ATP TIPS: We preview two of The Western and Southern Open quarter-finals, featuring four players from inside the World’s top 15.
Alcaraz set to continue his momentum
Carlos Alcaraz has really burst onto the over the past couple of years. The young gun’s rapid climb to the top echoes that of his compatriot, Rafael Nadal, who won his first major tournament at the age of 19.
Though Alcaraz hasn’t managed to claim a Grand Slam yet, he has a very similar aggressive play style to arguably the best player of all time, and it is surely only a matter of time before the stars align, and his ability prevails on a major stage.
The man from Spain has failed to make it past the quarter-final in many recent tournaments, but he remains the world number four and is the third seed here. Making it to the round of 16 at Wimbledon and the quarter-final of the French Open, he is getting closer to a major victory and will hope that a win here could propel his confidence further.
He has won the Rio Open, Madrid Open, Barcelona Open this year, while his Miami Open was his biggest to date. He is 1.37 to go a step closer to another title at this one.
Coming up against the world number 11, who made it to the semi-final at Wimbledon and even took the first set off the eventual victor, Novak Djokovic, Alcaraz will be in for his biggest challenge yet at the tournament in Cameron Norrie. Norrie is the current British world number one and, in the last year, has reached the highest level of tennis he has played over his career. Another player looking closer to making a Grand Slam final, Norrie won’t be an easy pass, but Alcaraz can certainly take confidence from his three wins to no losses record against the 26-year-old.
Losing every time he has played the Spaniard, it would be surprising to see him win here. However, it must be stated that some players play best when the odds are stacked against them, so, at 3.5, a win for the Brit isn’t entirely out of the equation.
Both players have a very strong arsenal of shots and this could be a cracker if both are at their best. We may be in for a long one as a result, so the 2.15 on the match to going over 21.5 games could be a wise bet.
For Norrie v Alcaraz markets click here
World number one to breeze into semi-final?
Unable to show the world the level he could reach at Wimbledon this summer, Daniil Medvedev, the world number one, will undoubtedly be itching to get back on the court at a Grand Slam and make amends for his lost time. Before that time comes, he is in with a great chance of achieving a warm-up title ahead of the upcoming US Open, and in this match, may take the opportunity to assert himself over the home nation’s number one, Taylor Fritz, only weeks before the tournament is due to start.
Though losing to Nick Kyrgios in the opening round of Montreal Open last week, Medvedev has achieved a title this summer, beating Cameron Norrie in the final at the Los Cabos Open. He has looked in his best form so far throughout this competition, and his title win in Mexico sets him up as the 1.53 favourite in this one.
Standing in his way is home nation number one, Taylor Fritz, who has also looked to be in great form so far in Cincinnati, beating Nick Kyrgios and Andrey Rublev to advance to the quarter-finals. Fritz was also in great shape at Wimbledon, making it to the quarter-finals where he was beaten by Rafael Nadal, despite looking for most of the match like he was in charge. Fritz held Nadal to an incredible five-setter which went to a tense tie-break though the American couldn’t withstand the determination of the 22-time Grand Slam winner. His impressive summer and run in Cincinnati sees him well worth backing at 2.81.
It looks to be an exciting encounter that could go either way, with both players in fine form this week. It’s hard to look past the Russian, though. He’ll be keen to gain plenty of momentum ahead of his title defence at Flushing Meadows in a couple of weeks and there isn’t a much better way to do that than to win this title.
For Medvedev v Fritz markets click here