Western and Southern Open 2017 Predictions
Halep d. Muguruza in three – Preview
Pliskova d. Muguruza in three – Preview
Halep d. Stephens in two – Stephens will have to be ultra patient and be able to break through the defenses of Halep, which is going to be a tough task…
Kuznetsova d. Muguruza in three – Preview
Konta d. Halep in three – Halep’s level will need to increase against Konta however the Brit has won their three meetings this year on hard courts. It should be another tight one but I feel Konta has the mentality to edge this one.
Round 3 (7/8)
Pliskova d. Giorgi in three – This is actually a rare occasion when Pliskova’s opponent plays even more aggressively than her. Giorgi won their previous encounter this year on clay, which is Pliskova’s worst surface. Giorgi has won four matches in Cincinnati and always raises her bar in big matches, but Pliskova’s the steadier and more consistent player and I’ll expect her to get this in a tight tussle.
Wozniacki d. Barty in three – This is a first time match-up and I’m looking forward to this. Wozniacki, as usual, was solid in her match against Vesnina. The latter has a similar gamestyle to Barty but the Australian is much more solid and could cause major problems for Wozniacki with her power forehand. Barty hit 37 winners against Williams in the previous round and such kind of performance could be good enough for a win against Woz. I’m going to play safer with this one and pick the Dane…
Muguruza d. Keys in three – I feel slightly stupid with picking Muguruza because Keys leads the head to head 3-0. The conditions may favour Muguruza a little more as she’ll be able to retrieve the balls easier but the Spaniard always finds it tough to outhit and outplay Keys. I’ll just go with my instinct (which sucks)…
Kuznetsova d. Suarez Navarro in three – These two have some history with their head to head tied at 3-3. Suarez Navarro has won their previous two encounters, but those came a couple of years ago. Great to see Suarez Navarro notch a straight-sets win over Krunic but I don’t think she’ll be able to outhit, outsmart or outlast the Russian in long rallies.
Svitolina d. Goerges in three – The round of 16 lineup is so good in almost every match I’m going for a three-setter. Goerges won their only encounter this year in Fed Cup on clay; in Cincinnati it is a totally different surface. The conditions are perfect for Svitolina and just a solid performance should see her through unless she is feeling fatigued or either peak Goerges arrives.
Stephens d. Makarova in two – Lost some respect for Makarova and Sloane has been playing outstanding tennis these two weeks. Stephens also leads the head to head 2-0 so there’s a high chance Stephens will make back-to-back Premier 5 quarterfinals.
Konta d. Cibulkova in three – Konta is so impressive on hard courts this season and Cibulkova will need to play ultra-aggressive yet controlled in order to pick Konta off the baseline. That’s a tough task, and although Cibulkova’s form seems to be improving this week, Konta should be able to take this one.
Halep d. Sevastova in two – Halep continues to be a terrible match-up for Sevastova as the latter does not have the game to overpower Halep and the Romanian deals so well with variety.
Round 2 (11/16)
Pliskova d. Vikhylantseva in two – Pliskova is back at the tournament where she made her blistering climb up the rankings and that will definitely bring back some memories. Against Vikhlyantseva who has a same game style as Pliskova, I’ll expect a slow start from the No.1 player but she’ll acquit herself in the match and eventually seal the victory.
Giorgi d. Gavrilova in three – This could be a tight tussle with both players at the complete end of the spectrum with their game styles. The Italian is actually in decent form this season and I’ll take a risk and pick her.
Williams d. Barty in two – Barty just gets better and better every tournament. It still is a struggle for Williams to play matches on consecutive days so I’ll be intrigued if Williams can perform well in the new rounds. Venus was impressive against Riske though and if she produces such kind of performance again she should be able to overpower the Australian.
Wozniacki d. Vesnina in two – Wozniacki leads the head to head 7-2 and should be too solid for Vesnina.
Muguruza d. Haddad Maia in two – Muguruza reached the semifinals in Cincinnati last year but prior to that had lost her last three matches. Haddad Maia is having a great season but Muguruza’s quality should shine through.
