Madison Keys in action ahead of the WTA Cincinnati Masters

WTA Cincinnati Quarterfinal Predictions including Keys vs. Rybakina

We are in the quarterfinal round of the WTA Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati in the last major tune-up event before the US Open. This week’s matches on the WTA side have been phenomenal and full of surprises. Only two of the remaining eight women in the draw entered this tournament as top-16 seeded players. However, that doesn’t mean that the level during these quarterfinals will only be elite. American Madison Keys and Wimbledon World Champion Elena Rybakina faced off in one of the best matches of the day. We have the prediction for this game as well as everything else happening around the Cincinnati ground. But who is going ahead?

WTA Cincinnati Quarterfinal Predictions

Jessica Pegula vs. Caroline Garcia

Head to Head: Pegula 2-1 Garcia

#7 seeded Jessica Pegula takes on qualifier Caroline Garcia for a spot in the semifinals of the Western & Southern Open. Pegula was one of them most rock solid players on tour this season but the experienced Frenchwoman has been in great form this summer. Having survived qualifying, Garcia has already clocked nine hours and 28 minutes on the court in Cincinnati. Compare that to the American, who played just 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 fight her way to a third set before Pegula closes the door with her consistency and strength.
Forecast: Pegula in the 3rd

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Petra Kvitova vs Ajla Tomljanovic

Head to Head: first meeting

Veterans Petra Kvitova and Ajla Tomljanovic will face off for the first time as both look to slam a ticket to their biggest semi-final of the season. Tomljanovic, who progressed through qualifying, has four three-set games this week. She has already clocked 11 hours and 4 minutes on the court in Cincinnati. Kvitova has also featured in a couple of three-setters this week, but she looked absolutely dominant in her third-set bagel from Ons Jabeur in the final round. Both women have proven to be strong hard court players in their careers but the former world No. 2 has the extra gear that Tomljanovic doesn’t have. I expect Kvitova to reach her third Western & Southern Open semi-final of her career on Friday with a straight-set win.
Forecast: Kvitova in the 2

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Aryna Sabalenka vs. Shuai Zhang

Head to head: Sabalenka 3-1 Zhang

#6 seeded Aryna Sabalenka and veteran Shuai Zhang will face off for the fifth time in their careers. Zhang beat the Belarusian back in 2016 but has yet to win a set in their last three meetings. Zhang came back from a deficit to deliver a very impressive win over current world No. 2 Anett Kontaveit on Thursday. So Sabalenka is clearly the stronger player in this duel. She should be able to shove Zhang across 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 her notorious serve problems. That puts her at a 62% first-serve percentage this week. I expect her to maintain that and move forward with relative ease.
Forecast: Sabalenka in the 2

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Madison Keys vs. Elena Rybakina

Head to Head: Key 1-0 Rybakina

Madison Keys and Elena Rybakina will meet for the second time this season as the American defeated the Kazakh in three sets Roland Garros. Since that defeat, Rybakina has been one of the fittest players on the tour. She has held an 11-2 record since June 27, when she won her first Grand Slam title at Wimbledon. Keys, who missed the game in July with a stomach injury, must be more than happy with her run in Cincinnati. The American defeated Yulia Putintseva, Yelena Ostapenko and Iga Swiatek without losing a set. However, both women prefer the fast surface that Cincinnati offers, so something must be done on Friday. I give a slight edge to Keys, who has had great crowd support all week on home soil.
Forecast: key on 3

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