Tennis - Cincinnati Preview
Last week's ATP Tennis action at the Masters 1000 Series Rogers Cup in Montreal, Canada culminated in the greatest player of all time, Roger Federer, playing the new face (and arguably the future) of men's tennis, Alexander Zverev in the final. Federer had won two of their previous three encounters, including the crunch last meeting in the final at Halle on grass this season, which Federer bossed winning at a stroll 6-1 6-3.
However, it was the young pretender who came out on top this time, storming to a very impressive 6-3 6-4 straight sets win to land his second Masters 1000 Series title of the season. Federer headed in to Sunday's final as the firm favourite, which was not surprising given his record so far this season, which included a 35-2 win record, 5-0 in finals and 9-0 against Top 10 opponents. The majority of opponents would have beaten themselves mentally before even stepping on to the court letting Federer's reputation distract them but not the young NextGen German star who levelled the head-to-head record at 2-2 and, more importantly, took another major step towards establishing himself as the next big thing in men's tennis.
On to this week’s ATP action and it’s the Cincinnati Masters 1000 Series in Cincinnati, USA. Defending champion Cilic does not return due to injury and the tournament has been dominated by three of the Big Four Federer, Nadal and Murray over the last decade having won nine of the last ten titles between them. Roger Federer has won six titles during this period and this mounts to a total of eight between 2005 and 2016.
Federer had a lot of statistics going for him but his withdrawal with a back injury certainly has certainly opened up the tournament and we like the look of Zverev (5/1) at present as he's young, healthy and in red hot form so there seems no reason why he can't win back to back titles since there are no other stand out players from the bottom half of the draw. There's an argument for opposing Nadal in the top half of the draw as he's never made it past the second round the last two seasons and he disappointed at Montreal last week losing against teenager Shapovalov.
Two players who could capitalise if Nadal fails to perform this week are Sam Querrey (66/1) seeded 15 and the unseeded Kevin Anderson (66/1). They have both been in good form of late, both have decent form on hard courts, the quick conditions should suit their games and the extreme heat should not worry either of them either as they both reside in hot regions in the USA.