Join us on our Western & Southern Open tournament analysis that takes place in Cincinnati. Find out who are the main contenders and the highest value tennis picks to place on the women's competition.
The Western & Southern Open takes place in Cincinnati and will be played on Hard Court
After a disappointing early loss in the Olympic Tournament against Elina Svitolina, Serena Williams requested a Wild Card to compete on this event – where she's looking for her third consecutive title. The surface and conditions in Cincinnati are quite fast, which clearly suits Serena's powerful game. Looking now to Williams' draw, the American shouldn't experience any problems until the quarterfinals where she might face Svetlana Kuznetsova. The Russian surprised Serena earlier this year in Miami yet, things should be different this time, with Williams revenging that loss and booking a place in the semifinals.
In the semifinal, Serena might face another player who already defeated her this year – Garbine Muguruza. The Spaniard is one of the few players in the world who can match Serena's firepower, with a phenomenal triumph earlier this year at the French Open Final. However, Garbine is not as strong on the WTA Premier events as she is on Grand Slams and for that reason, Serena should guarantee her third consecutive appearance in this event's final.
Looking now to the bottom half of the draw, Simona Halep is the main favorite to reach the decisive match in Cincinnati. The Romanian is looking for another successful campaign after winning the title in Montreal a few weeks ago.
Despite her regular appearance on Fed Cup, Halep withdrew from the Olympic Tournament, which gave her plenty of time to prepare this event – where she's defending 585 points after reaching the final last year. Besides Halep, Angelique Kerber is the other main favorite to reach the final in the bottom half of the draw and even though Kerber's brilliant year, it won't be easy for the German to present herself at 100% on this event after playing the Olympic Tournament final last Saturday.
Agnieszka Radwanska is also on the bottom half of the draw yet, the last months haven't been easy for Agnieszka with several early losses. Adding to this, the Polish clearly struggles with the fast conditions in Cincinnati, winning only 8 out of 14 matches throughout her career on this event.
Halep and Kerber know each other well, with Halep winning their previous encounter a few weeks ago in Montreal by 6 – 0 3 – 6 6 – 2. If these two meet we expect a similar result and for that reason, we should witness another final between Serena and Simona in Cincinnati.
Having said that, our recommendation is to add both players to your betting picks, by splitting your stake on the following betting odds – Serena at +200 and Halep at +450, both at Bet365
Player to keep an eye on
As we mentioned before, Muguruza is far from reliable on this event, which leaves us some value to playing another player on the Spaniard quarter – Dominika Cibulkova.
The 2014 Australian Open runner-up is having a great summer and even though her poor career record on this event, we believe that Dominika might reach the latest stages of this competition.
Besides Muguruza, the other main threat on Cibulkova's quarter is Belinda Bencic however, the last months haven't been easy for Bencic with the Suisse struggling with several physical issues.
With this in mind, our suggestion is for you to keep an eye on Cibulkova throughout this event, who is currently priced at +500 at BetVictor to win the 2nd quarter.