The sadly-slowing American drumbeat goes on this week at the Western & Southern Financial Group Women’s Open. World No. 1 Serena Williams is sidelined with a cut foot, and elder sister Venus is out with a tweaked knee. No Americans are seeded, and only one American, Melanie Oudin, got directly into the main draw via her ranking (barely).
This comes on the heels of the news that no American men will be ranked in the Top 10 Monday — for the first time ever.
Jelena Jankovic is the top seed in Cincinnati, followed by Caroline Wozniacki, Elena Dementieva, Kim Clijsters, Francesca Schiavone, Vera Zvonareva, Aggie Radwanska, Na Li, Victoria Azarenka, Maria Sharapova, Flavia Pennetta, Yanina Wickmayer, Shahar Peer, Aravane Rezai, Nadia Petrova and Marion Bartoli.
First-round matches of interest are No. 9 Azarenka vs. former No. 1 Ana Ivanovic, No. 5 Schiavone potentially versus Oudin in the second round, No. 4 Clijsters potentially versus Dinara Safina second round in a battle for former No. 1s, No. 11 Pennetta coming off a long week opening against Jie Zheng, and the prime-time opener, Maria Sharapova vs. Svetlana Kuznetsova.
If form holds, pencil in Jankovic and Clijsters in the top semifinal. The bottom semifinal is wide open, as neither top seeds Wozniacki and Dementieva have been making waves on hardcourt.
Wildcards went to Americans Christina McHale, who starts against the No. 15 Petrova; Jamie Hampton who opens against Italian Sara Errani, and Coco Vandeweghe, who will face German Andrea Petkovic.
Former champs in the field are Jankovic (2009), Petrova (2008), and Zvonareva (2006).
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