With the US Open at Flushing Meadows looming large at the end of the month, the US hard court season is in full swing as it arrives in Cincinnati. It’s time to check out the best Cincinnati Masters tips, odds and predictions.
The Western & Southern Open (as it is now known) is the oldest tournament in the United States outside of the Grand Slams. The event first took place in 1899 and has become an integral part of the tennis playing calendar and in terms of audiences; it is second only to the US Open in all of the tennis events that take place in America throughout the year.
The event is both an ATP Masters 1000 and WTA Premier 5 Event and is arguably the biggest event in the build up to the US Open in New York. Like all Masters and WTA Premier Events, it is played over one week – meaning fans can expect to see some of the world’s best players in action throughout the week. The big matches can often take place in the very early rounds due to the congested nature of the event.
Once qualifying is complete, both the male and female draws feature 56 players – with all of the top players in the world receiving an invitation to the event by virtue of their world ranking.
The whole event takes place at the Lindner Family Tennis Centre in Cincinnati, Ohio and it has been the home of the event since its’ inception in 1899. The tournament is played on a hard court – as are all the events in the US Open summer series.
Saturday 11th August 2018 – Sunday 19th August 2018.
Previous Winners (Men’s)
As with all of the Masters events, the list of winners is often peppered with some of the biggest names to have ever played the game. Roger Federer will be the man to beat again this year; the Swiss supremo has won this event a remarkable 7 times so far in his incredible career. Swedish legend Mats Wilander also enjoyed this event – triumphing on 4 occasions whilst Andre Agassi and Pete Sampras both managed to pick up three titles each in their homeland. An honourable mention must go to Novak Djokovic who has reached the final in Ohio 5 times without lifting the trophy.
Previous Winners (Women’s)
Whilst the female event has been running for as long as the men’s competition, there was a 30 year period between 1974 and 2003 where the event didn’t take place, meaning it has a varied list of winners in the Open Era. Serena Williams has won the title here on two occasions whilst the likes of Maria Sharapova, Li Na, Kim Clijsters and Victoria Azarenka have all won in Cincinnati to add this trophy to their multiple Grand Slam wins.
2018 Tournament Preview
Seven-time winner Roger Federer returns to elite level tennis for the first time since his Wimbledon heartache and he will be the hot favourite in an event he loves. Wimbledon champion Novak Djokovic is also sure to be in the mix as is world number 1 Rafael Nadal – who won in Toronto last week. Two-time champion Andy Murray is also making his comeback from injury and may find life tough in a congested draw; whilst Grigor Dimitrov has struggled for form all season and he will want to defend his trophy in style here.
Serena Williams pulled out of the Rogers Cup last week after speaking candidly about her off-court problems but she looks set to make a return here in Ohio. Sloane Stephens and Simona Halep both reached the final in Montreal last week and they will be eager to keep their respective runs of form going here, whilst Elina Svitolina showed promise in reaching the last 4 in Canada after a difficult grass court season. Defending champion, Garbine Muguruza, has struggled for form throughout the season but her game seems to come and go in waves and if she’s on form, she will be very difficult to stop.
2018 Western & Southern Open Tournament Preview
Men’s Outright Winner Odds:-
As with any Masters 1000 event, all of the biggest names in tennis are immersed in an exciting looking draw and the line-up in Cincinnati is no different. The big name returns of Andy Murray and Roger Federer have added a huge element of intrigue to the event whilst the up and coming names of Alexander Zverev and Stefanos Tsitsipas will fancy their chances of upsetting the established order here.
Roger Federer – 7/2 (888sport) – The seven-time champion in Ohio should return to the ATP refreshed following a month of rest after being knocked out of Wimbledon in the last 8. He is always the man to beat in any event he plays, and is rightfully the strong favourite.
Novak Djokovic– 9/2 (Bet365) – The Wimbledon champion was back to his best at SW19 and looks to be playing with confidence once again. He didn’t look at his best in Toronto last week but will be eager to get back to form before the US Open.
