CINCINNATI, OH, USA - The Western & Southern Open draw ceremony began on Friday evening, and there is already an intriguing set of match-ups in the at the fourth Premier 5 tournament of 2018. The first quarter is a projected rematch of last year's final between World No.1 Simona Halep and defending champion Garbiñe Muguruza.
Halep is currently playing the quarterfinals of the Coupe Rogers and will open against either a qualifier or countrywoman and sometime doubles partner Irina-Camelia Begu.
Her projected third round opponent is No.16 seed Ashleigh Barty, already a semifinalist in Montréal.
Muguruza's section is equally tough, with a projected second round opponent of either Lesia Tsurenko or an in-form Danielle Collins, who reached the semifinals of the Mubadala Silicon Valley Classic.
2017 Roland Garros champion Jelena Ostapenko is a potential third round opponent for Muguruza; the Latvian scored an impressive win over the Spaniard last fall at the Dongfeng Motor Wuhan Classic.
Wimbledon winner Angelique Kerber heads the second quarter alongside No.6 seed Caroline Garcia, who takes on Halep tonight in Montréal.
Kerber will look to bounce back from an opening round loss up north against Alizé Cornet with a win against either Anstasia Pavlyuchenkova or Aleksandra Krunic.
Garcia will likely have a tricky opening round opponent in either Carla Suárez Navarro or former World No.1 Victoria Azarenka.
23-time Grand Slam champion Serena Williams landed in the third quarter of the draw with a potential second round clash with No.8 seed Petra Kvitova looming for the American, provided she defeats young Aussie Daria Gavrilova first.
No.3 seed Sloane Stephens is Kvitova's projected quarterfinal opponent, and the Coupe Rogers semifinalist will open against one of two qualifiers.
Finally, No.5 seed Elina Svitolina and No.2 seed Caroline Wozniacki feature in the final quarter in a repeat of this week's set-up in Montréal. Svitolina could face Citi Open champion and two-time Grand Slam winner Svetlana Kuznetsova in the opening round.
Wozniacki will play either CoCo Vandeweghe or Coupe Rogers quarterfinalist Kiki Bertens to kick off her Western & Southern Open campaign.
Playing her first match since Wimbledon, the Australian Open champion fell in three tough sets to Aryna Sabalenka in Montréal.