Western and Southern Open: Federer can steal Murray's Cincinnati title

Federer in Cincy last year

Roger beat Andy in the Wimbledon Final before Andy beat Roger to the Olympic gold medal. The two players, who have dominated the Cincinnati tournament in recent years, are both in action in Ohio this week but Sean Calvert is backing the Swiss to prevail...

Federer has by far the best of the draw and he will feel like he needs a good week on the hard courts to prime himself for New York.

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Back Federer at 3.55/2

The ATP Tour moves swiftly on from Toronto to Cincinnati this week, as the second of the back-to-back Masters 1000 tournaments takes place in Ohio, USA.

The draw has a fuller look about it than last week's largely disappointing affair, but in the sweltering heat of America's Midwest there's a physical challenge to overcome with the temperatures set to peak in the 90 degree range.

The Rogers Cup proved to be a second winning week in a row after Andy Murray in the Olympics, as Novak Djokovic did the business and John Isner proved a good back to lay bet at around 30.029/1 as well.

Once again there's no Rafael Nadal in the line up this week, as the Spaniard's knees continue to cause him problems and the Western and Southern Masters will remain as one of the few tournaments that Rafa has failed to conquer - for one more year at least.

Two players who have been successful here lately are Roger Federer and Murray, with either one or the other winning here in each of the last five years.

Murray is defending champion this time and after withdrawing from the Rogers Cup last week he takes his place as the number three seed and finds himself in the bottom half of the draw in a quarter with Juan Martin Del Potro.

It's also the same half as Djokovic, who, like Nadal has never won the title here.

Murray's section, as well as Delpo, has Tommy Haas, David Nalbandian, Lleyton Hewitt, Andy Roddick and Sam Querrey, so it's not straightforward at all for Murray who's nursing a bit of a knee injury.

A lot depends on the Scot's fitness, but it is a tough ask for him to get by (probably) Querrey first up, then probably Roddick, Del Potro, Djokovic and then play a final against possibly Federer and 5.04/1 looks a little low all things considered.

Djokovic won't have too many complaints about his draw, as his main opposition is likely to come from Janko Tipsarevic again and possibly Alex Dolgopolov in a weak looking quarter.

The top half looks the place to be and Federer has to be happy about his draw, with Tomas Berdych, Juan Monaco and David Ferrer the highest seeds in that half.

The Swiss looks a shoo-in to reach his fifth Cincy final and he is yet to taste defeat in a final here having won it in 2005,07,09 and 2010 and precedent is with him as well, as only three non-major winners have won here since 1990 (Guy Forget and Thomas Enqvist as well as Murray).

Federer's quarter looks pretty comfortable with the likes of Philipp Kohlschreiber, Bernard Tomic and Ryan Harrison the immediate opposition, followed by Mardy Fish or Monaco.

The final quarter is wide open with the out of touch Berdych likely to struggle again with Kei Nishikori, Ferrer, Milos Raonic, Richard Gasquet and Stan Wawrinka all in with a chance of making the semi-finals.

Berdych reached the last four here 12 months ago, but has looked hopeless for at least a month now and he's hard to fancy at around 50.049/1.

Ferrer is always likely to give you a decent run for your money and at around 40.039/1 he's in with a shot if anything unexpected happens to Federer, as are Raonic at 67.066/1 and Nishikori at 100.0099/1.

Federer's thumping at the hands of Murray at the Olympics will have stung the Swiss and it would be typical of the man to strike right back and make a point ahead of the US Open.

The world number one is second favourite behind Djokovic, but no male has managed to do the Rogers Cup/Cincinnati double since Roddick in 2003, which combined with his tougher draw puts me off backing Novak.

Federer has by far the best of the draw and he will feel like he needs a good week on the hard courts to prime himself for New York. At 3.55/2 he looks the best bet in a tournament that is not one for the outsiders.

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Back Federer at 3.55/2

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