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PREVIEW: Cincinnati Open – Selected Round of 16 Matches

Damien Kayat previews the ATP Tour Cincinnati Open Round of 16 matches between Felix Auger-Aliassime vs Jannik Sinner as well as Carlos Alcaraz Garfiavs Marin Cilic 19 on August 2022.

Damien Kayat previews the ATP Tour Cincinnati Open Round of 16 matches between Felix Auger-Aliassime vs Jannik Sinner as well as Carlos Alcaraz Garfiavs Marin Cilic on 19 August 2022.

Two women looking excitedly at cellphone

2022 ATP Tour
Masters 1000
Cincinnati Open
Lindner Family Tennis Centre (Outdoor Hardcourt)
Selected Round of 16 Matches- 19th August

Felix Auger-Aliassime (7) (11/10) vs Jannik Sinner (10) (8/11)

This should be a fascinating clash between two of the so called ‘NextGen’ superstars. It could prove critical in the all-important Race to Turin. The ever-frustrating Felix Auger-Aliassime just leapfrogged Alex Zverev in the standings after his victory against Alex de Minaur.

A solid showing this week could go a long way to securing his maiden appearance at the season-ending event.

Despite winning 35 of his 54 matches this year, I think Auger-Aliassime will be a little disappointed with his progress thus far. Sure, he claimed that all-important maiden title in Rotterdam. But he hasn’t been able to progress beyond the quarterfinal of any Masters 1000 events this year.

I think that the Aussie Open quarterfinal collapse against Medvedev has left the Canadian with some serious scar tissue. He needs to overcome that if he wishes to fulfil his true potential.

Jannik Sinner is going to need a couple of big performances if he wishes to force his way into this year’s ATP Finals.

But I think that the young Italian may actually be developing at a faster rate than his Canadian counterpart. The 21-year-old has already won six titles and he seems to have a resilience that the Canadian lacks.

Sinner endured his own heart-breaking Grand Slam quarterfinal collapse this year, surrendering a two-set lead against Novak at Wimbledon. But he shrugged it off and beat Carlos Alcaraz Garfia in the final of his very next event. Sure, I know the Canadian won Rotterdam shortly after the Aussie Open.

But the rest of his season has been haunted by an inability to live up to his potential. Sinner was also forced to withdraw from the Indian Wells quarterfinals due to injury (who knows how far he could have gone?).

I just think he looks a little more prepared for success at the bigger stage (highlighted by his run to last year’s Miami Open final). Sinner has won 39 out of 49 matches this season and could be a dark horse contender this week.

The Verdict: Sinner to win in three at 16/5- Auger-Aliassime absolutely demolished Sinner earlier this year in Madrid (their only meeting thus far).

But I think that Sinner is actually starting to develop into a better big-match player (as evidenced in his growing title count). Auger-Aliassime may struggle to break down Sinner’s amazing defensive skills this week.

Carlos Alcaraz Garfia (3) (24/100) vs Marin Cilic (14) (29/10)

Carlos Alcaraz Garfia has enjoyed a Swiatek-esque season (minus the Grand Slam title).

He has won 43 out of his 51 matches, collecting an extraordinary four titles in the process. This included Masters 1000 titles in Miami and Madrid. But it’s fair to say that he has lost that aura of invincibility coming into the latter part of the year (that despite reaching finals at the German Open and Croatia Open).

He couldn’t quite deliver after promising starts at both the French Open and Wimbledon. His two finals defeats came in events where he was seeded Number 1. He was then surprisingly eliminated in the first-round of last week’s Canadian Open.

Alcaraz Garfiia blew Mackenzie Macdonald off the court in his opening match and he will be looking to make a real statement ahead of the upcoming US Open.

2016 Cincinnati Open champ Marin Cilic has enjoyed something of a renaissance in 2022. The 33-year-old Croatian has reached four semi-finals this year, catapulting himself back into the world’s top 20.

The highlight of these performances was his incredible run to the semi-finals in Roland Garros. That was a significant result given his patchy record on clay. He looked in great form heading into his beloved Wimbledon and must have been devastated by a positive Covid test.

He made a strong start this week, demolishing Jamie Munar in his opening match. He endured a much tougher outing against the resilient Emil Ruusuvuori, needing three sets to overcome the dogged Finn.

Cilic- as always- will rely on his massive serve and forehand. These weapons are generally amplified on these lightning Cincinnati surfaces.

The Verdict: Alcaraz Garfia to win in three at 26/10- The duo have faced each other twice before, winning one match apiece. Alcaraz breezed past Cilic when they met in Miami earlier this year.

I think that Alcaraz should have the physical edge in this powerhouse battle. But there’s certainly decent value in backing the veteran Croatian to nick a set.

He is virtually unplayable when the serve is working at its maximum. But I just can’t see him outlasting the Spaniard.

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