The glorious tennis continues on Day 2 in Cincinnati with a fantastic order of play full of high-quality matches.
Barbora Strycova vs Daria Kasatkina
Head-to-Head Record: 2-1
In as a lucky loser, she will hope to ride that luck against a player in Daria Kasatkina, who blows very much hot and cold, often within the same set of tennis.
Kasatkina has a losing record in the previous twelve months on tour and is struggling from a lack of consistency. It may very well be the case that she flies through the match dominating rallies and hitting winners, but it’s just as likely to all go wrong for the young Russian.
Strycova will be more solid on serve and that should be enough to see her through the match.
Prediction: Strycova in 3
Qiang Wang vs Su-Wei Hsieh
Head-to-Head Record: 3-3
These two players know each other’s game very well, having played six times previously. How much that may help Wang, in particular, is debatable, given the unpredictably of Hsieh’s game.
I can’t help but feel slightly disappointed by Qiang Wang this year. With the amazing run of form, she put together towards the end of the season last year I was hoping that she could kick on and become a player to be feared on the WTA tour. This hasn’t materialised and in fact, her ranking will be in danger of falling back down to previous levels if she cannot defend her points achieved after last year’s US Open.
Hsieh has won the last two meetings between the pair and she may well nick this one too. She has played quite well as of late and I expect this to be close so that extra bit of confidence may see her over the line.
Prediction: Hsieh in 3
Ekaterina Alexandrova vs Carla Suarez Navarro
No previous meetings
The key to this match will be the extra skills and experience of Suarez Navarro on the hard courts.
On the face of it the players are very tightly matched, but the Spaniard’s hard-court record in the last twelve months is markedly better than the Russian’s.
Suarez Navarro has also won six of her last seven first-round matches, and I think that run will continue here.
Prediction: Suarez Navarro in 2
Serena Williams vs Zarina Diyas
Head-to-Head Record: 3-0
Well, it was disappointing to see Serena retire after only four games of what we all hoped would be an exceptional Rogers Cup final in Toronto. Despite suffering those back spasms, she has travelled to Cincinnati hoping to regain a title that she has won on multiple occasions.
If she is anywhere near fit then this should be a nice match to start the tournament with. Diyas is a capable player but has no incredible weapons to threaten Serena with.
The previous H2H record speaks volumes here, with Diyas having never taken a set off Williams. All the meetings have taken place on hard courts, wich lends further credence to the power of this fact.
Prediction: Williams in 2
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