Swiatek, Sabalenka, Rybakina Look To Get Back On Track At WTA Cincinnati

by Staff | August 13th, 2023, 3:40 pm
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After a tough finish at the Canadian Masters in Montreal, the new women’s Big 3 of Iga Swiatek, Aryna Sabalenka and Elena Rybakina (also the last three women to win Grand Slam titles) will look to get back in form at this week’s Cincinnati Masters.

Just like in Montreal, the Cincinnati is again loaded with all Top 30 players in attendance, including Ons Jabeur and Barbora Krejcikova who skipped Canada.

Top seeds are 1 Iga Swiatek, 2 Aryna Sabalenka, 3 Jessica Pegula, 4 Elena Rybakina, 5 Ons Jabeur, 6 Caroline Garcia, 7 Cori Gauff, 8 Maria Sakkari, 9 Petra Kvitova, 10 Marketa Vondrousova, 11 Barbora Krejcikova, 12 Beatriz Haddad Maia, 13 Belinda Bencic, 14 Daria Kasatkina, 15 Madison Keys, 16 Veronika Kudermetova.


IGA SWIATEK QUARTER
Seeds: 1 Swiatek, 6 Garcia, 10 Vondrousova, 16 Kudermetova
Floaters: Zheng, Potapova, Stephens, Collins, Pavlyuchenkova
Notable openers: Marketa Vondrousova-Katerina Siniakova, Sloane Stephens-Elisabetta Cocciaretto
Projected 3R matches: 1 Swiatek – 16 Kudermetova, 10 Vondrousova – 6 Garcia
Notes: Swiatek is joined by Wimbledon winner Marketa Vondrousova. It’s a tough draw for the world No. 1 who could get a rematch with Danielle Collins in her opener, then the big-hitting Kudermetova followed by defending champion Caroline Garcia. Garcia won the title a year ago as a qualifier and then made the US Open semifinals, but hasn’t been up to par late. Stephens could cause an upset. Kudermetova meets the 43-year-old Venus Williams in the first round.

ELENA RYBAKINA QUARTER
Seeds: 4 Rybakina, 7 Gauff, 9 Kvitova, 13 Bencic
Floaters: Samsonova, Ostapenko, Pliskova, Sherif, Kostyuk, Blinkova
Notable openers: Jelena Ostapenko-Karolina Pliskova, Petra Kvitova-Anna Blinkova
Projected 3R matches: 4 Rybakina – 13 Bencic, 9 Kvitova – 7 Gauff
Notes: After a busy finish to her Canadian Masters where she fell in the semifinals, Rybakina leads a tough second quarter which is also home to American star Coco Gauff, 2022 finalist Petra Kvitova and gold medalist Belinda Bencic. Under new coach Brad Gilbert, Gauff has been a different player and with Rybakina perhaps spent from Canada plus a decent draw, she’s arguably the favorite here.

JESSICA PEGULA QUARTER
Seeds: 3 Pegula, 8 Sakkari, 12 Haddad Maia, 15 Keys
Floaters: Muchova, Alexandrova, Mertens, Cirstea, Martic, Bouzkova
Notable openers: Ekaterina Alexandrova-Sorana Cirstea, Karolina Muchova-Beatriz Haddad Maia, Madison Keys-Elise Mertens
Projected 3R matches: 8 Sakkari – 12 Haddad Maia, 15 Keys – 3 Pegula
Notes: Pegula will be the favorite but after her Canadian run, how much will she have left? Former champion Madison Keys could step up and Karolina Muchova is always dangerous, but both have tough openers. Maria Sakkari is also in the quarter but hasn’t been a threat in big events of late. So if Pegula’s fit and fresh, there’s opportunity here.

ARYNA SABALENKA QUARTER
Seeds: 2 Sabalenka, 5 Jabeur, 11 Krejcikova, 14 Kasatkina
Floaters: Azarenka, Vekic, Linette, Svitolina, Stearns, Brady, Wozniacki
Notable openers: Victoria Azarenka-Barbora Krejcikova, Daria Kasatkina-Peyton Stearns, Jennifer Brady-Donna Vekic, Caroline Wozniacki-Elina Svitolina
Projected 3R matches: 5 Jabeur – 11 Krejcikova, 14 Kasatkina – 2 Sabalenka
Notes: Ons Jabeur returns after a second Wimbledon runner-up, and she could see Sabalenka in the quarters here. Jennifer Brady also continues her comeback against Donna Vekic in a good opener but this section is home to the first round of the tournament between Caroline Wozniacki and Elina Svitolina. Two-time winner Victoria Azarenka is also in the mix in what is a very open, very tough section with a lot of big, proven names.

By seeding, the semifinals are projected to be Iga Swiatek-Elena Rybakina and Jessica Pegula-Aryna Sabalenka.

Former champions: Caroline Garcia, Karolina Pliskova, Madison Keys, Victoria Azarenka (2)
Former finalists: Petra Kvitova

In the 2022 final, Caroline Garcia defeated Petra Kvitova 6-2, 6-4.

LAST 10 CINCINNATI CHAMPIONS/FINALS
2022 Caroline Garcia d. Petra Kvitova 6-2, 6-4
2021 Ashleigh Barty d. Jil Teichmann 6-3, 6-1
2020 Victoria Azarenka d. Naomi Osaka W/O
2019 Madison Keys d. Svetlana Kuznetsova 7-5, 7-6(5)
2018 Kiki Bertens d. Simona Halep 2-6, 7-6(6), 6-2
2017 Garbine Muguruza d. Simona Halep 6-1, 6-0
2016 Karolina Pliskova d. Angelique Kerber 6-3, 6-1
2015 Serena Williams d. Simona Halep 6-3, 7-6(5)
2014 Serena Williams d. Ana Ivanovic 6-4, 6-1
2013 Victoria Azarenka d. Serena Williams 2-6, 6-2, 7-6(6)


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