(1) Serena Williams vs (8) Jelena Jankovic
Serena Williams and Jelena Jankovic will contest the first quarter-final at the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati on Friday afternoon. Serena and Jelena have a long and colorful history; their matches are often filled with drama.
After a tough second round victory over Sam Stosur, Serena’s third round victory over Flavia Pennetta was much more straightforward. Serena cruised to a 6-2 6-2 victory over the Italian number 1. Serena’s victory over Flavia was one of her cleanest victories since her shock loss at Wimbledon to Alize Cornet. Courtesy of reaching the quarter-finals in Cincinnati, Serena now has an insurmountable lead at the top of the Emirates U.S Open series leaderboard.
Jelena Jankovic progressed to the quarter-finals in Cincinnati with a tight straight set victory over American Sloane Stephens. An important victory for the Serb, bringing up her first consecutive victory since Roland Garros. Jelena is one of a very select few to have defeated Serena on numerous occasions. However Jelena will need to raise her level significantly if she is to cause an upset on Friday.
Serena has a 9-4 head-to-head record over Jankovic and has won the last 5 meetings between the pair. Their most recent encounter was earlier this season in Dubai, Serena won comfortably 6-2 6-2, however the match ended on sour note with a confrontation between the two at the net. Despite Serena’s recent dominance over Jelena, their matches are always entertaining. This match promises to be no different, Serena is starting to build some real momentum heading into New York and it's hard to see her being defeated here.
Prediction: Serena Williams to defeat Jelena Jankovic in straight sets