It was only a week ago we saw Novak Djokovic lose in the Rogers Cup Final. Fast forward to today, and the No. 1 player in the world has a shot at redemption in the Masters 1000 final in Cincinnati where he’ll face Roger Federer.
It’s the most competitive rivalry that’s going on in tennis right now. Coming into this final match neither man has the edge on the other as both have an equal amount of victories against each other. Their overall record is 20-20 and Djokovic has never won in Cincinnati. For Federer, it’s a completely different story as he’s a six-time Cincinnati champion who’s never lost in a Final at Cincinnati. Should Djokovic win he’ll make history and become the first player to win all nine ATP Masters during his career.
At the beginning of the tournament it was easy to assume that the road to the final was relatively smooth for Djokovic, but that didn’t turn out to be the case. Barely into his second match of the event Djokovic had already begun to show signs of vulnerability. He lost the second set of his third round match to David Goffin 6-2 in what can only be attributed to a slip of mental strength as he roared back in the third set to win 6-3. In his recent semifinal match he almost lost to qualifier Alexandr Dolgopolov in straight sets before he was able to squeeze out a three-set comeback.
If Djokovic wants to have a chance to get his first Western & Southern Open victory he will need to hope his endurance holds, he maintains focus, and his consistency in important points stays high. Even as one of the most fit players on tour he’s still susceptible to tough schedules and with this being his 10th match in the passed two weeks his stamina may begin to suffer. Luckily, playing against Federer doesn’t usually equate to a long grueling match, as the Swiss’ preferred style of play is to keep points quick and short. Nevertheless, Djokovic has shown signs of weariness as double faults have started to creep into his matches and against a fresh Federer that type of error will not end well for the Serbian.
Federer on the other hand has enjoyed some much-needed rest after Wimbledon. This has been the first time he’s been back on tour since losing to Djokovic at the All England Club a month ago. As a result, Federer has had no problems on his way to this year’s final, as he’s yet to drop a set to players including big server Kevin Anderson and recent Rogers Cup champion Andy Murray. In addition, no one yet has been able to break Federer’s serve, which usually spells trouble for any future opponent. Djokovic has an incredible return game that can make even the best servers service game ineffective, but if Djokovic’s game slips in the least bit it could be all Federer needs to pull out a win.
If you already took our advice and took both of these players as a futures bet to win the event, then you can kick back and enjoy the profit that you’ll make. If you took Djokovic as the outright winner it would be wise to hedge by taking Federer for the win. And if you’re just now reading this, we think this is one of the best times to take Roger Federer for the win. At 6-0 in title matches here in Cincinnati he’s proven his comfort at this event, he’s well rested and Djokovic’s signs of fatigue offer hope that Federer can win. If Federer can maintain a strong service game and apply pressure with a decent return game it should be enough to throw off the World No. 1.
How They Got Here
- First Round: Bye
- Second Round: def. Benoit Paire 7-5, 6-2
- Third Round: def. David Goffin 6-4, 2-6, 6-3
- Quarterfinals: def. Stan Wawrinka 6-4, 6-1
- Semifinals: def. Alexandr Dolgopolov 4-6, 7-6 (7-5), 6-2
- First round: Bye
- Second round: def. Roberto Bautista Agut 6-4, 6-4
- Third round: def. Kevin Anderson 6-1, 6-1
- Quarterfinals: def. Feliciano Lopez 6-3, 6-4
- Semifinals: def. Andy Murray 6-4, 7-6 (8-6)
|Sets Under 2.5||8/15|
|Sets Over 2.5||11/8|
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