TENNIS

WTA Cincinnati quarterfinal predictions including Keys vs Rybakina

ADVERTISEMENT

We enter the quarter-final of the WTA Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati in what is the last major tune-up event before the US Open. This week’s matches on the WTA side have been phenomenal and full of upsets. Only two of the eight remaining women in the draw entered this tournament as top-16 seeded players. However, this does not mean that the level during these quarter-final matches will only be elite. American Madison Keys and Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina face off in what is one of the best matches of the day. We have the prediction for this game as well as all other events around the Cincinnati field. But who will advance?

WTA Cincinnati Quarterfinal Predictions

Jessica Pegula vs. Caroline Garcia

Head-to-head: Pegula 2-1 Garcia

ADVERTISEMENT

7 seed Jessica Pegula takes on qualifier Caroline Garcia with a Western & Southern Open semi-final spot on the line. Pegula was one of the the strongest players on the Tour this season, but the French veteran has been in great shape this summer. Because Garcia passed qualifying, she has already spent nine hours and 28 minutes on the court in Cincinnati. Compare that to the American who has only played three hours and 49 minutes of tennis this week. Will fatigue catch up with Garcia? It’s hard to say, but it certainly won’t help. I expect her to work her way into a third set before Pegula closes the door with her consistency and power.
Prediction: Pegula in 3

Embed from Getty Images

Petra Kvitova vs Ajla Tomljanovic

Face to face: first meeting

Veterans Petra Kvitova and Ajla Tomljanovic will face off for the first time as they both seek a ticket to their biggest semi-final of the season. Tomljanovic, who qualified, played four matches in straight sets this week. She has already spent 11 hours and 4 minutes on the Cincinnati court. Kvitova also played in a couple of three sets this week, but she looked absolutely dominant in her Ons Jabeur third-set bagel in the final round. Both women have proven to be strong hard-court players over their careers, but the former world No. 2 has the extra gear that Tomljanovic doesn’t. I expect Kvitova to reach her third career Western & Southern Open semifinal with a straight-set victory on Friday.
Prediction: Kvitova in 2

Embed from Getty Images

Aryna Sabalenka vs. Shuai Zhang

Head-to-head: Sabalenka 3-1 Zhang

Sixth seed Aryna Sabalenka and veteran Shuai Zhang will meet for the fifth time in their careers. Zhang beat the Belarusian in 2016 but is yet to win a set in his previous three encounters. Zhang came back from a set down to claim a very impressive win over current world No. 2 Anett Kontaveit on Thursday. That said, Sabalenka is clearly the strongest player in this game. She should be able to push Zhang down the court with her powerful groundstrokes. Zhang has no way of hurting the 24-year-old. If Sabalenka loses this match, it will be because of his notorious service issues. That said, she has a 62% first-serve percentage this week. I expect her to continue and move forward with relative ease.
Prediction: Sabalenka in 2

Embed from Getty Images

Madison Keys vs. Elena Rybakina

Head-to-head: Keys 1-0 Rybakina

Madison Keys and Elena Rybakina are set to face off for the second time this season as the American beat the Kazakh in straight sets at Roland Garros. Since that loss, Rybakina has been one of the strongest players on the tour. Since June 27, she has held an 11-2 record while winning her first Grand Slam title at Wimbledon. Keys, who sat out the month of July with an abdominal injury, must be more than happy with her run in Cincinnati. The American defeated Yulia Putintseva, Jelena Ostapenko and Iga Swiatek without dropping a set. Both women prefer the fast surface offered by Cincinnati, so something has to give on Friday. I give the slight advantage to Keys who has had great home support all week.
Prediction: Keys in 3

Main photo by Getty.

ADVERTISEMENT