Sunday night sees the final of the Cincinnati Masters, and our tennis columnist Dan Weston assesses who will win their maiden Masters 1000 title tonight...
"Using 12 month figures, my model makes this market price on Medvedev a little short, but not absurdly so. If we use 2019 data, it would be more accurate, but either way, it seems that the market has this pretty well evaluated."
Medvedev upsets Djokovic in three
In the discussion about yesterday's semi-finals, I said that Daniil Medvedev would need to start well against Novak Djokovic in order to succeed in their semi-final. Instead, the Russian dropped the first set before coming back to win in three sets in a tight match with only three break point chances apiece and both players winning the same amount of total points.
However, I also have said this week that I think Medvedev is the most realistic threat to the traditional elite trio at the upcoming US Open, and certainly this has been borne out by his third consecutive hard court final, coming in back-to-back-to-back weeks.
Medvedev favourite for maiden Masters title
Medvedev is yet to win one of those finals but today represents his best opportunity, and certainly he'll start at a shorter price today than he did either against Nick Kyrgios (in Washington) or Rafa Nadal, who he met last week in Montreal - he's currently trading at [1.46] on the Exchange to lift the trophy tonight.
Today's opponent, David Goffin, has had an up and down last 12 months or so, with injury being a consideration, and interestingly, he came into this event on the back of three straight losses - not a dissimilar run to Fabio Fognini before he randomly took the title in Monte Carlo earlier on in the year.
All data in favour of Medvedev
It's worth noting, though, that Goffin hasn't needed to get past a top 20 player in order to get to the final - he's definitely benefited from the draw opening up for him, and with this in mind, it's actually quite difficult to assess his level this week. Medvedev has around a 4% edge on combined service and return points won here in Cincinnati this week (113% to 109%) and that includes a match against the world number one as well, so does look to be playing the better tennis.
This edge wasn't too dissimilar to 12 month hard court combined percentages (107% to 104% in favour of Medvedev) while Medvedev's improvement is evidenced by his 109.5% figure in 2019 - on the cusp of elite level, with Goffin's numbers around the 103% mark this year.
Using 12 month figures, my model makes this market price on Medvedev a little short, but not absurdly so. If we use 2019 data, it would be more accurate, but either way, it seems that the market has this pretty well evaluated.
Their two head-to-head matches - both this year - have seen struggles on serve, with both players winning around 61% of service points across the two matches, so I wouldn't expect a particularly serve-orientated match, even in relatively quick conditions.
Following this final, I'll be returning tomorrow with my thoughts on the final warm-up event for the US Open at Winston Salem, before looking at pre and post draw previews of the US Open coming later in the week.
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