We’ve reached the middle of the week here in Cincinnati and following Roger Federer’s withdrawal earlier in the week – all eyes turn towards world number 1 Rafael Nadal. The Spaniard has struggled for consistency on the hard courts over the years and will be hoping to string some form together in the build up to the US Open.
Federer’s withdrawal following his disappointing showing against Alexander Zverev in the final in Montreal on Sunday, will disappoint the fans and tournament organisers in Ohio, but it blows the bottom half of the draw wide open. Man of the moment Alexander Zverev is also in action on Wednesday and he will be desperate to carry on his remarkable form in 2017.
The outright market has shifted dramatically following the withdrawal of Roger Federer on Monday.
Rafael Nadal – 9/4 (Sky Bet) – Having secured the world number one status once again, Rafa will be desperate to kick on here and lift the crown – seems to have a good draw.
Alexander Zverev – 6/1 (Boyle Sports) – As mentioned, in imperious form and has seen his odds halved in the past 2 days. Tough draw but fears nobody.
Milos Raonic – 12/1 (Coral) – No form to speak of recently but a huge hitter with a good draw until the last 4 (should meet Zverev).
Sam Querrey – 33/1 (Ladbrokes) – He has a home crowd, a big serve and a good draw. Looks overpriced at 33’s – especially each way.
Match Betting: Rafael Nadal vs Richard Gasquet
Nadal will be eager to hit the ground running here with the weight of expectation building around him. He’s the firm favourite at 1/6 for this one whilst the former top 8 player Gasquet is a real outsider at 4/1. The Frenchman can’t seem to string any wins together recently but did win his opening match here in Cincinnati quite comfortably.
Head to Head
This will be the 16th meeting between these 2 players at tour level with Nadal holding an astonishing 14:1 lead in the head to head. Both of these men know each other’s game inside out as they are the same age and came through the junior ranks together.
Nadal has such a hold on Gasquet and should dispatch him easily – Nadal to win 2 sets to 0 is 1/2 with Ladbrokes.
Match Betting: Grigor Dimitrov vs Feliciano Lopez
Masters 1000 events always provide entertaining first round ties and this is very much the case here in Cincinnati – as two of the most popular men on tour meet in the round of 32. Dimitrov (seeded 7 here) had a swashbuckling start to 2017 but hasn’t kicked on since but starts this one as the strong favourite at 4/7 with Ladbrokes. Lopez’s season has been equally as inconsistent and injury strewn – since winning at Queens in June, the Spaniard has bombed out in the first round in 3 of his last 4 events. He’s 13/8 with Paddy Power to progress here.
Head to Head
This will be the 5th tour level meeting between these two big guns – with the head to head record level at 2:2. They met at the exact same stage in Cincy last year – with Dimitrov coming out on top in 3 tight sets.
This promises to be a close one with so little to separate the two men – backing the match to go to 3 sets looks a shred bet at 5/4 with Betway.
Match Betting: Frances Tiafoe vs Alexander Zverev
Two of the up and coming stars in world tennis meet in a potentially fascinating encounter in Cincinnati. As mentioned, Zverev is in the form of his life and looks well equipped to go on and challenge the game’s elite for years to come – he’s the firm favourite at 1/5 with Coral. Tiafoe is a real prospect on the ATP tour and is one of American tennis’s greatest prospects. The 19 year old is the rank outsider for this one at 7/2 with PaddyPower but he’ll be sure to benefit from some home support.
Head to Head
This is the first meeting between these 2 players at ATP tour level.
Tiafoe will be desperate to please his home fans and put on a performance against the number 3 seed but is sure to have a really tough match on his hands.
Backing Zverev to win by 2 sets to 1 looks a lucrative bet at 10/3 with Bet 365.
Albert Ramos-Vinolas vs Gilles Muller – Muller to win 2 sets to 1
Thomas Fabbiano vs Karen Khachanov – Khachanov to win 2 sets to 1
Pablo Carreno-Busta vs Micha Zverev – Carreno-Busta to win 2 sets to 1
Backing these 3 players to win in 3 sets pays a very handsome 45/1 with Paddy Power.