four previous hard court matches, Roberto Bautista Agut has held 86% of his service games played compared with Richard Gasquet who is at 67%. Last week in Montreal it was only a poor conversion rate when it came to break points that prevented Bautista Agut winning by a more comfortable scoreline than the 7-5, 7-5 he produced.

The head to head and the 2019 form gives Roberto Bautista Agut the edge in this match and I do think he can cover what is a big handicap on paper. He can be backed at odds against to do that and I will look for the higher Ranked player to be more effective when it comes to the break points that sees him through to the Semi Final.

David Goffin - 2.5 games v Yoshihito Nishioka: These two players met at the end of last month when the Tour was visiting Washington and it was Yoshihito Nishioka who worked his way past David Goffin in three sets. The young Japanese player deserved his win that day having been the slightly stronger returner, but there isn't a big difference between them and I do think the Belgian has been playing the stronger tennis so far this week in Cincinnati.

It has been a solid 2019 for Nishioka, but his numbers have been bolstered by his performance in Cincinnati where he came through the Qualifiers. However it does have to be said that the numbers are fairly standard with 61% of points won behind serve and 40% of return points won which means Nishioka is always in potentially tight matches.

This week Yoshihito Nishioka has won 84% of the service games played in Cincinnati and he has broken in 23% of return games. Those are good numbers, but he has played a lot of tennis already and Nishioka has won three tight matches which suggests there isn't a lot of margin for error in this match against someone who has improved Round by Round in Cincinnati.

David Goffin has not enjoyed a very good 2019 as I mentioned yesterday, but he has put some wins together which will give him confidence as he looks to match the Semi Final run achieved in this event twelve months ago. The serve has not been as effective as Goffin would have liked in this season, but he has held 85% of his service games through the first three matches here and broken in 32% of return games.

Consecutive straight sets wins will help the belief in the Belgian who has underachieved so far in 2019 and I think the edge can be with him in terms of the potential fatigue that his opponent is feeling. Add in the slightly superior serving numbers this week and I think David Goffin can edge out Yoshihito Nishioka in this Quarter Final.

Daniil Medvedev - 3.5 games v Andrey Rublev: He has never been beyond the Fourth Round of any Grand Slam event, but Daniil Medvedev has joined the top 10 of the World Rankings and continues to produce some stunning tennis on the North American hard courts. Over the last month he has reached the Final in Washington and the Semi Final in Montreal and Medvedev is not stopping there with a strong run to the Quarter Final in Cincinnati.

At this point I would say it would be a huge disappointment if Medvedev is not able to make the Quarter Final at the US Open regardless of the draw he receives. He should be Seeded to the point that he avoids the very biggest names on the Tour and Medvedev is playing with the kind of confidence that should see him feel confident in beating most put in front of him.

It was Novak Djokovic who beat Medvedev in the Fourth Round at the Australian Open, but the Russian has not allowed the disappointment to linger while producing a 28-8 record on the hard courts in 2019. Daniil Medvedev's numbers in 2019 and have been impressive, but they hold true for the last twelve months on the hard courts which suggests he has found a consistent level having held 86% of service games played in that time and broken in 29% of return games.

He has been even more impressive since Wimbledon came to a conclusion as Medvedev has held 89% of service games played in Washington, Montreal and Cincinnati combined. At the same time Daniil Medvedev has improved to breaks in 35% of return games played and he has lost just seventeen games in three Rounds here.

It is going to very difficult to beat Medvedev on his current form, but his young compatriot has to be feeling very good too after Andrey Rublev beat Roger Federer in the Third Round in straight sets. That was far from a lucky win as Rublev dominated in most aspects of the match and he has a solid number of 79% of service games being held on the hard courts over the last twelve months while breaking in 24% of return games.

Those make him dangerous and Rublev has been in fine form in Cincinnati having come through the Qualifiers. He has held 96% of service games played this week and broken in 22% of return games so the form is comparable to what Daniil Medvedev is producing, although I do wonder how he will have handled such a huge win over Roger Federer on Thursday.

I do expect Medvedev to challenge the Rublev serve more than most considering his performances on the hard courts over the last twelve months. He does have a slight mental edge having won their sole previous match on the Tour, although I do think Rublev and Medvedev have likely seen plenty of the other to at least not allow the Quarter Final status of this match affect the performances too much.

Backing up a huge win like the one Rublev had is always a difficult challenge and I will back Medvedev to continue his dominant form by producing a big win in this Quarter Final.

MY PICKS: Roberto Bautista Agut - 4.5 Games @ 2.00 Bet365 (2 Units)
David Goffin - 2.5 Games @ 1.80 Bet365 (2 Units)
Daniil Medvedev - 3.5 Games @ 1.91 William Hill (2 Units)

Cincinnati Update: 9-11, - 5.28 Units (40 Units Staked, - 13.20% Yield)

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