Sunday, 11 August 2013

ATP Cincinnati: Preview and Predictions

Roger Federer is back... let's take a look at the draw.

FIRST QUARTER - N.Djokovic (1) v R.Gasquet (8)
Novak Djokovic
Novak Djokovic heads into Cincy with probably, not a great deal of confidence having suffered another loss to Rafael Nadal in Montreal.  His first match of the week will be against either Juan Monaco or Jurgen Melzer.  Both Canadian semi-finalists from Montreal are in this section too and I would be surprised to see either do particularly well following their exploits; Vasek Pospisil does have a winnable first match against stuck-in-a-rut, Gilles Simon, meanwhile Milos Raonic takes on the young American, Jack Sock, which he should also win.

This is a section filled with Americans as Sam Querrey opens up against Janko Tipsarevic in a battle of the slumping.  John Isner plays Florian Mayer first up with a chance of meeting Richard Gasquet in the second round.  Gasquet managed a win over Kei Nishikori in Montreal, but was handed a beatdown by Djokovic in the quarters.  Isner, nicely refreshed, has a great chance to make inroads with this draw.

1st Round Predictions: Monaco to beat Melzer in 3 sets, Pospisil to beat Simon in 2 tight sets, Raonic to beat Sock in 2 sets, Querrey to beat Tipsarevic in 3 sets and Isner to beat F.Mayer in 3 sets

Moo's Quarter-Final Prediction - Djokovic v Isner

SECOND QUARTER - D.Ferrer (3) v J.M. del Potro (7)
David Ferrer
David Ferrer played an incredible amount of tennis on both the clay and grass this year so perhaps it was not a great surprise that his first match back ended in a rusty defeat to Alex Bogomolov Jr.  I would expect the Spaniard to feature much more heavily this week, but an opener against either Ryan Harrison or Alexandr Dolgopolov will be a solid test, the latter pushing Ferrer to five sets at Wimbledon.  In the third round, the steadily improving Jerzy Janowicz will be a really tough potential opponent.  I would be tempted to go for Janowicz, but underestimating Ferrer is always a big risk.  Juan Martin del Potro is in this section and should hopefully do better than in Canada where he was coming off the back of a champions run in Washington.  Benoit Paire (R2) and Kei Nishikori (R3) will offer him the toughest resistance before the quarters.

1st Round Predictions: Dolgopolov to beat Harrison in 3 sets, Janowicz to beat Blake in 2 tight sets, Nishikori to beat Lopez in 2 sets and Paire to beat Davydenko in 2 sets

Moo's Quarter-Final Prediction - Ferrer v Del Potro

THIRD QUARTER - R.Federer (5) v R.Nadal (4)
Roger Federer
Roger Federer makes his return in a crucial week, where he will be defending big points having won this title last year.  In his first match of the week, he will play either Mardy Fish or Philipp Kohlschreiber.  Tommy Haas is a potential third round opponent, but I was slightly worried to see Haas withdraw from Montreal with a shoulder injury.  He has played an incredible amount of tennis this year and I think tiredness could give his first round opponent, Kevin Anderson an opportunity to progress.  Rafael Nadal is a likely opponent for Federer assuming he competes here following hid exploits in Canada where he reached the final.  His draw looks reasonable with Nicolas Almagro, Grigor Dimitrov and Denis Istomin his biggest threat in round three.

1st Round Predictions: Kohlschreiber to beat Fish in 2 tight sets, Granollers to beat Rosol in 2 sets, Anderson to beat Haas in 2 tight sets and Dimitrov to beat Almagro in 2 sets

Moo's Quarter-Final Prediction - Federer v Nadal

FOURTH QUARTER - T.Berdych (6) v A.Murray (2)
Tomas Berdych
As to be expected, Andy Murray was well below his best in Montreal and he will get a chance to redeem himself in Cincy where I expect him to delve much deeper into the draw.  He could meet his Montreal conqueror in the second round; Ernests Gulbis could be ready and waiting to take control of the upset train once more, but he will not have an easy opener against Mikhail Youzhny.  Murray's 3rd round opponent will come from an intriguing section that features Fabio Fognini, Radek Stepanek, Julien Benneteau and Marcos BaghdatisTomas Berdych is the other top 8 seed within this section and his route could pass by Stanislas Wawrinka in the 3rd round.  Stan the man has disappointed in recent weeks with a number of injuries affecting his progression, but following a week off after an early exit in Canada, I think he is going to do well here.

1st Round Predictions: Robredo to beat Bellucci in 3 sets, Wawrinka to beat Seppi in 3 sets, Fognini to beat Stepanek in 3 sets, Benneteau to beat Baghdatis in 2 sets and Youzhny to beat Gulbis in 3 sets

Moo's Quarter-Final Prediction - Wawrinka v Murray

Moo's Final Prediction - Murray d. Djokovic

I feel like I am taking a bit of a risk this week going for Andy Murray as he could quite conceivably play Ernests Gulbis again in round two, but I think he will grow stronger throughout the week and set up his preparations for the US Open in style.  Earlier this year, following a long break after the Australian Open, he made quarters of Indian Wells and then won Miami.  He is a slow starter, who takes time to shake off the rust.  He should be fresh though and have got his eye in having made the final of doubles in Montreal... therefore he is my tip for the Cincy champion.

1 comment:

  1. I'll go for a repeat of the Federer Djokovic final from last year.