Cincinnati R1: (16) Sara Errani vs Daria Gavrilova
One of the standout first round matches at the 2015 Western & Southern Open sees Sara Errani take on Daria Gavrilova in what promises to be a gruelling baseline battle between two dogged competitors. Both ladies arrive in Cincinnati with solid form after picking up some impressive victories last week at the Rogers Cup in Toronto.
Sara Errani made a surprisingly positive start to her U.S Open campaign last week in Toronto. The Italian surpassed all expectation by advancing to the semi-finals where she was eventually defeated by Simona Halep in straight sets 6-4 6-4. Errani’s run to the final four was highlighted by her 7-5 6-3 third round victory over Victoria Azarenka, the Italian’s first victory over the Belarusian since 2008. Errani also picked up less notable victories over Kristina Mladenovic, Madison Brengle and Lesia Tsurenko.
Daria Gavrilova also caused some upsets in Toronto last week. Gavrilova picked up a 6-4 6-4 victory over Sam Stosur in the first round before defeating Lucie Safarova in three extremely tight sets. Gavrilova’s tournament was cut short in the third round where she was defeated by Roberta Vinci, a disappointing end to the tournament for Daria. The Australian resident is one to look out for over the next couple of weeks, a potentially dangerous opponent for the top seeds in New York. Gavrilova has defeated now defeated Ivanovic, Sharapova and Safarova in 2015.
Gavrilova won the only previous encounter between the pair, a 6-1 5-7 6-2 victory in Eastbourne earlier this year. Errani obviously struggles on this grass courts, so this will be a much tougher test for Gavrilova. I still fancy Gavrilova’s chances. This will be a tight match, if Gavrilova can keep her composure and play smart tennis she should find a way past the Italian The quicker conditions in Cincinnati should suit Daria, Errani has suffered some bad losses in Cincinnati.