Sunday evening sees the final of the Cincinnati Masters take place with Andrey Rublev and Alexander Zverev competing for the title. Dan Weston previews the Championship match...
"Rublev has arguably played a high calibre of opposition this week and shocked top seed and countryman Daniil Medvedev in three sets yesterday, and is definitely capable of getting the better of Zverev tonight - it's quite a surprise to see his price not be much bigger than against Medvedev."
Previous meetings with no relevance to tonight's clash
Scheduled not before 21:30 UK time tonight, Andrey Rublev faces Alexander Zverev in the final of the Cincinnati Masters, with Rublev looking to earn his first main tour win over Zverev in the process.
This would suggest that the Russian has his work cut out in order to overcome Zverev, but the head-to-head record must be put into some context. While Zverev leads 4-0, he had a considerable ranking advantage in all matches and they haven't met since January 2020, when Rublev was ranked outside the top 20 - he's now a top ten regular.
Zverev short-priced as favourite
Those previous meetings were generally mismatches but that shouldn't influence the market at all, although I do think that the German, Zverev, is short-priced at the current 1.422/5.
Based on hard court numbers this year, Zverev does have around a 3% edge on return points won, with the duo having pretty much identical service points won percentages.
There's no doubt that Zverev should be favourite, but it's a push to suggest he should be as short as this. He scraped past Stefanos Tsitsipas yesterday in a three-set epic, culminating in a final set tiebreak and I think the market is also reacting slightly to his Olympic win, where apart from world number one Novak Djokovic, he didn't face a single player ranked inside the top 20.
Rublev with fighting chance at market prices
Rublev has arguably played a high calibre of opposition this week and shocked top seed and countryman Daniil Medvedev in three sets yesterday, and is definitely capable of getting the better of Zverev tonight - it's quite a surprise to see his price not be much bigger than against Medvedev. Rublev has battled through three three-setters to get to this stage and has a fighting chance of coming out on top as the 3.309/4 underdog. It's not a hugely confident pick, but it's enough of a lean to consider this evening.
Following this, attention moves to the Winston Salem Open and I'll be returning throughout the week ahead with some advance US Open content in the run-up to the final Grand Slam of the calendar year.
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