Cincinnati R3 previews and predictions: Dimitrov vs. Del Potro, Isner vs. Tiafoe

Grigor Dimitrov, Juan Martin Del Potro, and John Isner are the remaining favorites in a wide-open bottom half of the Cincinnati draw. Dimitrov and Del Potro have to go head-to-head on Thursday, while Isner is facing Frances Tiafoe.

(7) Grigor Dimitrov vs. Juan Martin Del Potro

Dimitrov and Del Potro will be doing battle for the sixth time in their careers when they clash in round three of the Western & Southern Open on Thursday. Del Potro is dominating the head-to-head series by a perfect 5-0 margin, including 3-0 on hard courts (all indoors). And none of their previous encounters came when the Argentine was still at his pre-injury heights and before Dimitrov had reached his prime. Instead, all have come since the start of 2013–including two during the second half of last season and once this year. Del Potro most recently got the job done 3-6, 6-2, 6-3 on the red clay of Rome.

Although Del Potro’s backhand will never be what it once was, he no longer has a physical problem to excuse for his relatively lackluster form. The world No. 30 has been plagued by bad draws but has also failed to capitalize on plenty of opportunities in 2017. He is a modest 18-10 this season and had not won multiple non-retirement matches at any tournament since Rome until Cincinnati, where has dismissed Tomas Berdych and Mitchell Krueger. Dimitrov earned a first-round bye as the No. 7 seed before beating Feliciano Lopez 7-6(5), 6-4. The 11th-ranked Bulgarian has cooled off since a torrid beginning of 2017 and he is running into an opponent who can be especially dangerous when playing with confidence, which Del Potro likely restored in rounds one and two.

Pick: Del Potro in 3

(14) John Isner vs. (WC) Frances Tiafoe

Isner may have thought he was in line for a showdown with Saddlebrook training partner and recent Washington-Montreal double champion Alexander Zverev. The red-hot German was the only seed standing in Isner’s way of the Cincinnati semifinals, but the path is now completely clear because Tiafoe took down a fatigued Zverev 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 on Wednesday. Thus an all-American rematch of a 2016 U.S. Open thriller is in the cards for Thursday’s third-round schedule. Tiafoe led by two sets to love and served for the match in the fifth last summer in New York only to see Isner storm back for a 3-6, 4-6, 7-6(5), 6-2, 7-6(3) victory.

Tiafoe’s run, which started with a 6-3, 7-6(2) defeat of qualifier Maximilian Marterer, is just what the doctor ordered. The 19-year-old is inside the top 100 (No. 87) thanks to Challenger success, but he had been a horrendous 5-24 lifetime at the ATP level (3-12 this season) prior to Cincinnati. Marterer followed by a worn-out Zverev is likely nothing compared to what Tiafoe will face on Thursday, as Isner’s summer already includes a third Newport title and a fourth Atlanta triumph. The world No. 19 is also a former runner-up in Cincinnati (2013) and he has not dropped a set through two rounds–victories over Viktor Troicki and Tommy Paul.

Pick: Isner in 2

22 Comments on Cincinnati R3 previews and predictions: Dimitrov vs. Del Potro, Isner vs. Tiafoe

  1. I think Dimitrov will take this. I wasn’t too impressed by Delpo against Krueger. Didn’t dominate like he should have. I think Grigor will expose his somewhat sluggish looking movement, attack the backhand and rush the net, and do so far better than Krueger did.

  2. By the way, a ‘torrid’ start to a season would be a very difficult one, not a positive one which is what I assume you mean.

      • Hmm. It must be an English v American English thing. I’ve never heard anyone this side of the Atlantic use it in reference to a sport to mean anything other than fraught with difficulty.
        As far as I know the heat it relates to is the kind that leaves a desert dry and inhospitable, therefore the negative connotations.
        But as this isn’t a language site we should probably focus on the tennis! Grigor nearly over the line. I really, truly miss Del Potro’s backhand (not as much as he does I’m sure)

  3. Experts,

    Did any one of you watch the Sascha handsome vs Tiafoe match closely?

    Did anyone observe handsome moving sluggishly and with low energy?

