Tue, Aug 21, 9:34am by Staff Writer
Novak Djokovic has finally claimed the ATP Masters 1000 title which has to date eluded him, as he defeated Roger Federer in straight sets in Cincinnati on Monday morning.
The former world number one is now the only player to have won every Grand Slam and Masters 1000 event on the ATP Tour after the win.
Ahead of the US Open, which begins next week, Djokovic is the favourite to win his third US Open title at $3.75 at Sportsbet. It would be his first win at Flushing Meadows since 2015.
Beaten finalist Roger Federer also figures to be there or thereabouts in New York and is third favourite at $6.
Federer was finally broken in the Cincinnati final, for the first time at the event since 2014, holding 100 straight services game until the seventh game of the opening set against Djokovic.
Federer did not look his sharpest in Mason, Ohio, needing to win tiebreaks in three of the five matches he played.
He was not won the US Open since 2008, which was the final year of his five-peat at the event.
Rafael Nadal took the week off from the Masters 1000 event in Cincinnati after defeating Stefanos Tsitsipas in Toronto a week prior.
Nadal is a $5 shot of winning the US Open, and the defending champion is sure to be primed for another deep run in New York.
Of the other names in the men’s draw, youngster Alexander Zverev is a $10 shot of winning his first Grand Slam, but has been far from impressive in best of five set matches during his career.
His best result in New York is reaching the second round in 2016 and 2017 and his 18-9 hard court numbers this season are hardly inspiring. He did win the ATP500 event in Washington three weeks ago and is capable, but is yet to shown he is worthy of backing at such a low price.
Former champions Juan Martin Del Potro ($13) and Marin Cilic ($19) are sure to figure late in the tournament, with the former under an injury cloud as he appeared hampered by yet another wrist injury.
Del Potro made the final in Los Cabos before he was soundly beaten by Fabio Fognini and then withdrew in Toronto. His performance in Cincinnati was hardly dazzling, as he fell to David Goffin in the quarterfinals after beating the also-injured Hyeon Chung and Nick Kyrgios.
Cilic was one of the pre-tournament favourites in Wimbledon and was bundled out in the second round. While the Croat beats the players he should, he struggles against top calibre players, with his recent record evidence of this.
Losses to Nadal and Djokovic in the two most recent Masters events show this, but his run to the final of the Australian Open should give him enough confidence to know he can compete deep in Grand Slams.
Andy Murray ($21) and Nick Kyrgios ($26) are both worthy of consideration, but given their injury concerns, their durability is the big issue.
Kiki Bertens capped off one of the best weeks of her professional career by defeating world number one Simona Halep in the final of the WTA event in Cincinnati on Monday.
The Dutch woman was an underdog in four of her six matches in Mason, but pulled off back-to-back three-set wins from one set down against both Petra Kvitova and Halep to win the title.
Along the way, Bertens had wins against Coco Vandeweghe, Caroline Wozniack, Anett Kontaveit and Elina Svitolina.
Bertens is $34 to win the US Open at Sportsbet.
Defending champions Sloane Stephens has made a name for herself as being a big name player and after making the final in Paris, will be looking for another deep Grand Slam run.
Stephens was bundled out in the opening round in the Australian Open and Wimbledon this year, so is very much a hit-or-miss prospect.
She is among the US Open favourites at $10.
Former world number one Serena Williams is the $6 favourite to claim her seventh US Open crown, and first since 2014.
Williams made the final of Wimbledon earlier this year, off the back of very little preparation. She has hade good match practice in Cincinnati last week and is primed for another deep run in this tournament.
Wimbledon winner Angelique Kerber is an $8.50 chance of winning the event, while French Open winner Simona Halep is a $7 shot and is sure to be hard to beat if she reaches the second week.
The best-priced of the Australian women is Ashleigh Barty at $41, who had her best result at Flushing Meadows last year, reaching the third round.
Men’s US Open
Novak Djokovic $3.75
Rafael Nadal $5
Roger Federer $6
Alexander Zverev $10
Juan Martin Del Potro $13
Marin Cilic $19
Andy Murray $21
Nick Kyrgios $26
Women’s US Open
Serena Williams $6
Simona Halep $7
Angelique Kerber $8.50
Sloane Stephens $10
Elina Svitolina $15
Garbine Muguruza $15
Madison Keys $15
Petra Kvitova $15
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