Maria Sharapova opens her Western & Southern Open campaign on Tuesday when she faces Madison Keys. This promises to be an intriguing battle between two of the biggest hitters on tour. Both ladies have big games however at this stage in Madison’s career she doesn't have the control or consistency in her game that Maria does.
Maria is coming off a disappointing third round loss to Carla Suarez Navarro in the third round in Montreal. Maria admitted to being a little rusty in her first tournament after Wimbledon. The former champion will be hoping for much better results this week in her last tournament before heading to New York for the final Grand Slam of the year.
Madison also had a disappointing start to her American hard court season. Keys was upset by Kurumi Nara in her opening round match in Washington D.C before falling in the second round in Montréal, defeated by Sabine Lisicki in a tight three set match. Keys made a positive start in Cincinnati, comprehensively defeating a lackluster Alize Cornet 6-2 6-4.
These two have never played before, so it will be fascinating to see how this match pans out. Madison Keys has the weapons to trouble Maria however her recent form hasn't been that great and it is hard to see her upsetting a determined Maria Sharapova.
Prediction: Maria Sharapova to defeat Madison Keys in straight sets