This article is part of our Tennis Picks series.
Saturday is semifinal day in Cincinnati, as the Western and Southern Open is down to just four contenders on the men's side and four on the women's side. The lone American left in either draw will face a Grand Slam champion, but she should be up to the task after beating Grand Slam winners in each of her previous three matches. Meanwhile, one of the more heated rivalries in men's tennis has been pretty one-sided, and there's little reason to expect that to change this time around. All tennis odds and lines are taken from DraftKings Sportsbook, but you can sometimes find more favorable odds on some of these matches by checking other mobile sportsbooks such as FanDuel, BetMGM or Caesars.
Both the men's and women's matches at this event are best of three sets, and all of the remaining players have proven adept at handling the fast-paced hard courts in Cincinnati. Read on for a preview of Saturday's men's and women's semifinals.
Medvedev's known for his eye-catching ball retrieval and defense, but he's also one of the best servers on tour. The world No. 1 wasn't broken in his 7-6 (1), 6-3 quarterfinal win over Taylor Fritz and consistently hit his spots with the serve, compiling 18 aces. While Tsitsipas just navigated past an even more dominant server in John Isner, Medvedev's ability in rallies coupled with his locked-in serve will make the Russian tough to beat on his favorite surface. Medvedev has also dominated the not-so-friendly rivalry between these two, notching a 7-2 record overall and a 5-0 mark on outdoor hard courts.
After a shaky start in the early rounds, Norrie has found his form and produced some of his best tennis in recent matches, knocking off American up-and-comer Ben Shelton 6-0, 6-2 in the Round of 16 before beating Carlos Alcaraz 6-4 in the third in a thrilling quarterfinal. The Brit will already be rewarded with a top-10 spot in next week's rankings no matter what happens here, but Norrie has his sights set on a second career hard court Masters 1000 title.
Coric has unmistakably found his game in this tournament, gaining a massive confidence boost from his second-round win over an out-of-form Rafael Nadal and proceeding to knock off Roberto Bautista Agut and Felix Auger-Aliassime without dropping a set. If he can maintain this level moving forward, it won't be long until Coric is back around his career high ranking of No. 12 rather than outside the top 100, but Norrie's massive edge in recent experience deep into big tournaments should give him the advantage here.
Keys won this title back in 2019, and she has rediscovered her form from that championship run in 2022, notching consecutive straight sets wins over world No. 1 Iga Swiatek and reigning Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina. The American's hard-hitting game is perfectly suited for Cincinnati's fast hard courts, and Keys is locked in both physically and mentally heading into her semifinal matchup with another former Wimbledon champion in Kvitova. Like Rybakina, Kvitova seems to prefer grass to hard courts, as she's only made the semifinals or better at a hard court Grand Slam twice in her career while Keys has done so four times, including this year's Australian Open. They've split eight previous head-to-head encounters.
Garcia's playing some phenomenal tennis recently, but one of the key aspects of her game style will be neutralized by Sabalenka. The talented Frenchwoman won't be short on confidence here, as Garcia's six match wins at this tournament (two in qualifying) include victories over top-10 players Maria Sakkari and Jessica Pegula. Between this run and Garcia's Poland Open title last month, which included a win over world No. 1 Iga Swiatek on Swiatek's home turf, Garcia's 11-1 in her last 12 matches.
Despite Garcia's recent success, the sixth-seeded Sabalenka should still be viewed as the favorite against her unseeded opponent. Part of Garcia's success involves standing in on second serves and taking them early, but that strategy will be difficult to execute against Sabalenka, whose second serve is as hard as you'll find in the women's game. Sabalenka double faults more than anybody on tour as a result, but she won't give Garcia looks at soft, attackable serves. Both of these players want to get on the offensive early in rallies, and Sabalenka's edge in the power department should let her do so more often than Garcia. The Belarusian leads their career head-to-head 2-1, including a win at this very tournament four years ago.