Simona Halep vs. Kiki Bertens, Cincinnati Final Preview

๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ Western & Southern Open, Cincinnati Final Preview
๐Ÿ‡ท๐Ÿ‡ด (1) Simona Halep vs. ๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ฑ Kiki Bertens

Simona Halep will be looking to extend her winning streak and strengthen her hold at the top of the rankings when she takes on Kiki Bertens in Sundayโ€™s final at the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati. Halep and Bertens are arguably the two form players over the last month, expect a high quality final between two extremely confident competitors. Halep has had the better of this match-up in the past but this will be their first match on a hard court in almost a decade. Can Bertens take down the world number 1 to win the biggest title of her career?

Kiki Bertens of the Netherlands in action during her second-round match at the 2018 Western & Southern Open WTA Premier 5 tennis tournament

Simona Halep is on a roll, full of confidence and at the top of her game. Halep arrived in Cincinnati straight from a gruelling final win over Sloane Stephens at the Rogers Cup. It would have been understandable if Halep took this tournament lightly, to the contrary she has been extremely strong on route to her 6th final of the year. The world number 1 made a slow start to the event with a 3 set win over Ajla Tomljanovic before beating Ashleigh Barty, Lesia Tsurenko and Aryna Sabalenka in straight sets. Halepโ€™s ability to take down a red-hot Sabalenka was certainly a confidence boosting win.

It has been an outstanding month for Kiki Bertens. Bertens arrived in Cincinnati fresh from back-to-back quarter-final appearances at Wimbledon and the Rogers Cup. Bertens rolled through her first couple of matches, beating CoCo Vandeweghe and Caroline Wozniacki, dropping a combined 6 games. Bertens then required 3 sets to get by Anett Kontaveit in an injury interrupted match before producing her best performance in a straight set demolition of Elina Svitolina. Bertens booked her spot in the final with a gutsy 3-6 6-4 6-2 win over Petra Kvitova to give herself a chance to win a maiden hard court title.

Halep holds a 3-1 H2H record over Bertens. Halep won the two recent meetings between the pair, both in straight sets: 7-5 6-1 in Rome last year and 6-4 6-3 at Wimbledon in 2016. This will be the first meeting between the two on a hard court in almost 8 years.

To view my analysis / prediction for this match: Click here

Angelique Kerber vs. Madison Keys, Cincinnati R3 Preview

๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ Western & Southern Open, Cincinnati R3 Preview
๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ช (4) Angelique Kerber vs. ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ (13) Madison Keys

Angelique Kerber and Madison will renew hostilities when they meet at the third round stage of the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati. Kerber has dominated this match-up in the past, the German holds a convincing 7-1 record over the American and therefore enters this match as a strong favourite. Nevertheless, Kerber has looked vulnerable since her Wimbledon triumph so Keys is not without a chance here.

Angelique Kerber of Germany in action during her second-round match at the 2018 Western & Southern Open WTA Premier 5 tennis tournament

Angelique Kerber arrived in Cincinnati having not won a match since her Wimbledon triumph last month. It seemed like Kerber would leave Cincinnati winless when she dropped the opening set of her second round match with Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, but Kerber rebounded to claim a hard-fought 4-6 7-5 6-4 victory. It was a topsy-turvy match, momentum swung wildly throughout. Ultimately it was Kerber who consistently found a better level in a high quality final set. A significant win for Kerber. Kerber received a bye through the opening round.

Madison Keys also survived a first-up scare in Cincinnati. Keys was down a set and a break against Bethanie Mattek-Sands in her opening round match but remained strong to bounce back and record a 3-6 7-6 6-4 win over a troublesome opponent. Keys produced a much better performance in her second round match as she easily defeated Camila Giorgi 6-2 6-2 to set up another clash with Kerber.

Kerber holds a 7-1 H2H record over Keys. Kerber has won all 6 of the previous meetings between the pair on a hard court, including a 6-1 6-2 thrashing at the Australian Open earlier this year in what was their most recent clash.

To view my analysis / prediction for this match: Click here

Caroline Garcia vs. Aryna Sabalenka, Cincinnati R3 Preview

๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ Western & Southern Open, Cincinnati R3 Preview
๐Ÿ‡ซ๐Ÿ‡ท (6) Caroline Garcia vs. ๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡พ Aryna Sabalenka

Caroline Garcia and Aryna Sabalenka will go head-to-head for the first time on Thursday when they meet at the third round stage of the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati. This looms as an exciting clash between two confident, aggressive, young competitors. Garcia and Sabalenka both enter this clash in great form, it will be interesting to see how this match-up pans out.

Caroline Garcia of France in action during the first round at the 2018 Western & Southern Open WTA Premier 5 tennis tournament

Caroline Garcia is starting to build momentum after a disappointing grass court swing. The Frenchwoman arrived in Cincinnati fresh off a quarter-final appearance in Montreal, Garcia defeated Magdalena Rybarikova and Maria Sharapova in Montreal which saw her reach enter the top 5 for the first time. Garcia started her Cincinnati campaign with another notable victory, defeating Victoria Azarenka 6-4 7-5, a gutsy win given Garcia was behind in each set.

Aryna Sabalenka also arrived in Cincinnati on the back of a good week in Montreal. Sabalenka claimed a big 3-set win over Caroline Wozniacki on route to a third round showing in Montreal. Sabalenka came from match point down to beat Wozniacki but lost from match point up against Elise Mertens in the next round. Sabalenka has already claimed 2 huge wins in Cincinnati, coming from a set down to defeat both Johanna Konta and Karolina Pliskova. The Belarusianโ€™s fearless game is seeing her rise and rise up the WTA pecking order and there are no signs of that stopping.