Keys d. Kasatkina in two – Kasatkina generally struggles to impose herself against big-hitters who overpower her. Keys leads the head to head 2-0, and is on a five-match winning streak at the moment.
Suarez Navarro d. Krunic in two – Suarez Navarro had a confidence-boosting win over Lucic-Baroni in the first round and I think she can keep the ball rolling against a relatively inconsistent Krunic.
Kuznetsova d. Putintseva in two – Putintseva won their previous encounter in St.Petersburg this year but has been in dire form since reaching the final there. Kuznetsova hasn’t notched a win on the US hard courts yet but I’ll like her to dictate play and get the win.
Svitolina d. Tsurenko in two – First time the two Ukrainians have met on the WTA circuit. Tsurenko is a good match-up for Svitolina in my opinion as her shots aren’t that fast, letting Svitolina dictate with controlled aggression. Svitolina is also on a high having won her third Premier 5 title this year and she’ll hope to continue that streak in Cincinnati…
Goerges d. Abanda in three – Liking Goerges to continue her run although Abanda could give plenty of problems.
Kvitova d. Stephens in three – Repeat match-up from last week in Toronto where Stephens prevailed as Kvitova began to fade away with a stream of errors. I wonder if Stephens will have anything left in her bag after a long week in Toronto and having played her last match yesterday. Kvitova doesn’t have a great record in Cincinnati and her level will need to improve largely than against Kontaveit but I believe she can do it and avoid the upset.
Kerber d. Makarova in three – Makarova is definitely playing better tennis than Kerber at the moment. This is a difficult one to pick as Makarova’s game can go awry sometimes. I’ll go for a Kerber escape with Makarova fading away at the end of the match.
Konta d. Bertens in two – Bertens notched her first win of the US hard court swing yesterday while Konta lost in her opener in Toronto to Makarova. Konta still does everything better compared to Bertens and should win this one.
Cornet d. Cibulkova in three – The rivalry between the two Lacoste-clad players have been very interesting. Cibulkova leads the head to head 5-3, but Cornet has won three of the past four encounters. Cibulkova is the much more aggressive player than Cornet but the conditions will help the Frenchwoman and the defensive aspect of her game was peak against Bellis. 52-48 in favour of Cornet…
Vinci d. Sevastova in three – Both have similar games; Vinci’s been having a miserable year while Sevastova continues to be streaky. The Latvian just got over the finishing line against an injured Peng and an insecure performance like that will not cut it against an experienced player like Vinci.
Halep d. Townsend in two – Townsend notched her fourth win of the year on the main draw level but Halep should expose Townsend’s movement.
Round 1 (12/24)
Vekic d. Vikhlyantseva in three – Vekic leads the head to head 2-1 and continues to impress on the tour. If she can keep her serving standards up high and make less errant groundstrokes she should win this one.
Siniakova d. Giorgi in three – Giorgi is coming out on qualifying but we all know her game goes pretty streaky. Siniakova will need to stay calm to retrieve as many balls as she can and I have more confidence in her on a medium-paced court.
Gavrilova d. Mladenovic in three – The head to head is tied at 1-1. The last time Mladenovic won back-to-back matches was in Birmingham and she seems to be fatigued and laboured in her strokes and movement. Gavrilova is great in moving opponents around the court. Edging towards Gavrilova’s energy and variety in this one.
Williams d. Riske in two – As I mentioned in my Main Draw Preview, Williams has an amazing record against Americans and has won her two previous encounters against Riske. Alison is 4-18 against Top 10 players so I’m not so sure she can do this…
Barty d. Lepchenko in two – Barty continues to improve and she was close to upsetting Muguruza in Toronto! Expecting no problems in her first match as a Top 50 player against Lepchenko.
Vesnina d. Garcia in three – Garcia just reached the quarterfinals in Toronto last week but Vesnina leads the head to head 2-0. Not so sure on this one so I am going by the HTH.
Haddad Maia d. Davis in two – Haddad Maia has amassed an impressive 32-12 record on the season while Davis is low on confidence having lost her last ten out of fifteen matches. You can see where I’m going with this..
