Naomi Osaka returns to WTA play this week in Cincinnati. The 4-time Slam winner has only played one event — the Tokyo Olympics — since her controversial exit at the French Open.
Osaka made the final of the event last year when it was played in New York. But she withdrew from her final against Victoria Azarenka.
The top seed at the Cincinnati Masters event is world No. 1 Ash Barty who is coming off a Wimbledon title. Then Osaka followed by Aryna Sabalenka, Karolina Pliskova, Iga Swiatek, Bianca Andreescu and Garbine Muguruza.
Barbora Krejcikova (winner of 22 of her last 24), Simona Halep, Sloane Stephens and Coco Gauff are also in the field.
Gauff could meet Osaka as early as the second round. And Stephens could meet Muguruza in that round, as well.
If the seeds get out there, the quarters would shape up with Barty-Muguruza, Svitolina-Swiatek, Sabalenka-Pliskova and Osaka-Andreescu.
The Top 8 seeds get byes.
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