Cincinnati Wednesday: Déjà Vu
Published August 13, 2014 12:10
CINCINNATI, OH, USA - For the second time in as many weeks, fellow Grand Slam champions Serena Williams and Samantha Stosur will meet in the early rounds of a Premier event, while on the outside courts two of the WTA's most in-form players go head-to-head.
Wednesday, Second Round
 Serena Williams (USA #1) vs. Samantha Stosur (AUS #22)
Head-to-head: Williams leads 7-3
Seven days after meeting in the second round in Montréal, Serena Williams and Samantha Stosur have been drawn together at the same stage of the Western & Southern Open. In Canada, Williams proved far too strong, continuing her bright start to the summer with a 6-0, 6-2 win. The American would go on to reach the semifinals and now looks to round off her US Open preparations by picking up one of the few significant titles to elude her.
Although she is not playing the type of tennis that helped her conquer Williams and the US Open in 2011, Stosur remains a live underdog. The enigmatic Australian looked good in seeing off Varvara Lepchenko in the first round and, last week aside, her big game has historically caused Williams plenty of trouble.
 Angelique Kerber (GER #7) vs. Ekaterina Makarova (RUS #18)
Head-to-head: Kerber leads 5-4
At Wimbledon, Kerber produced one of the finest performances of her career to overcome Maria Sharapova in one of the matches of the tournament. And although she fell to Eugenie Bouchard at the next hurdle, the confidence gained from her win over the Russian has remained.
She has carried this belief into the opening acts of the summer hardcourt season, reaching the final in Stanford and playing well in Montréal only to run into an on-song Venus Williams. Another player enjoying herself at present is Kerber's next opponent, Ekaterina Makarova. In her past four tournaments, the Russian, who is currently at a career-high No.18 in the rankings, has reached the quarterfinals or better, defeating a couple of Kerber's fellow Top 10 members along the way.
Stat to watch: Apart from Wuhan (which makes its debut later this year), Cincinnati and Doha are the only current Premier 5 or Premier Mandatory tournaments Williams has failed to win.
Also on court...
WTA Rising Star Eugenie Bouchard looks to get her US Open preparations back on track when she takes on Svetlana Kuznetsova in the evening match on Center Court. Over on Grandstand, fellow seeds Petra Kvitova and Agnieszka Radwanska are up against Elina Svitolina and Kurumi Nara, respectively.