    If you cannot say positively, “yes I observed it” then it means that Tiafoe has suddenly peaked or in Top form and is a danger to Isner who lost in the 1st rd to a poor formed Del Potro @ Rogers cup last week.

    Can anyone tell why Isner lost to Del Potro last week? I believe it was due to a knee/leg injury. Watched match for a few minutes only. Saw a tape around the knee or on the thigh area while playing in Atlanta. That is not a good sign as his injury or pain can recur with continued stress of playing more games. Right?

    With a strained/injured knee/leg, it will be difficult to beat a fully, fit and motivated Tiafoe, right? Or Will that Injury help Isner?

    If the 2016 US Open was a 3 set match then Tiafoe would have won 3-6, 4-6.

    Why can’t Tiafoe win in 2 sets today also?

    He very well knows Isner’s game and has won 2 sets over him! I believe Tiafoe lost as the match went for 5 sets, showing Tiafoe does not have endurance for long matches (5 sets) but not short matches (3 sets) as in Cinncinnati Open!

    Keeping the 2016 US Open experience in mind, I think Tiafoe will start with a torrid pace and win atleast one set before Isner awakens from his deep slumber (salivating over his 2 tournament wins in Newport and Atlanta and feeling invincible and overconfident) and takes the 2nd set. 3rd set can go to anybody depending on who is hungry to win or if Tiafoe can produce the energy he produced against my handsome yesterday!

    So, I am liking a 3rd set here as both are in good form (with a big question mark over Isner’s fitness. Besides that, Isner is not good in returning especially against a good mover and placer with power-topspin, double handed backhands cross courts/down the lines etc.).

    BB= Slip1=Over(5U’s) Slip2=Isner ML(small) and Slip3=Tiafoe +3 (small)

    Will change the bet amounts. Doing more research

    NOTE:- Everybody is underestimating my another FAV ATP player Adriano Mannarino. He is a far more cleverer player than Thiem. He has a higher Tennis IQ than Thiem! But thiem has more power to hit thru Mannarino. But, Mannarino with his better movement and gritty play will take Thiem to the divorce court (3rd set and may win also)!lol Wat? Gay couples don’t divorce?Ha,Ha,Ha…

    If Thiem maintains his high level of play (with his power serve & power returns) with few errors, he should win. If Thiem is weak on his returns, mannarino will exploit. Manna…is a cunning fox! Just look at his face, he looks just like a fox!lol You can see the wheels turning fast in his brain, cunningly!lol

    BB=Over(2 tight sets or 3 sets) Mannarino +4(small) Thiem ML(small)

    Why is everyone doubting my No.4 player in ATP David “The TERROR(ist)” Ferrer?lol

    Betting “The TERROR(ist)” against PCB (good but not good enough for the tough NEVER-SAY-DIE, fighter who has NADALESQUE strength and endurance!LOL) was the correct decision. “The TERROR(ist)” is on a torrid streak and form in 2017! Atleast betting handicap points on my “The TERROR(ist)” +4 Mannarino would have been a great bet!lol

    David Ferrer is “The TERROR(ist)” of ATP as he has terrorized many top ATP players during their life time. Did you guys forget how he terrorized “Fed the Goat” recently at Rogers Cup and nearly beat him?

  4. The primary definition of torrid is “hot” or “fast”. It is used in a POSITIVE way generally not negative!

    The way a word is interpreted and used in English by the World’s masses is MORE IMPORTANT than the “exact” meaning of the word.

    Dimi was correct in using that word “torrid”.

    Here is an example of its use!

    Maaaaan, it is raining so torridly in Cincinnati now that all games have been stopped!

  5. Hey Thiem won!

    …and all 3 of the above mentioned bets also won!

    BB=Over 22 (2 TIGHT sets or 3 sets) Mannarino +4 (small) Thiem ML (small)

    …after final research went big on all the 3 above slips?

    Got some good moolah today which compensated couple of small loses!

    Lost a bit on Madison keys who squandered many, many winning chances being ahead many times also!

    Anybody bet the same?

    Tiafoe and Isner also playing along my predictions. Isner to win and Tiafoe to met the max. handicap..and the Over to hit!

Comments are closed.

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