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Novak Djokovic vs. Steve Johnson 2018 Cincinnati Open Tennis Pick, Preview, Odds, Prediction

Game
Steve Johnson vs. Novak Djokovic
Date & Time Monday August 13, 2018, 9:00 PM (EDT)
The Line
The Line: Djokovic -435 / Johnson +369 -- Over/Under:
TV Channel
ESPN 2
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Tennis | Steve Johnson vs. Novak Djokovic
Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

Novak Djokovic and Steve Johnson meet in the first round of the tennis Cincinnati Open.

Novak Djokovic is coming off an upset loss to Stefanos Tsitsipas in Toronto, as he won just 23 percent of his return points and gave his opponent 10 break points. It obviously was a disappointing performance for Djokovic, but he’s still won 13 of his last 15 matches. Djokovic looked life his old self heading into that match, so maybe you chalk it up to a bad day or fatigue, as he’s still trying to get his feet under him after so much inconsistency since his injuries. This should be a tournament Djokovic can use to get back on track, as he’s made the final in five of his last eight appearances in Cincinnati. Djokovic has to be considered one of the top favorites to lift the trophy this weekend. Djokovic has lost four of his last six matches on hard court.

Steve Johnson has followed up his title in the Hall of Fame Tennis Championships with back-to-back losses in straight sets. Johnson is coming off a performance in which he won 57 percent of his total service points and 27 percent of his return points. It’s been an odd season of up and down play for Johnson, but the good news is that he’s always at his best when he plays in the United States. Whether its the home crowd or just him feeling comfortable on home soil, Johnson is always a player to keep an eye on in US tournaments. Johnson is 5-3 in his career in the Cincinnati Open, which includes a quarterfinal trip in 2016. Johnson has lost four of his last six matches on hard court.

This will be the first ever meeting between these two players.

Johnson is worth a look as a hefty underdog given his play in US tournaments, but he hasn’t been consistent enough to back. Djokovic has turned his year around the last couple of months and loves it in Cincy where he’s made the final in five of his last eight appearances. Hard to bet against Djokovic, even if the price is a bit steep.

Djokovic cruises in straight sets.

Pick:
Novak Djokovic

Randy Chambers has been with Sports Chat Place since 2014 and covers everything from the NFL to WNBA and tennis. Nobody works harder in this business in terms of content produced and amount of sports covered. Formerly a lead college football writer with Bleacher Report and has had his work featured at Fox Sports, CBS Sports and various other outlets.

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