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Grigor Dimitrov to beat Denis Shapovalov at -120 at FanDuel
Miomir Kecmanovic to beat Pablo Carreno Busta at +116 at FanDuel
Filip Krajinovic to serve 10+ aces vs Dan Evans at +450 at bet365
Daniil Medvedev to win the ATP Cincinnati Masters +400 at FanDuel
Pick made on 08/14/2022 at 06:21 PM EST
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This column successfully opposed Shapovalov last week in Montreal as the Canadian took his recent record to a miserable 1-9 by losing to Alex de Minaur.
And he’s got another tough opener this week in Cincinnati, a venue at which Dimitrov has shone in the past.
The Bulgarian emerged as the champion here in 2017, a year after reaching the semi-finals, and while his own form is hardly sparkling, it’s certainly better than the error-strewn tennis that Shapovalov has been producing.
His double-faults tallies have been worryingly high again of late with 6+ hit in five of his last six matches. In two of the last four, he’s managed to reach 12.
A look at the head-to-head record shows Dimitrov is 2-1 up. Filter that down to hardcourts only and it’s 2-0 with Dimitrov yet to lose a set.
The bookies have this as virtually a pick ‘em and it’s Dimitrov who looks worth siding with.
Carreno Busta has been in fine form in Montreal over the past week, reaching the final, but that run of six matches could work against him in Cincy.
Having only finished in Canada on Sunday evening, he’ll be playing in Ohio on Tuesday and will have little time to get used to the faster conditions which are aided by the Laykold courts they have at this venue (they are still on the slower DecoTurf in Montreal).
It’s easier to rush PCB here and Kecmanovic may well have the tools to do that. He’ll be happier in these conditions – he certainly played well on the fast Australian courts at the start of the year when he reached the round of 16 at the Australian Open.
In the US, he’s been to the quarter-finals in both Indian Wells and Miami and looks to be catching Carreno Busta at the right time here.
He’s worthy of support at +116.
Finding a tasty-priced underdog on the money line proved tough this week so for a bigger price I’m turning to the aces markets in this one.
These two met last week in Montreal where a see-saw match was won by Evans in three sets but only 21 games.
Across those 21 games, Krajinovic managed seven aces, while a look further back to find their match played in the fastest conditions (Cherbourg in 2016) shows that the Serb managed nine in a straight-sets victory which lasted 23 games.
If this goes three sets – and the odds suggest a fairly tight contest – then it will surely last longer than last week’s bizarre contest which was Krajinovic’s first on a hardcourt since March.
He should be better for that outing and while this may end up being a value loser, I’m pretty sure the price is too big here.
After being stunned by wild card Jack Draper in his Montreal opener, Stefanos Tsitsipas could be vulnerable again early on this week.
As one of the top-eight seeds, he gets a first-round bye and he’ll open against the winner of the Krajinovic/Evans match mentioned above.
Evans made the semis in Montreal to prove he’s in good form, while Krajinovic has always caused the Greek problems when they’ve met, winning at least a set on each occasion and emerging victorious in their most recent clash.
Meanwhile, seventh seed Felix Auger-Aliassime continues to struggle for consistency.
Last week he was crushed 6-1 6-2 on home soil by Casper Ruud, the sort of defeat which he may struggle to get out of his system quickly.
A likely opener against in-form Atlanta champion Alex de Minaur would be very awkward, although one suspects the Australian would only be a slight underdog in any such meeting.
Daniil Medvedev can justify favoritism this week and prove he’s ready to defend his US Open crown by winning the Cincinnati Masters.
The Russian won here in 2019 and seemed on course to do so again 12 months ago before his famous brush with a TV camera knocked him out of his stride in the semi-finals.
A recent winner in Los Cabos, Medvedev did admittedly lose his opening match in Montreal last week, although being beaten by Nick Kyrgios right now is no disgrace.
That early loss should focus the mind for this event with Medvedev surely determined to get matches under his belt prior to that approaching US Open.
There are injury doubts over a couple of his main rivals – Rafael Nadal is returning for the first time since Wimbledon and recently admitted he was still feeling the effects of his injury suffered in London, while Kyrgios left Montreal last week complaining about an abdominal strain.
Carlos Alcaraz hasn’t been at his best of late and may well find conditions a bit too speedy for his liking here so Medvedev gets the nod at around +400.
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|What||ATP Western and Southern Open|
|Location||Cincinnati, Ohio, USA|
|Time||Sunday August 14 to Sunday August 21|
|How to Watch||Tennis Channel|
Andy is a sports journalist of more than 20 years’ experience and is a former betting editor of the UK-based website, Sporting Life. He has specialized in tennis for many years, previewing hundreds of ATP Tour events and reporting from tournaments such as the ATP Finals and Davis Cup final. Andy has also covered numerous other sports, with a particular interest in soccer and cricket.More info on Andy Schooler
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