Venus Williams and Lucie Safarova open Center Court proceedings on Tuesday at the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati. Venus Williams is coming of one of her best weeks on tour in recent seasons. Venus won four three set matches including a thrilling victory over Serena Williams on route to the final at the Rogers Cup in Montreal. However she had nothing left to give in the final, unable to find the energy to challenge eventual champion Agnieszka Radwanska.
After a disappointing first round loss in Washington D.C where she was the number 1 seed, Lucie Safarova played much better tennis in Montreal. The Czech number 2 defeated Cirstea and Rybarikova in straight sets before falling to Serena Williams in a tight third round match.
Venus Williams has a perfect 4-0 record over Lucie. However the two haven’t played for over four years. Venus has had only a couple of days to recover for Cincinnati, it will be difficult for her to regroup in time for this match. Lucie is a particularly tough first up opponent for Venus. Lucie has had a solid season highlighted by her semi-final appearance at Wimbledon; she will be looking for more solid results to round out the year. I believe a fresh Lucie Safarova will be too good for a drained Venus Williams.
Prediction: Lucie Safarova to defeat Venus Williams in straight sets