- Novak Djokovic won the 2018 Western & Southern Open
- He’s 33-3 in his last 36 hard court tennis matches
- Many of the longer shots are not worth a bet in this tournament
We’re going to see a star-studded field at the 2019 Western & Southern Open as many of the biggest names will be on hand. On the men’s side, we’ll see No. 1 seed Novak Djokovic and No. 3 Roger Federer. For Djokovic and Federer, it’s our first look at them since Wimbledon. Is either a good bet here?
2019 Western & Southern Open Odds
*Odds taken August 12, 2019
Djokovic Is the Defending Champ
Djokovic is the defending champion at this event as he beat Roger Federer in the 2018 final 6-4, 6-4. Shockingly, it was his first title at this event, which is surprising because he’s been in the final six times in total.
The concern is that Djokovic hasn’t exactly thrived here of late. Yes, he got the win in 2018 but was absent in each of the two years prior, then he lost in the final, lost in the third round and lost in the quarters in each of the three previous years. Overall, his record is just 32-11 at this tournament. The 11 losses tie him for the most at any ATP 1000 tournament.
At the same time, nobody is playing better than him on the hard courts right now. He’s 33-3 on hard courts since the start of 2018 (not including indoor). He’s the player to beat here.
Not a Ton of Competition Here
Leaving aside the Big Three for a minute, there aren’t many serious threats here. Dominic Thiem is the No. 4 seed but he’s a clay-court specialist. Stefanos Tsitsipas is a pesky 20-year-old with a shot but a loss to Nick Kyrgios in the semis at the Citi Open and to Hubert Hurkacz in his first match at the Rogers Cup suggests he’s not a real threat.
Then there’s Kei Nishikori, who also lost in his first match at the Rogers Cup, Alex Zverev, who is much better on clay, and Karen Kachanov, who is just 18-17 on the year.
Out of the longer shots, a player like Kevin Anderson is capable of surprising because he plays well on hard courts but he’s been injured all year. Marin Cilic is an option but he’s just 13-11 on the year. Who is there to bet in this tournament other than the Big Three?
Last 5 Winners At The Western & Southern Open
Bet on Djokovic
This is a key tune-up for the U.S. Open later this month, so I’m expecting Djokovic’s ‘A’ game here. He’s been off since Wimbledon and should be fresh.
Federer is an option as he’s won this event seven times but he’s better on grass than hard courts. He’s 29-5 in his last 34 on the hard courts; he’s 11-1 in his last 12 on grass.
With Nadal pulling out of this competition after just winning the Rogers Cup on the weekend, that makes this tournament Djokovic’s to lose in my books.
Let's have fun and keep it civil.