Novak Djokovic vs. Pablo Carreno-Busta
|Date & Time||Thursday August 15, 2019, 7:00 PM (EDT)|
Lindner Family Tennis Center
The Line: -- Over/Under:
Novak Djokovic and Pablo Carreno-Busta meet in the third round of the 2019 tennis Cincinnati Open.
Novak Djokovic is coming off a straight sets win over Sam Querrey that took 18 games to decide. In the victory, Djokovic won 84 percent of his first serve points and 50 percent of his second serve points. Djokovic won 70 percent of his total service points and converted on four of his seven break points. Djokovic got 59 percent of his first serves in play, saved four of his five break points and hit 15 aces. Djokovic has now won each of his last eight matches and if he’s going to pile up that many free points moving forward, the rest of the field might as well pack up now. Djokovic hasn’t lost his second match of a tournament since Indian Wells. Djokovic has been bounced before the quarterfinals of Cincinnati just once in his last nine appearances. Djokovic has won 11 of his last 13 matches on hard court.
Pablo Carreno-Busta is coming off a three sets win over John Isner that took 36 games to decide. In the victory, Carreno-Busta won 78 percent of his first serve points and 64 percent of his second serve points. Carreno-Busta won 72 percent of his total service points and converted on one of his three break points. Carreno-Busta got 74 percent of his first serves in play and saved all seven of his beak points. Carreno-Busta simply willed his way to a victory that took over two and a half hours, and he did so by beating a player who won 76 percent of his serves and hit 32 aces. Carreno-Busta has four career wins over top-10 players, with one of those wins coming this year. Carreno-Busta looks for his fifth career Masters 1000 quarterfinal appearance. Carreno-Busta has won seven of his last eight matches on hard court.
These two have played twice and Djokovic won both meetings. Both matches took place in 2017 (three sets) and 2014 (straight sets) Monte Carlo, so this will obviously be the first meeting on hard court.
Carreno-Busta just beat a quality player in Isner on American soil and beat a top-50 player in Gilles Simon, so he’s certainly no push over at this point. However, a rested Djokovic is a player only a handful of the field can compete against, and he’s going to be even better than he was in his opener with a match under his belt. Carreno-Busta still drops his level of play here and there, and the top tier players capitalize on those chances.
Give me Djokovic in straight sets.