Novak Djokovic and Milos Raonic are meeting in the finals of the Western and Southern Open in Cincinnati. The two old rivals who are resolved to change the situation in tennis with organizing the Professional Tennis Players Association will decide the winner of the first Masters 1000 tournament since the resumption of play in the ATP tour. Novak is the absolute favorite but has some health issues. On the other side, Raonic played well and is on the verge of winning this first-ever Masters. Still, Novak is his nightmare – the Serb is 10-0 against Milos.
Djokovic (-345) is a favorite here, but we wouldn’t give him this big of an advantage over Raonic. It is not that we doubt in the Serb’s knowledge or anything, but he had a couple of health issues against Bautista-Agut in the semis, which could be problematic.
Djokovic’s stomach problems are something we got used to, but his neck was much more troublesome yesterday. Plus, he played three hours, having to come back from behind and put a lot of effort into trashing Agut.
On the other hand, many believe that this was Djokovic’s tactics, to cut the rival’s surges with medical timeouts. They don’t think that the Joker had any issues, and are positive in that after seeing him roll over Agut in the tie-break. So far, he would lose only that one set in the semis while reaching here.
Raonic (+260) is on his way back to the top, and after a while, the Canadian is again in the media headlines. He was 35-for-39 on his first serve against Stefanos Tsitsipas in the finals, routinely handling the youngster with 2-0 in the sets. Unlike Djokovic he spent just one hour and 30 minutes on the court.
His serve was excellent during the entire tournament, with just one allowed break points in 12 sets. He is pretty much back to the place where he used to be before all the adversities experienced in recent times. Raonic was an unseeded player coming here in Cincinnati and has a chance to beat the odds and do something rarely seen in tennis.
Head to Head Matches
Now we’ve mentioned that Djokovic has a 10-0 record against the Canadian player, who played three ATP Masters finals so far, losing all. Two of those defeats came against the Joker, in 2014 at the Paris Masters, and in 2016 at Indian Wells.
The most recent match between these two guys was at this year’s Australian Open, where Novak sliced Milos in three sets, 3-0, 6-4, 6-3, 7-6(7-1).
In 2018 they played here in Cincinnati, and Djokovic eliminated Raonic, 2-1. Both of these matches were quarterfinals.
Djokovic is tired a lot, and he probably won’t have the strength to play at the highest possible level, which is why we won’t suggest betting on his win, but focus on the total number of games. Over 22.5 is our pick, with the odds at -200. We hope that Raonic’s serve might to the job, even though we have arguably the best returner of all times across the net. The best of all times, but a very tired one.
Nikola Velickovic is a sports journalist who loves to write and read on all sports. Nikola contributes both news updates and functions as a sports breaking news writer at WagerBop.