The ATP Western & Southern Open starts in Cincinnati on Sunday 14 August. World no.1 Carlos Alcaraz and two-time champion Novak Djokovic dominate the outright betting in their latest battle for supremacy at the summit of the men’s game.
Novak Djokovic to win @ 15/8
Djokovic is back in action for the first time since his Wimbledon final loss against Alcaraz and the 23-time Grand Slam champion, who will also be competing in the US for the first time since 2021, looks the one to beat on his Stateside return.
The 36-year-old will have his sights set on another US Open triumph but this Masters 1000 tournament is a valuable prize in its own right and Djokovic has won it twice in his last three attempts, becoming the only man to win each Masters 1000 title on more than one occasion when he beat Milos Raonic in the 2020 final, although the event was staged in New York in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Retired Roger Federer has generally been the king of the Cincinnati courts, winning seven times between 2005 and 2015, but Djokovic has reached the final on seven occasions and would surely have won a few more had the Swiss maestro not been around to stop him.
Alcaraz is his chief rival in the betting this time but the Spaniard was beaten in Toronto last week, losing out to Tommy Paul in the National Bank Open quarter-finals, and he could be on course for another meeting with the American at the same stage.
Djokovic, seeded second and drawn in the bottom half as a result, appears to have an easier route to a potential semi-final with Jannik Sinner and he would be confident of getting the better of the Italian having beaten him in straight sets at Wimbledon a month ago.
Andrey Rublev each-way @ 25/1
It’s not a guarantee that the top two will meet in the final and recent editions of the Cincinnati Masters have produced a number of different winners with Marin Cilic, Grigor Dimitrov, Daniil Medvedev, Alexander Zverev and Borna Coric all joining Djokovic in claiming the title since Federer’s last victory.
There are several others who are bidding to add their name to that list including Sinner and Los Cabos champion Stefanos Tsitsipas, but the best each-way option could be Andrey Rublev, who won a first Masters 1000 title at the Monte Carlo Masters in April.
The Russian underwhelmed in Canada last week but he pushed Djokovic in the Wimbledon quarter-finals then won the Swedish Open and he’s shown a liking for the Cincinnati courts in the past, knocking out Federer in 2019 and losing out to Zverev in the 2021 final.
Rublev is drawn in the top half alongside Alcaraz but he wouldn’t meet the Spaniard until the semi-final stage and his route to the latter rounds looks manageable – he receives a bye into round two then will meet Emil Ruusuvuori or a qualifier for a place in the third round.