Defending champion Novak Djokovic completed his career Golden Masters last year at the Western & Southern Open. The 16-time Grand Slam champion defeated Roger Federer in the final to lift his maiden trophy in Cincinnati and become the first tennis player in history to win all nine Masters 1000 titles. Djokovic will make his first appearance since winning his fifth Wimbledon title last month. The world No.1 decided to withdraw from the Rogers Cup in Montreal in order to get more rest before opening his hard court season in North-America.
Looking now at Novak’s draw on this event, the 32-year-old will have a very difficult task in Cincinnati. Djokovic will face either Sam Querrey or Pierre-Hugues Herbert in his opening match, two very dangerous players on these fast conditions. Former Western & Southern Open finalists John Isner and Nick Kyrgios are also in Djokovic’s quarter and the Serbian may face them in the third round and quarterfinals, respectively. Adding to this, the Serbian can also face Federer in the semifinals, a player who won the title six times on this event.
Djokovic is the undeniable favorite to lift the trophy in Cincinnati but it’s hard to find any value on his tennis betting odds at +150 with Bet365. Besides the tough draw ahead of him, Novak only won the title in one of his previous 12 appearances on this event. On the other hand, Djokovic will play his first hard court tournament since the Miami Open in March and hasn’t won a title on this surface since the Australian Open.
Player to Keep an Eye
Former world No.1 Andy Murray will make his singles return at the Western & Southern Open since underdoing hip resurfacing surgery in January. Murray returned to the ATP Tour in June by playing doubles and won the title at the Fever-Tree Championship at the Queen’s Club with Feliciano Lopez in his first tournament. The three-time Grand Slam champion has been pain free since returning to action and decided to accept a wild card to play his first singles tournament since the Australian Open.
Murray will start his campaign at the Western & Southern Open against Richard Gasquet. This will be the 12th official meeting between these two players with Andy leading 8-3 in their head-to-head. Adding to this, the 32-year-old from Glasgow won all their last five encounters on the ATP Tour. Known as one of the greatest competitors in tennis history, Murray can never be underestimated. The Scot is a two-time champion in Cincinnati and the fast court conditions on this event suit his style. On the other hand, Gasquet has a poor 47.83% winning record throughout his career on this event and lost all his last five matches in Cincinnati when priced as underdog. With this in mind, our suggestion is for you to add Andy’s moneyline to your betting picks to win his first-round match against Gasquet at +154 with Pinnacle.