Sasnovich d. Kasatkina in three – Couldn’t decide but I went for Sasnovich. I like both players’ gamestyles and Sasnovich’s coming from qualifying so she should already have been suited to the conditions. Kasatkina admitted that she was fatigued playing in her second match at Toronto having comeback from an injury so I am not so sure she can break the Sasnovich game down…
Keys d. Vandeweghe in three – The pair just met in the Stanford final where Keys won in a high-quality final. Cincinnati is a slower court than Stanford but I feel Vandeweghe will rush into unforced errors when trying to make more winners.
Ostapenko d. Krunic in two – Expecting little problems for Ostapenko although Krunic has been having a decent season.
Suarez Navarro d. Lucic-Baroni in two – Suarez Navarro has won their two previous meetings while Lucic-Baroni’s confidence is on a low, now on a five-match losing streak. Peak Lucic-Baroni would obviously win this but if Suarez Navarro is consistent enough and bring back more balls into play, she’ll get this.
Cepede Royg d. Putintseva in two – Choosing based on their form, Cepede Royg is on a roll after Roland Garros and has qualified for every tournament she has participated in while Putintseva has lost her past five matches.
Pavlyuchenkova d. Tsurenko in two – Pavlyuchenkova leads the head to head 3-1 and has the game to break down Tsurenko’s defence.
Abanda d. Linette in two – Linette hasn’t won back-to-back matches against Top 100 players since Kuala Lumpur and was enduring a six-match losing streak till this week. Abanda should be high in confidence having won her last ten of 14 matches.
Goerges d. Radwanska in two – Radwanska leads the head to head 3-1 but I don’t think that will be a factor in this match up; it’ll be decided by their on-court performance. If Goerges gets Radwanska on the move and overpower the Pole she’ll be able to win this if she commits less errors. The slow conditions could help Radwanska get back more balls but she has lost some power this year and that won’t help in this match-up. Heart says Radwanska, head says Goerges…
Kvitova d. Kontaveit in three – Potential upset alert, Kvitova never does well in Cincinnati and lost to Stephens in Toronto comprehensively with a slew of errors. However, this is Kontaveit’s first match of the US hard court swing and will need more time to adapt. If vintage Petra arrives it will be straights but I am not so sure. Still going for the ‘safer’ pick in Kvitova.
Safarova d. Stephens in three – Repeat of last week’s quarterfinal showdown in Toronto, this time edging towards Safarova though. The Czech was so close last week and even had a match point; I’ll expect her to be motivated to win this one.
Makarova d. Strycova in three – I must have clicked wrongly in the draw challenge when I picked Strycova for the win ughhhhh. Although she leads the head to head 3-2, after a bright start to the year Strycova hasn’t done anything much since May. Meanwhile, Makarova is coming off impressive runs in Washington and Toronto and should be high in confidence.
Dodin d. Bertens in three – Bertens hasn’t played on the US hard courts yet after claiming a title in Bastad. Dodin retired in Toronto in tears to Barty but she should be ready for Cincinnati after a few days of rest. If Dodin keeps the errors relatively lower and keep Bertens on the move, there could be an upset.
Bellis d. Cornet in two – Cornet is on a six-match losing streak and got absolutely trumped by Bellis in their meeting in Stanford two weeks ago.
Konjuh d. Cibulkova in three – Cibulkova has lost her last eight out of 13 matches but seemed motivated to ‘take her revenge’ against Konjuh having lost their previous encounter in Wimbledon. I picked Konjuh in my draw challenge but to be honest, I am regretting that a little now… Still going for my initial prediction in Konjuh because usually when I change my pick I get it wrong!
Peng d. Sevastova in three – Sevastova has been strangely inconsistent in her past few tournaments and Peng’s flat groundstrokes would disturb the momentum of the Latvian.
Vinci d. Babos in two – Babos finally got a win in Toronto but crumbled against Radwanska in the next round. Vinci leads the head-to-head 5-1, and Babos is really low on confidence.
Puig d. Townsend in three – Puig has the game to move Townsend around to break down her movement but is always inconsistent. Going for a detour but she’ll come back to win this.
Full Draw Predictions
*contemplated and changed my draw SOOO many times but this is the final one…*
Warning: this could be a complete mess so