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Djokovic and Gauff Win in Cincinnati, Boost Status in US Open

Djokovic and Gauff Win in Cincinnati: Novak Djokovic and Coco Gauff outclassed their respective foes on Sunday to capture the Cincinnati Open men’s singles and women’s singles titles, respectively. Second seed Djokovic edged past top-ranked Carlos Alcaraz in three sets to gain the men’s crown while Gauff secured the women’s title by outclassing Karolina Muchova in straight sets. The victories placed Djokovic and Gauff as the players to beat and the top choices in the world tennis betting sites in the United States Open, which will begin on August 28.

Djokovic and Gauff Win in Cincinnati: Djokovic Edges Alcaraz in Three Sets

Djokovic claimed his third Cincinnati Open men’s singles title as he pulled off a gritty, three-set win over Carlos Alcaraz. The 36-year-old Serbian survived what he described as the “toughest match of his career” to beat the 20-year-old Spaniard, 5-7 7-6(9-7) 7-6(7-4). Djokovic saved a match point in the second set and pulled off the win on his fifth match point in the third set. The 23-time Grand Slam champion also bucked off heat illness in the second set and endured a three-hour-and-44-minute clash to capture his 39th victory at an ATP Masters 1000 event.

It was Djokovic who captured the first break of the opening set as he took the sixth game at love for a 4-2 edge. However, Alcaraz took four of the next five games to take a 6-5 advantage. He scored on two breaks before holding serve on the 12th game and took the opening set. The Spaniard resumed his assault in the second set as he grabbed a 4-2 lead after scoring on a drop shot. The veteran tennis star, however, broke Alcaraz’s serve on the eighth game for a 4-4 tie. Djokovic, who saved a match point at 5-6, forced a decider when Alcaraz committed an error on the net. 

Djokovic broke Alcaraz on the seventh game that had five break points and reached nine minutes. The nip-and-tuck battle ensued as the Spaniard survived a 4-5 deficit. The Serbian held his nerve in the tie-break to ease past his Spanish foe, who will retain his world No1 ranking when he defends his title at the US Open that will kick off on August 28. It will be the first time Djokovic will play in the US Open in two years. He did not see action in the 2021 and 2022 staging of the event due to coronavirus disease protocols. Djokovic has yet to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

Gauff Beats Muchova to Secure Biggest Career Win

Coco Gauff powered past Muchova, 6-3 6-4, to capture the biggest title of her career in the women’s singles final of the Cincinnati Open on Sunday. It took almost two hours for Gauff to outclass the French Open runnerup and secured her first Women’s Tennis Association 1000-level tournament title. The 19-year-old won the match on the 10th game when she fired the winning shot on her fourth match point.

Gauff scored 16 winners with the same number of unforced errors in the final and broke Muchova five times. The finalists exchanged breaks twice in the first set, with the American making three double-faults to lose the third game and dropping serve again in the seventh. The Czech’s backhand error in the ninth game gave Gauff the set in just 44 minutes. In the second set, she gave up one break point but won twice in Muchova’s service games to take the lead. She closed out the second set with a dominant 10th game to win the match.

It was the American’s 11th win in her last 12 matches since she was sent packing early in Wimbledon. The only blemish on that streak was against Jessica Pegula, who won over Gauff in the quarterfinals of the Montreal Open last week. The 19-year-old improved to 5-1 all time when competing for the championship. Among the five titles she won was her first 500-level event at Washington two weeks ago and her first 1000-level win this week in Cincinnati.

The result moved Gauff up to sixth spot in the WTA rankings this week while Muchova will move up to 10th overall. The showdown between two of the female netters in the women’s tennis circuit concluded with Gauff winning by straight sets. She and Muchova will have the momentum going into the US Open which will be held in New York City. Gauff and Muchova will appear in various online sports odds lists, as they will be among the top favorites to win the fourth and last major tennis title of the year.