Rafael Nadal – 5/1 (Coral) – The world number 1 continues to deliver results at the elite level of men’s tennis and he impressed in picking up the trophy in Toronto last week despite a difficult draw. He looks very overpriced in Cincinnati this week.
Alexander Zverev – 9/1 (Betfred) – Despite falling at the semi-final last week in Toronto, the exciting young German continues to light up the ATP Tour and categorises US Hard Court as one of his favourite surfaces.
Marin Cilic – 12/1 (Unibet) – The Croatian enjoyed a solid week in Toronto last time out – reaching the last 8 and troubling Rafael Nadal in defeat. He hasn’t been at his best this season but as a former US Open winner – will be looking to find form again this week.
Andy Murray – 14/1 (William Hill) – The two-time winner here in Cincinnati makes a return to the ATP Tour after over 12 months out following hip surgery. It’s difficult to gauge his level currently, but will be one to watch if anywhere near his best.
Kevin Anderson – 20/1 (Ladbrokes) – The Wimbledon finalist backed up his showing in London by reaching the last 4 in Toronto last week; the South African looks way over priced in Ohio this week.
Match Betting Accumulator:
As with all Masters events – the opening round here in Cincinnati has once again produced some exciting first round ties and here are our picks:-
Diego Schwartzman vs Stan Wawrinka – Stan Wawrinka to win
John Isner vs Sam Querrey – John Isner to win
Karen Khachanov vs Albert Ramos-Vinolas – Karen Khachanov to win
Kei Nishikori – Andrey Rublev – Kei Nishikori to win
Richard Gasquet vs Pablo Carreno Busta – Richard Gasquet to win
If all selections are successful it pays 13.41 with 888sport.
2018 Western & Southern Open Tournament Preview
Women’s Outright Winner Odds:-
Much like many of the tournaments on the WTA Tour currently, the Cincinnati Premier 5 Event looks very open and with all of the biggest names in women’s tennis in action – it promises to be yet another fascinating week. Serena Williams is back in action on the WTA Tour which is sure to add another element of intrigue to this pre-US Open event.
Simona Halep– 6/1 (Unibet) – The world number 1 only really has Wimbledon as a blotch on her coy book this summer having won the French Open and reaching the final at Montreal last week – looks way overpriced here in Ohio.
Serena Williams – 8/1 (Bet365) – The two-time champion here in Cincinnati missed out in Montreal last week due to her well-documented off-court problems and could return refreshed and ready to go here.
Angelique Kerber – 9/1 (Ladbrokes) – The Wimbledon Champion has been in great form all season but bombed out in Montreal last week and it will be interesting to see if it was a blip or something more concerning for the German number 1.
Elina Svitolina – 10/1 (888 Sport) – The Ukrainian is always a threat in the US summer swing and she seems to save her best tennis for the US Hard courts. She was impressive in reaching the last 4 in Montreal last week too and looks to be back to her best.
Sloane Stephens– 12/1 (William Hill) – The US Open Champion will be looking to continue her sparkling form since winning the title at Flushing Meadows last year and reaching the final in Montreal last week. She looks way overpriced this week.
Garbine Muguruza– 14/1 (Betfred) – The defending champion here in Ohio has endured a difficult season but is always a threat if she can bring her A-game here in a tournament she seems to enjoy.
Caroline Wozniacki– 20/1 (Ladbrokes) – The Australian Open champion is always one to watch on hard courts and despite having no form to speak of in recent weeks – she looking to win the Cincinnati Open for the first time.
Match Betting Accumulator:
The opening round in Cincinnati has thrown up some fantastic matches and here is our first round accumulator:-
Bethanie Mattek-Sands vs Madison Keys – Madison Keys to win
Marketa Vondrousova vs Ashleigh Barty – Ashleigh Barty to win
Kristina Mladenovic vs Julia Goerges – Julia Goerges to win
Elise Mertens vs Madalena Rybarikova – Elise Mertens to win
Kiki Bertens vs Coco Vandeweghe – Kiki Bertens to win
If all selections are successful it pays 4.96 with Coral.