If you’re looking for a female favorite as 2014 US Open betting approaches, you might want to consider Serena Williams. The 32-year-old won her first title at the Cincinnati Open in six tries by defeating Ana Ivanovic 6-4, 6-1. “I just love this moment,” she said afterward. “I just love holding up the trophy.”
With her latest tournament victory, Williams is already looking ahead to the US Open. “This is definitely a level that can take me to the (U.S. Open) title.” She added, “I still have a lot of work to do. It’s definitely a better level than I’ve played all year, to be honest.”
Besides Williams playing her strongest of the summer, other circumstances certainly fell in her favor as well. Top-seeded Victoria Azarenka had to withdraw from the Cincinnati event due to injury. And Ivanovic needed to be treated for a stomach ailment during her three-hour victory over Maria Sharapova. After this grueling semifinals match, Ivanovic didn’t seem to have much left in the tank when she faced Williams.
The latter took full advantage of the situation after pounding out excellent serves on her way to 12 aces. Ivanovic was surprised that this number wasn’t higher as she said, “Only? It felt like way more. I felt like she was dominating” If Ivanovic feels this way, it’s because Williams has definitely been dominating against her. Serena boasts a 7-1 career record against the Serbian.
However, Williams’ path towards the Cincinnati victory wasn’t a cakewalk. She suffered from a stiff back during her semifinal win and was sore to start the finals match as well. Williams was behind early, but evened up the match at 3-3. When Ivanovic double-faulted twice in a row, Williams took control of the match and never looked back.
But will her back pain persist in the 2014 US Open? Williams noticeably winced on a couple of serves and had to stretch her back in between sets a lot. However, the thrill of being in the final took her mind off the pain. ”I felt it a little bit in the second, but I just was so excited for this final and to be in the final,” she said. ”I just really felt like I had nothing to lose. So I was able to relax.”
Williams now figures to jump back into the top 10 of the WTA rankings, while Ivanovic is almost assured of staying in the top 10 after a runner-up finish.
Federer wins Cincinnati again
When the Cincinnati Open rolls around next year, you might want to go all in on Roger Federer. He improved his record in the Cincinnati Open finals to 6-0 after prevailing over David Ferrer 6-1, 1-6, 6-2. Interestingly enough, Federer also improved his perfect career mark against Ferrer to 16-0.
When asked about the secret behind his domination in the Queen City, Federer simply offered, “I don’t know – I just really enjoy myself here.”
Like Williams on the women’s side, Federer benefited from the defending champ Rafael Nadal pulling out with an injury. Also, top-seeded Novak Djokovic bit the dust early after losing his second match of the tourney.
Of course, this isn’t to take anything away from Federer, who played excellent throughout the event. His finals opponent admitted as much. ”The third set, he served unbelievable,” Ferrer said. “He played really good and I was a little bit tired. But anyway, with Roger it’s difficult, no?”
This victory was extra sweet for the Swiss star because he’d previously lost his last four Masters final matches. In fact, he took second to Jo-Wilfried Tsonga last week in Toronto. Now, with a sixth Cincinnati Open victory, Federer is heading into the 2014 US Open with some steam. ”I’m really pleased with the week,” Federer said. “Overall, it went from good to great. ‘My game’s exactly where I want it to be.”