The ATP Cincinnati, or Cincinnati Masters, is an ATP 1000 Tour Event that is played on outdoor hard-courts, and it is widely perceived to be America’s second biggest tennis tournament after the US Open.
It is an event that has been dominated by Roger Federer in recent times, with the Swiss star winning 7 of the last 11 renewals. However, due to injury, Federer is absent this year. Novak Djokovic is also conspicuous by his absence from the 2016 Cincinnati Masters, but that may well be that the World Number One has got frustrated having never won the title here, finishing runner-up in 5 of the last 8 seasons.
Meanwhile, Andy Murray won the title in 2008 and 2011, whilst Rafa Nadal won in 2013.
Andy Murray is the top-seed in the absence of Federer and Djokovic, but he has a baptism of fire with this week’s Los Cabos winner Karlovic a big hurdle to overcome in his current form, whilst Gasquet could be another potential big hurdle in the quarter-finals. However, he has respectively won his last 7 matches and 6 matches against them. He then may have to play Nishikori, but has also won their last 4 encounters.
Milos Raonic is favourite to qualify from the second quarter, but faces a tough early opponent in John Isner against whom he has lost all 3 matches they’ve played. Isner has also won his only hard-court match against the out-of-form Thiem, and could well make it to the semi-finals.
Marin Cilic won’t be relishing his opening match against Victor Troicki, having lost his last 5 against him, but this quarter looks the toughest with 2013 champion Nadal, Berdych, and recent winner Kyrgios in it. It’s only a gut feeling, but Berdych may have a good week after sounding motivated after the appointment of a new coach.
Wawrinka really should be making it to the semi-finals from the easiest looking quarter and, though he’s sometimes lacking in motivation, he’ll probably want to get his eye in as he builds towards the US Open.
Semi-Finals And Final
Murray holds Isner 6-0 on their head-to-heads, though Isner has taken a set on four of those occasions, and Murray may well wilt at some stage. Meanwhile, Wawrinka has beaten Berdych in their last 6 encounters. Isner also has holds a 2-1 record against Wawrinka, and I’m going for some value by backing both Isner and Wawrinka this week.
John Isner each-way @ 50/1 (Boylesports) ½ odds 2 places
Wawrinka each-way @ 10/1 (Boylesports) ½ odds 2 places