Cincinnati Open 2020 Betting Plays & Predictions

August 20, 2020

After a one-day delay, the semifinals of the Western and Southern Open are set to take place on Friday, August 28. With all four semifinalists in the men’s draw likely to make deep runs in next week’s US Open, Stefanos Tsitsipas will take on Milos Raonic while Novak Djokovic takes on Roberto Bautista-Agut.

Stefanos Tsitsipas vs. Milos Raonic

Pick: Stefanos Tsitsipas -1.5 sets (+145) over Milos Raonic

While every player in the semifinals of the first ever Cincinnati Masters to be held in New York received an additional day of rest, Stefanos Tsitsipas received some additional rest in the quarterfinals. Approaching the conclusion of the first set against Reilly Opelka in that match, Opelka was forced to retire due to injury.

Tsitsipas has won all four of the completed sets he has played in this tournament, defeating the big serving Kevin Anderson and John Isner in straight sets prior to the victory over Opelka. The recent experience the Greek player has defeating players whose strength is their serve may come in handy against Milos Raonic, who plays a similar game to the players Tsitsipas has eliminated in this tournament.

Raonic has won four matches in this tournament, as he did not receive a first round bye the way that Tsitsipas did. The Canadian has won eight of the nine sets he has played during this event, with a straight sets win over Andy Murray serving as the high point of his tournament thus far. Raonic’s last match was a difficult one, though, as he needed to grind out a three-set victory over Filip Krajinovic.

These two competitors have squared off once in their careers, with Raonic earning a straight sets win over Tsitsipas in the 2020 Australian Open. Raonic was playing arguably the best tennis of his career during the Australian Open, and has not reached that level since. Tsitsipas has already become accustomed to dealing with powerful servers on this fast surface in New York, and should be able to get revenge on Raonic en route to a Masters 1000 final.

Expect the winner of the first set in this match to cruise to victory in the second set, as both players will attempt to expect as little energy as possible to get a win here given that there are more ranking points on the line in next week’s major. Tsitsipas should be able to get the better of Raonic in set one, with the situation justifying taking Tsitsipas to win in straights at a plus price.

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Novak Djokovic vs. Roberto Bautista-Agut

Pick: Roberto Bautista-Agut +1.5 sets over Novak Djokovic

The second semifinal in the Northeastern version of the Western and Southern Open features two players in the top-15 in the rankings. World number one Novak Djokovic looks to claim the Cincinnati crown for the second time in three years, while Roberto Bautista-Agut looks to become the seventh Spaniard to reach the final in this tournament’s history.

Djokovic has had a straightforward road to the semifinal, beating Ricardas Berankis, Tennys Sandgren and Jan-Lennard Struff in straight sets to get to this point. This season, Djokovic has won 30.5% of his return games, a number that is good for third on tour over the last year. And having not played a top-30 player in this tournament thus far, the only question for Djokovic in this match will be how hard he wants to work with the US Open looming.

Roberto Bautista-Agut has had a much more difficult road to the semis. After coming back from a first set deficit to beat Richard Gasquet, RBA won back-to-back three-set matches against Russian stars Karen Khachanov and Daniil Medvedev. The Spaniard dropped the first set in each of the last two matches, storming back to win the final two sets in each to reach this point.

After Djokovic won each of the first five matchups between these two players, Bautista-Agut has split the last six meetings with the current world number one. In those last six matches, Bautista-Agut has won at least one set on five occasions. While Djokovic is clearly the better player and has faced an easier path to the semis, the resilient nature of Bautista-Agut makes for the perfect spot to take the set and a half in this match. 

Bautista-Agut has proven that dropping the first set against elite opponents is not a reason to doubt him coming back and winning a match. Here, he would simply need to win one of the first two sets to cash the ticket.

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