Cincinnati Masters Round 1 Preview and Top Tennis Predictions


Monday, August 12, 2019 7:25 AM UTC

Monday, Aug. 12, 2019 7:25 AM UTC

Can the talented Sonego keep proceedings close against the enigmatic Kyrgios?

<div><div><p><strong>Nick Kyrgios vs. Lorenzo Sonego</strong><br />Monday, August 12, Cincinnati<br /><br />Nick Kyrgios is an enigma. One that has fascinated the tennis world for just about as long as the Australian has been on the ATP Tour. Widely considered as one of the most talented players to pick up a tennis racquet in recent years, the 24-year old has often made headlines for events that don´t relate to his tennis talent. Broken racquets, screaming at umpires, defaulting from matches and other behavioral quirks &amp; problems is often at the focal point of Kyrgios´career. When the Aussie does zone in and play tennis though, he does it brilliantly. Few players can match the serve that´s easily top 5 on tour when clicking, combined with envy-inducing power and athleticism behind the the world no. 27´s groundstrokes. We´ve seen Kyrgios "zoned in" during two tournaments this year, both of which have yielded ATP 500 titles. In Acapulco this February, the enigmatic Australian went through three top ten players in Rafael Nadal, John Isner and Alexander Zverev enroute to the title. Just over a week ago, top ten pair Stefanos Tsitsipas and Daniil Medvedev could not match the 24-year old operating at peak level. After winning in Mexico though, Nick nodded off and was subsequently bounced early in many tournaments to follow. After the Washington title, Kyle Edmund took the Australian out in straight sets in the first round of Montreal.<br /><br />Lorenzo Sonego, is also a very talented player. However, he is certainlyt not surrounded by as much controversy and heated discussion as his round 1 opponent. A late starter to his tennis career aged 11, the young Italian has had a breakthrough year in 2019, cracking into the top 100 this early on in the season. After a very successful start to the European clay court season, one that saw the 24-year old make both the Marrakech and Monte Carlo Masters quarterfinals, many eyes were opened to the Turin native. Lorenzo struggled for consistency after those two great runs, with subsequent first round exits, but turned up again in Antalya to capture his maiden ATP title on the grass of Antalya. Standing at 191cm tall, the serve is one of the Italian´s biggest weapons, so it should come as no surprise that Sonego ranks 18th in service games won (84.2%) over the last 52 weeks on tour. He also ranks 19th in first serve points won (74.9%) as well as 6th when it comes to the lowest average of double faults (1.9 per match). That serve is backed up with hot and heavy groundstrokes, and the new world 47 hits them with confidence, especially off the forehand wing.<br /><br />Interestingly enough, Kyrgios is a player that tends to struggle against the big servers on tour, with 13 of his last 19 matches played over the last 3 years (68.4%) against these players exceeding the total of 22.5 games. This mostly comes down to the Aussie´s huge serve combined with the inability, and sometimes lack of interest, to break his opponent´s serve. With both players possessing top class deliveries, this should be a serve oriented matchup. Cincinnati is also notoriously fast, and has certainly served the big servers well over the years. The weather is expected to be hot with temperatures over 30 degrees celsius, further speeding up proceedings, and it would be a surprise for any player to have their way on return in this particular matchup. Thus, the over 22.5 games is certainly appealing, paying out 1.83 with Bet365.<br /><br /><a href=";a=bf7f64f4-cd67-4904-9b00-6ded1d41fd18&amp;f=1" rel="nofollow" target="_blank" title="Tennis Betting Odds"><strong><em>Best bet: Over 22.5 games at 1.83 (83/100) with Bet365</em></strong></a></p><p><a href=";a=f339dce1-88de-4994-ab6a-c24e019bdf3b&amp;f=3" target="_blank"><img alt src="" style="width:100%" /></a><br /><br /><strong>Jelena Ostapenko vs. Yulia Putinseva</strong><br />Monday, August 12, Cincinnati<br /><br />June 10th, 2017. Many in the world of tennis were in a state of shock, as the then 20-year old Jelena Ostapenko upset Simona Halep in the Roland Garros final to capture her maiden, and biggest WTA title.<br /><br />"I'm really happy to win here," she excitedly said after the match had concluded.<br />"I think I still cannot believe it, because it was my dream and now it came true. "I think I'm going to only understand in maybe couple of days or couple of weeks."<br /><br />The talented Latvian hit a scintillating 299 winners during that 7-match dream run, but consistency has eluded her since those magical two weeks in Paris two years ago. Ostapenko has now dropped from her glorious days as the world no. 5, to a much more humble 75th spot in the WTA rankings. Consistency, or lack thereof, has always been the problem for the 22-year old. Possessing ridiculous power and the ability to hit through anyone, but lacking the consistency to replicate this in match after match, week after week has certainly played its part in the fall from grace. Another problematic area is Jelena´s serve. 222 double faults have been served up in 2019, most on tour. Furthermore, aided by these double faults, the Latvian has only won 39.6% of her second serve points (2nd worst in the top 100), and 52.3% of her total service points (3rd worst in the top 100). Though flashes of brilliance still resurface now and then, it´s been a struggle for the 22-year old, as evidenced by a meager 13-21 record this year.<br /><br />Yulia Putinseva certainly hasn´t found herself wanting for consistency as often as today´s opponent. In fact, the Kazakh has been doing decent work this season, going 24-17 highlighted by a Nürnberg title, currently placing 36th in the race to Shenzen. Though the 24-year old´s favorite surface is clay, she´s played well to reach the Sydney quarterfinals, and Miami Masters Round of 16 where finalist Karolina Pliskova was pushed to three tough sets. Yulia has also produced two consecutive upsets of former world no. 1 Naomi Osaka on the grass lawns, a surface she´s previously hated.<br /><br />“I was trying to concentrate on each and every point, especially when I was returning,” said Putintseva in her post-match press conference, reported “It was a very tough match, especially mentally, because she (Osaka) is always pressing, pressing, pressing. You have to stay cool.”<br /><br />The Kazakh possesses a wonderfully varied game, with both power, topspin and finesse to disrupt her opponent´s rhythm. Despite losing in straight sets, Putinseva started out really well against former world no.1 Caroline Wozniacki in her first outing of this north american hard court swing. If she can build upon the way she started that match, good things may be coming during this part of the season.<br /><br />Despite her two wins, Ostapenko hasn´t impressed since Wimbledon, and comes in fresh off a beatdown delivered by the hands of Bouzkova. With how inconsistent the Latvian is right now, especially on serve, any capable player will be a massive threat in every single service game. Putinseva is a dangerous returner and has a serviceable serve of her own. Right now, the Kazakh is certainly the more consistent player, and it´d take a blast from the past for Ostapenko to emerge victorious in this one. At odds of 1.68 at Pinnacle, Putinseva to win looks the bet.<br /><br /><br /><a href=";a=6a145d2b-505f-491b-a70e-2f5f31742828&amp;f=1" rel="nofollow" target="_blank" title="Tennis Betting Odds"><strong><em>Best bet: Yulia Putinseva to win at 1.68 (17/25) with Pinnacle</em></strong></a></p></div></div>
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