Tue, Aug 14, 1:25pm by Staff Writer
22-year-old Australian Ashleigh Barty reached the semifinals of the WTA event in Montreal at the weekend before losing to world number one Simona Halep.
Barty produced an impressive week of results in her first tournament since Wimbledon, dropping only one set before her straight sets loss to Halep.
The Brisbane native now turns her attention to Cincinnati, where she is priced at $19 to win the Western & Southern Open.
She is priced as a $1.26 favourite at Sportsbet to defeat Russian Marketa Vondrousova, which would set up a second round match against a qualifier.
It has not been a happy return to the North American hard courts for Sam Stosur.
The world number 65 failed to qualify for the Rogers Cup in Montreal last week and fell at the same hurdle on the weekend in Cincinnati.
The 2011 US Open champion was defeated in straight sets by world number 175 Alexandra Kiick 7-6 6-1.
Daria Gavrilova is priced as a $91 shot to win the Western & Southern Open, but first must negotiate tournament favourite Serena Williams in the opening round.
Williams is priced at $7.50 to win her third Cincinnati Open, but is far from a sure thing. In her last match, Williams notched just a single game in a loss to Jo Konta in San Jose.
‘Dasha’ is certainly a chance in her first round encounter against Williams, priced up at a generous $3.37 at Sportsbet. The former world number one is a heavy favourite at $1.33.
Montreal winner Simona Halep faces a quick turnaround in her pursuit of a first Cincinnati crown after losing in the 2015 and 2017 finals. She is second favourite behind Williams at $8.
Wimbledon champion Angelique Kerber fell meekly against Alize Cornet in the first round in Montreal and is priced at $11 to win the title in Cincinnati. She looked rusty after her recent Grand Slam triumph and is one to steer clear from.
Beaten Montreal finalist Sloane Stephens is a big game player and worthy of consideration at $11.
In the men’s draw, the lone Australian is last year’s finalist Nick Kyrgios. The current world number 18 is defending a heap of points at this week’s ATP Masters 1000 event in Cincinnati and has notched only one victory on hard courts since Wimbledon, a 7-5 6-2 win against Noah Rubin.
In Toronto, Kyrgios lost in three sets to Stan Wawrinka as a heavy favourite and is priced at an even shorter price for his first round match against American Denis Kudla.
Kyrgios is $1.36 at Sportsbet, while Kudla is a $3.18 outsider.
After winning the Toronto Masters, Rafael Nadal has withdrawn from the Cincinnati Masters, installing Roger Federer as the $3.75 favourite.
Novak Djokovic is priced at $4.50, while world number four Alexander Zverev is third favourite at $8.50.
Marin Cilic won the Western & Southern Open in 2016 and is $11 to repeat that achievement, while Argentinian Juan Martin Del Potro is priced at $12 after withdrawing from last week’s Toronto Masters.
Andy Murray at $13 can’t be trusted given the fitness levels he displayed in Washington recently.
It may be worth chancing a bet on American John Isner at $51. What counts against the world number nine is that despite making the semi-final of this event last season, he has only made it past the second round three times during the past decade.
Toronto finalist Stefanos Tsitsipas is priced at $51 after knocking off Djokovic and Kevin Anderson in Canada. He is sure to be fatigued and is a trap bet in the outright market this week.
Best bet- Sloane Stephens to win WTA Cincinnati at $11
Value bet- John Isner to win ATP 1000 Cincinnati Masters at $51
Serena Williams $7.50
Simona Halep $8
Angelique Kerber $11
Garbine Muguruza $11
Sloane Stephens $11
Elina Svitolina $12
Caroline Wozniacki $14
Madison Keys $18
ATP Cincinnati Masters
Roger Federer $3.75
Novak Djokovic $4.50
Alexander Zverev $8.50
Marin Cilic $11
Juan Martin Del Potro $12
Andy Murray $13
Kevin Anderson $21
Milos Raonic $23
Nick Kyrgios $26
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