To view my analysis / prediction for this match: Click here

Simona Halep vs Garbine Muguruza, ๐Ÿ† Cincinnati Final Preview

Western & Southern Open, ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐ŸŒ‰๐Ÿ† Cincinnati Preview + Prediction
Final: (2) ๐Ÿ‡ท๐Ÿ‡ด Simona Halep vs (4) ๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‡ธ Garbine Muguruza

A blockbuster finale is confirmed for Sunday at the Western & Southern Open as Simona Halep comes up against Garbine Muguruza. Halep is again one win away from becoming the world number 1, however a red-hot Muguruza stands in her way. Halep and Muguruza both cruised through their semi-final matches on Saturday, both will be fresh and ready to give their all in Sundayโ€™s final. Muguruza holds a 2-1 head-to-head record over Halep, however this will be the first meeting between the pair in over 2 years and it was Halep who won their most recent match. It will be interesting to see how these two match-up against each other, in a match-up that should be seen at the business end of the biggest tournaments over the coming years.

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Simona Halep vs Sloane Stephens, Cincinnati SF Preview

Western & Southern Open, ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐ŸŒ‰ Cincinnati SF Preview + Prediction
SF #2: (2) ๐Ÿ‡ท๐Ÿ‡ด Simona Halep vs (wc) ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ Sloane Stephens

Simona Halep and Sloane Stephens will contest Saturdayโ€™s second semi-final at the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati. Halepโ€™s quest to finally claim the world number 1 ranking is still alive in Cincinnati, if the Romanian wins the title she will overtake Karolina Pliskova and become the new world number 1. Halep will be a strong favourite heading into this semi-final clash given she has won the last three matches against Stephens, most recently a few weeks ago in Washington D.C where Halep won in straight sets. However, Sloane Stephens is in impeccable form and will enter this match with nothing to lose, making her a dangerous opponent.

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Karolina Pliskova vs Garbine Muguruza, Cincinnati SF Preview

Western & Southern Open, ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐ŸŒ‰ Cincinnati SF Preview + Prediction
SF #1: (1) ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ฟ Karolina Pliskova vs (4) ๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‡ธ Garbine Muguruza

Saturdayโ€™s first semi-final at the Western & Southern Open will be a blockbuster clash between reigning Wimbledon champion Garbine Muguruza and current world number 1 and defending champion Karolina Pliskova. This has been a very good match-up for Pliskova in recent times, the Czech holds a 6-1 head-to-head record over Muguruza and has won their last 6 encounters. Muguruza is the form player on the tour and will be keen to finally get a victory over Pliskova who has been her biggest nemesis in the last couple of years. With both players in great form, this should be a high quality contest with seemingly little to separate the pair.

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Karolina Pliskova vs Camila Giorgi, Cincinnati R3 Preview

Western & Southern Open, ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐ŸŒ‰ Cincinnati R3 Preview + Prediction
(1) ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ฟ Karolina Pliskova vs (Q) ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡น Camila Giorgi

Karolina Pliskova will continue her Western & Southern Open campaign on Thursday night, the defending champion will face the always-dangerous Camila Giorgi for a spot in the quarter-finals in Cincinnati. Pliskova cruised through her opening round match in Cincinnati, defeating Natalia Vikhlyantseva without dropping serve. Camila Giorgi has already won four matches in Cincinnati having come through the qualifying draw, most recently Giorgi defeated Daria Gavrilova in a tough three set match on Wednesday. Pliskova holds a 3-1 head-to-head record over Giorgi but it was the Italian who won their most recent match earlier thus year.

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Dominika Cibulkova vs Johanna Konta, Cincinnati R3 Preview

Western & Southern Open, ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐ŸŒ‰ Cincinnati R3 Preview + Prediction
(7) ๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง Johanna Konta vs (11) ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ฐ Dominika Cibulkova

An exciting third round clash at the Western & Southern Open on Thursday evening sees the 7th seeded Johanna Konta come up against the 11th seeded Dominika Cibulkova. Konta and Cibulkova both cruised through their second round matches in Cincinnati. Konta defeated Kiki Bertens 6-3 6-3 whilst Cibulkova beat Alize Cornet 6-4 6-1. The head-to-head record between the pair is split at one win apiece, both matches took place on hard court last year. The scene is set for a high intensity, close match between two of the toughest competitors on tour with a quarter-final spot up for grabs in Cincinnati.

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Garbine Muguruza vs Madison Keys, Cincinnati R3 Preview

Western & Southern Open, ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐ŸŒ‰ Cincinnati R3 Preview + Prediction
(4) ๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‡ธ Garbine Muguruza vs (16) ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ Madison Keys

The match of the day at the Western & Southern Open on Thursday sees the reining Wimbledon Champion: Garbine Muguruza, come up against a resurgent Madison Keys. Garbine Muguruza has made a decent start to the U.S Open series, the Spaniard has backed up well after claiming her second Grand Slam title at Wimbledon last month. Madison Keys is one of the form players on tour at the moment having won the title in Stanford a few weeks ago and beating two tough opponents to reach the third round in Cincinnati. This looms as a tough battle between two ladies playing great tennis at the moment.

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Simona Halep vs Anastasija Sevastova, Cincinnati R3 Preview

Western & Southern Open, ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐ŸŒ‰ Cincinnati R3 Preview + Prediction
(2) ๐Ÿ‡ท๐Ÿ‡ด Simona Halep vs (15) ๐Ÿ‡ฑ๐Ÿ‡ป Anastasija Sevastova

Simona Halep continues her Cincinnati campaign on Thursday morning with a third round clash against the 15th seeded Anastasija Sevastova. Halep looms as one of the favourites to win the title this week and heads into this third round clash full of confidence given her recent domination of Sevastova. Halep has won the last three matches between the pair, all in straight sets, dropping a combined 7 games throughout three comfortable wins.

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