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Swiatek learns path, tough draw for Rybakina – WTA Cincinnati draw analysis | Tennis News

With the Canadian Open in the final stages of the tournament, Western & Southern Open on Friday revealed the draws for the second and final WTA 1000 event in the build up towards the 2023 US Open which will be played in Cincinnati, Ohio. While the Big Three of WTA learned their path, the biggest attraction of the draw as the blockbuster round one line-up highlighting clash between Caroline Wozniacki and Elina Svitolina, both of whom are making a comeback in this year after maternity break.

Iga Swiatek and Elena Rybakina could face each other in the semifinal of WTA Cincinnati
Iga Swiatek and Elena Rybakina could face each other in the semifinal of WTA Cincinnati

FIRST QUARTER: Swiatek, defending champion Garcia on collision course

The world No.1 Swiatek, who was stunned by Jessica Pegula in the Canadian Open semis, has been handed a tricky draw where she will open her campaign against former Australian Open finalist Danielle Collins, whom she beat on Thursday in three sets in Montreal or Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova before running into the winner of the enticing round one match between Veronika Kudermetova and seven-time Grand Slam champion Venus Williams, followed by defending champion Caroline Garcia in the quarterfinal.

However, the French will have to overcome a tough first few rounds where he could run into two Grand Slam winners – 2017 US Open winner Sloane Stephens in second round and reigning Wimbledon winner Marketa Vondrousova in the third.

SECOND QUARTER: Another brutal draw for Rybakina

WTA draws have rarely favoured Elena Rybakina. Add to that, the brutal timings owing to weather conditions as witnessed in her Canadian Open campaign, where she could possibly play two semis and final in a space of just few hours after her match on Saturday night was postposed due to rain in Montreal.

Rybakina has been drawn against either Jelena Ostapenko or Karolina Pliskova in the second round before possibly meeting No.13 seed Belinda Bencic in the third and Coco Gauff in the quarterfinal. This section of the draw also comprises of last year’s runner-up Petra Kvitova and Montreal semifinalist Liudmila Samsonova, whom Rybakina is slated to face on Sunday.

THIRD QUARTER: Possibilities for Pegula, Sakkari

This section of the draw is led by world No.4 Jessica Pegula, who made the final in Montreal after beating Swiatek. Her potential opponents in the third quarter includes No.8 Maria Sakkari, No.12 Beatriz Haddad Maia and No.15 Madison Keys. The American stands as the heavy favourite to make yet another quarterfinal round in a WTA 1000 event.

FOURTH QUARTER: Jabeur vs Sabalenka on cards

The world No.2 Aryna Sabalenka would look to avenge her Wimbledon loss last month against Ons Jabeur if they run into each other in the quarterfinal in Ohio. Sabalenka will play Magda Linette or a qualifier in the second round while this quarter also has No.11 seed Barbora Krejcikova and Anerican Jennifer Brady, who is on a comeback trail.

However, the cynosure of this quarter will be the blockbuster opening round clash between new moms Wozniacki and Svitolina, as they continue their return to WTA tour. The Ukrainian holds the edge with a 4-1 lead in the head-to-hea tie, although the last time they faced each other was five years back. Svitolina has been on a sensational form as well having made the Roland Garros quarters and semis in Wimbledon which saw her return to top 30. Former World No.1 Wozniacki, on the other hand, made her return from retirement only last week in Montreal where she suffered a second-round exit.

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