Yoshito Nishioka vs. David Goffin Cincinnati Open Picks 8/16/2019
Yoshito Nishioka vs. David Goffin
10 am EST, 16th August 2019
Cincinnati, Ohio (USA)
Yoshito Nishioka reached his first quarterfinals of the Masters series tournament. His previous best was 3rd round in Indian Wells earlier this year, where he retired after the first set vs Kecmanovic. Similar to last year, his form is ascending nicely since the start of the American hard-court swing. Last year he built on it and won the tournament in Shenzen. Considering his current level of play, he is well prepared and will be in a very good position to defend those points next month. His last two wins in Cincinnati were very impressive. Both De Minaur and Nishikori were big favorites in their respective matches, but Nishioka didn't seem too intimidated by it. Actually, he took both out in straight sets. Nishikori did complain about a wrist injury and took a couple of medical time-outs, but the win over De Minaur was clean as a whistle. Aussie was playing very good in previous matches but had no answers for the agile Japanese player.
Not surprisingly, Nishioka will once again be an underdog. This time against David Goffin. Belgian cooled down a bit, after a very strong grass-court season, where he reached finals in Halle and then quarterfinals of Wimbledon. After that, he lost in first rounds of Washington and Montreal but is now again on a three-match winning streak. Go figure. But I guess his success on Cincinnati's fast courts shouldn't be that surprising, with him defending the semifinal points from last year when he was forced to retire vs Federer because of an injury.
One of those first-round losses mentioned is particularly interesting here because it was suffered against his next opponent - Yoshito Nishioka. It was a hard-fought battle in Washington which needed a tie-break in the decider to determine the winner. What makes me confident about Goffin doing better this time around is the fact that he played a very similar opponent on Thursday. Adrian Mannarino is another left-handed player who absorbs all the pace and forces his opponent to work extra hard for every point. Nishioka does the same thing. But with conditions being fast and Goffin's ability to hit the ball on the rise, he can put a lot of pressure on these defensive-minded players.
Betting odds & prediction
I'm very curious about the odds movement here. I think we could see a public/sharp split in this one. A very compelling case can be built for Nishioka. Playing some of his best tennis at the moment, beating this same opponent just a couple of weeks ago, being offered at juicy + odds... Not a very difficult sell to a casual bettor. But the sharps know that it's all about the number. Goffin opened as a -200 favorite with spread being -3 games and total sitting at 22. In my opinion, these lines are a bit short. Goffin should be a bigger favorite. Nishioka can absorb the pace and keep the ball in play against someone that plays further back. But Goffin is very aggressive with his groundstrokes. He will take the time away from the Japanese player, after which Yoshito will struggle to find that consistent deep ball that he usually has. It will change the entire dynamic of the match and put Belgian in a prime spot for the win. Goffin is also far more experienced in matches like this one, which might help in some big points as well.
Pick: David Goffin -196
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