As one of the most popular WTA 1000 events of the year, Cincinnati is where high-quality matches come close and fast. Just under two weeks until US Open In New York, this is an important time for the game’s best to find their top level. This is what today is like.
WTA Cincinnati day 4 predictions
Zhang Shuai against Anett Kontaveit
Head to head: Kontaveit 3:1
After rising to the lofty heights of world No. 2 after Wimbledon, Kontaveit has struggled to convince doubters with her recent performances. A string of conflicting results followed her in Europe and she also lost straight away in Montreal last week. Shuai, who mainly practices her craft in doubles, doesn’t have much single form either. She has yet to make it through the first round of a WTA 1000 event or beyond this year, but her opening round win over Naomi Osaka should boost her confidence. Nonetheless, back on her preferred surface, this really is a contest Kontaveit should win as the clock ticks towards the US Open – at least if her firepower works.
Prognosis: Kontaveit in the 2nd
Elise Mertens vs. Caroline Garcia
Head to head: García 3:2
Observant observers of the WTA may have noticed the remarkable amount of tennis Caroline Garcia has played in recent times, virtually every week since a tournament Wimbledon‘s conclusion. Her success on European clay seems to be slowly but surely adapting to the US hardcourt scene as well – she has already played and won four games here this week after qualifying. The sending of Maria Sakkari should be an ominous sign for her Belgian opponent. Although her personal record is in Garcia’s favour, it’s worth noting that Mertens has won the last two meetings, both in 2021 and both on hard courts. Not an easy choice, but Garcia’s overall uptrend is too impressive to ignore. Hopefully it doesn’t burn out in front of New York.
Prediction: Garcia in 3
Petra Kvitova vs Ons Jabeur
Head to Head: 3-1 Kvitova
Phew, that was close. After surviving three match points, Jabeur eventually fought past Caty McNally to get that point, bringing a little cheer to a post-Wimbledon period it’s badly missed. Readers can decide whether this win was an encouraging example of sheer determination or a near-disaster against an overpowered opponent, but the important thing is victory. Will Jabeur back this up again? Kvitova is certainly a big name and is showing some signs of form after a stunning start to the season. However, movement on the pitch has always been her greatest weakness and is something that Jabeur, a master at creating angles and manipulating the pitch, should exploit. However, it doesn’t seem like Jabeur is quite there on this US swing yet.
Prognosis: Kvitova in the 2
Jessica Pegula vs. Emma Raducanu
Hands down one of the biggest draws of the week here Emma Raducanu, Tennis’ next superstar on holdShe appears to be getting her US Open form back in 2021. While victories over Serena Williams and Victoria Arazenka aren’t as impressive as they used to be, the stunning ease of those victories was certainly reminiscent of their amazing run over the last year. Jessica Pegula will certainly provide a tougher test at this point and the No. 7 seed is the higher-ranked of the two players. She was in good form too – last week she reached the semifinals in the singles draw in Canada and also won the doubles there. Make no mistake, this will be a real litmus test for both players, but given Pegula’s overall level at the moment, she gets the nod for this one.
Prediction: Pegula in 3rd
Main photo by Getty.