WTA Tour: Cincinnati Open Ro64 Selected Matches Preview

Tennis player holds racquet

Damien Kayat previews two of the biggest round of 64 matches from the WTA Tour's Cincinnati Open taking place on Tuesday 14 August.

Camila Giorgi 19/20 | Anastasija Sevatsova 15/20
26-year-old Italian Camila Giorgi has really had a solid season thus far. The right-hander started the season in excellent style with a run to the semi-finals of the Sydney International. She then battled for a few months before a solid quarterfinal showing at the Charleston event. She would then go on to better that with a semi-final run in the Prague event. The grass-court season started with little in the way of expectation, until a fantastic showing at Wimbledon threw her name into the spotlight. She would go on to lose her quarter-final to the legendary Serena Williams in an epic match that saw a protracted third set. Giorgi has a fourth-round finish at the 2013 US Open and will be looking to underline her season with a strong American hardcourt season.

Latvian Sevatsova is actually coming into this event with a fair bit of form behind her. She had a solid showing at the Rogers Cup, managing to reach the quarter-final stage. She also won the admittedly sub-par Bucharest Open in the wake of Wimbledon. Her grass-court season offered little though the clay brought some encouraging results. She reached the final in Mallorca and the semi-final in Charleston. Her early hardcourt form was minimal, though a run to the final 16 at the extremely competitive Indian Wells event certainly bodes well for Sevatsova this week.

This is a really interesting one. Sevatsova has reached the US Open quarter-finals for the past two successive seasons. This ostensibly would make her the favourite. But it is Giorgi who leads the head-to-head, with a victory coming as recently as this year’s Wimbledon Championship. But ultimately I’m going to have to side with the Latvian at 15/20. 

Coco Vandeweghe 14/10 | Kiki Bertens 5/10
This should be a swashbuckler as two of the most audacious shot-makers on tour go head-to-head in this premium opening round encounter. Coco Vandeweghe has had a typically mercurial season thus far. The losing finalist in Stuttgart also managed to reach the final four in the Rosmalen event that she has won twice before. But her form in the wake of that Stuttgart run typifies the glamorous Vandeweghe. She would go on to lose her opening round matches at both the Madrid and Rome events. But to be fair, Miss Vandeweghe is a player for the big occasion, so one shouldn’t be surprised if she excels this week. She reached the Finals of both Grand Slam hardcourt events last season. Add to that the fact she is a two-time Wimbledon quarter-finalist and you get the impression that form may not always be the best barometer to measure the American’s chances.

Dutch powerhouse Kiki Bertens has really had an extremely strong year. She is coming off of a decent run to the quarter-finals of the Rogers Cup, while her surge to the quarter-finals of Wimbledon highlights her all-court improvement. Bertens has really cut her teeth on the clay-courts. All seven of her WTA finals have been on the slower stuff. That includes a victory at the Charleston Open earlier this season. She also would go on to lose the final in Madrid. One area of slight concern will be her early season form on the hardcourts. She had iffy Round of 32 finishes at Miami and the Aussie Open, while a Round of 16 showing at Sydney goes down as her best result on the hard stuff this season.

The two share the spoils with a head-to-head record of 1-1. Coco won their last encounter on the similar hardcourts on Indian Wells in 2016. Interestingly, Bertens actually beat Vandeweghe at her beloved Rosmalen event in 2015. I just think that Vandeweghe will be looking for her season to almost start now ahead of the US Open. 28/10 for a straight sets Vandeweghe victory may seem a bit dicey, but the American certainly has a greater pedigree on these surfaces and tends to flourish on the big stage. 

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Written by Damien Kayat for @Hollywoodbets.net

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