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Friday, 14 December, 2018

Roger Federer good value to conquer Cincinnati

Champion Grigor Dimitrov doesn’t look good enough

Roger Federer looks a good bet
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Tournament preview
Grigor Dimitrov took advantage of a below-par field to land the ATP Western & Southern Open last season but 12 months on all the big guns are back in contention and Roger Federer could celebrate his return to action by conquering Cincinnati.

Dimitrov pipped the temperamental Nick Kyrgios to silverware last season but Federer, Milos Raonic and Kei Nishikori had all withdrawn prior to the event, while the rejuvenated Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray and Stan Wawrinka were sidelined through injury.

But there is a much deeper look to the line-up in Cincinnati this week and the Bulgarian doesn’t look in good enough nick to successfully defend his crown.

He is housed in a top half stacked with players capable of challenging - Rafael Nadal, Alexander Zverev, Djokovic and Marin Cilic are four of the first five in the tournament betting.

Punters may be better off swerving that section completely and putting their faith in Federer to be in peak shape as he begins his preparations for the US Open.

The Swiss legend has been picky with his appearances over the past few seasons as he attempts to extend his playing time and his decision to skip Toronto last week should be a hint that he is ready to roll.

Federer hasn’t been seen since losing in a dramatic five-set tussle against big-serving South African Kevin Anderson in the quarter-finals at Wimbledon but there was little shame in that defeat.

He had won his opening three matches in effortless fashion and raced into a two-set lead before being outstayed by his younger opponent.

The shorter format is unlikely to concern the Swiss ace and a generous draw can help him ease into his stride.

The second seed has a first-round bye before an inviting opener against Peter Gojowczyk or Joao Sousa. The other seeds in his quarter – Dominic Thiem, Diego Schwartzman and Lucas Pouille – are unlikely to concern him.

Juan Martin del Potro looks the biggest threat in the bottom half but he withdrew from Toronto last week and his wellbeing is hard to gauge.

R Federer
2pts 7-2 bet365

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The shorter format is unlikely to concern the Swiss ace and a generous draw can help him
E.W. Terms
Sky bet