I’ve been so busy this week I was unable to keep up with most of the action this week in Cincinnati but now it’s the weekends so I have more time! To kick off the celebrations for the weekends, I’ll start with previews of quarterfinals in the Western and Southern Open.
 Garbine Muguruza (No.4)
Route to this stage
R2: d. Beatriz Haddad Maia, 6-2 6-0
R3: d.  Madison Keys, 6-4 3-6 7-6(3)
Since her Wimbledon triumph, Garbine Muguruza’s consistency seems to be a factor of a big game now as she has reached the quarterfinal stage in the last three weeks. Muguruza reached the semifinals and quarterfinals respectively in Stanford and Toronto, losing to Madison Keys in the former. The Spaniard though avenged her loss there in a third-round clash in Cincinnati where she saved three match points to progress. It was scrappy by both players but Muguruza isn’t a Grand Slam champion for nothing and showcased her fighting qualities. She even revealed that during the rain delay in between the match, she found out about the attack in Barcelona (where her family lives) which makes the win even more stunning!
 Svetlana Kuznetsova (No.8)
Route to this stage
R2: d. Yulia Putintseva, 6-3 6-4
R3: d. Carla Suarez Navarro, 6-2 6-4
Svetlana Kuznetsova is into the Cincinnati quarterfinals by winning her first matches since Wimbledon. As it usually goes with Sveta, there will usually be a lot of drama in her matches but this time the wins were smoothly finished. Kuznetsova notched comfortable victories over Yulia Putintseva and Carla Suarez Navarro, staying aggressive and great in many aspects of her game. She seems like an outisde contender for the title this week…
Head to head: Muguruza leads the head to head 4-1 and has won their four previous encounters. Their only meeting this year was in Wimbledon where Muguruza won enroute to the title. The Spaniard leads the head to head on hard courts 3-0.
Stat: Kuznetsova has a 9-6 record in Cincinnati and her best result prior to this year was the QFs last year. Muguruza has a 5-4 record here and reached the semifinals last year.
Thoughts: As most of their matches go it is usually a tight one so this should be the same as well. Muguruza had strapping on her thigh in the previous match so we shall see if that derails the World No.4 in her game. Muguruza totally didn’t play her best tennis against Keys (her stats were just stunningly bad) and will really need to step it up against Kuznetsova. The Russian usually struggles to dictate play in this match-up and will need to do it even better with the slower conditions in Cincinnati. However with the uncertainty of Muguruza, Kuznetsova could just power her way through this one…