Another wide-open women’s field, led by Karolina Pliskova and Serena Williams, will battle it out for the 2020 Western & Southern Open title.
Expert tips and predictions for WTA Cincinnati, live from New York between August 22-28.
Read on below as we provide daily best bets for WTA Cincinnati this week, along with our predictions for the outright winner.
WTA Cincinnati: Best bet for Friday August 28 (Saturday August 29 AEST)
Johanna Konta to beat Victoria Azarenka H2H ($1.55)
Although Konta has tumbled out of the top 10 in recent seasons, the Brit is playing some sensational tennis in Cincinnati-New York this week and has yet to drop a set all tournament in convincing wins over Vera Zvonareva, Kirsten Flipkens and Maria Sakkari, who had taken out Serena Williams in the previous round.
Konta’s serve has been working well all week, and when that shot is firing, she is very hard to stop as she automatically takes control of the baseline.
Azarenka is enjoying a resurgent week, but she often struggles on her own serve and I have a feeling she’ll be under pressure for most of the match if Konta is holding easily.
For me, this match-up depends on Konta’s serving ability – if the Brit maintains her current level in that aspect of her game, she’ll be winning this one.
WTA Cincinnati Seeds
1. ?? Karolina Pliskova
2. ?? Serena Williams
3. ?? Sofia Kenin
4. ?? Naomi Osaka
5. ?? Aryna Sabalenka
6. ?? Petra Kvitova
7. ?? Madison Keys
8. ?? Johanna Konta
9. ?? Elena Rybakina
10. ?? Marketa Vondrousova
11. ?? Alison Riske
12. ?? Anett Kontaveit
13. ?? Maria Sakkari
14. ?? Elise Mertens
15. ?? Donna Vekic
16. ?? Dayana Yastremska
WTA Cincinnati Tips and Predictions
Another unpredictable WTA tournament awaits at the 2020 Western & Southern Open, played at Flushing Meadows in New York this week.
Numerous top WTA stars are absent for this tournament, along with the upcoming U.S. Open, including World No. 1 Ashleigh Barty, three-time Cincinnati runner-up Simona Halep, two-time finalist Angelique Kerber and defending US Open champion Bianca Andreescu, while Australian Open runner-up Garbine Muguruza pulled out with an ankle injury.
However, there’s still plenty of star power on show, headlined by 2014-15 champion Serena Williams.
The legendary American has played Cincinnati just once since winning those aforementioned back-to-back titles – and that came two years ago in her just her sixth tournament back from maternity leave, going down in three sets to Petra Kvitova.
Serena has had no trouble reaching finals of big tournaments since, however she has struggled to win them, showcasing uncharacteristic nerves during crucial junctures. Serena made her comeback from the lockdown in Lexington a couple of weeks ago, beating Bernada Pera and sister Venus in three sets before going down to Shelby Rogers in the quarter-finals.
Meanwhile, World No. 3 Karolina Pliskova is the highest-ranked player in the draw and in my opinion is very solid value to go all the way.
The Czech has traditionally played extremely well at the Cincinnati tournament, winning the title in 2016 (before going on to make the US Open final), the semi-finals in 2017 and the quarter-finals last season.
Pliskova loves the hot and humid conditions of New York and with her booming serve and lethal groundstrokes, she will prove hard to beat this week.
Young big-hitters such as Naomi Osaka and Aryna Sabalenka are always dangerous and can blitz anyone in the draw on their day, but they remain very unreliable and inconsistent, so I’m staying away from both.
One player that is worth watching out for is defending champion Madison Keys. The former US Open runner-up loves playing in America and put together a superb run last year to capture the silverware, conquering the likes of Halep, Muguruza, Venus Williams and Sofia Kenin.
Speaking of Kenin, the reigning Australian Open champion certainly can’t be ignored and will be eager to recommence a season that started with such promise.
I think Pliskova is the woman to beat, but you can certainly never discount Serena, while the value lies with Keys and Kenin.