I already have my men’s preview out as well, so please check that out, but this video all about the wta this event normally in cincinnati, but in new york. This season, because of covet 19., so we’ve got the u.s open right after and western southern open is a premier 5 level event. So it’s really one of the 10 12 biggest events on the tennis calendar we’ve got over two million dollars in prize money on the line, and it is the fourth wta tournament back since the return of play. I want to check out the draw and talk about all the matchups and everything, but before we do that, let’s talk about who’s not going to be in new york, because there are some big names missing. These are all the top players who won’t be competing this week or next week at the u.s open some huge names missing, including six top ten players. You see number one ash, barty number two simona jalipu, just one in prague, uh, then world number, five elina svitolina. Also, no bianca andre escu, the defending u.s open champion no burtons benchitch wong. The list goes honest players have major health and travel concerns about playing in the united states, so it is a weakened pool but here’s the draw for the western and southern open section number. One, the de facto one seed, carolina plishkeva the champion in cincinnati back in 2016 and like many players in the top 20, this is plishkova’s very first tour level event since the suspension.

So how long will it take for her to knock the rust off? She does already have a title of this year, winning in brisbane defeating madison keys. In the final there, plishka will have to contend with some pretty solid veterans in this quarter: players like elise, mertens, anastasia sevastova and kiki mladenovic. You see number five arena sabalenka at the bottom there and i’m, really looking forward to the all american affair between allison risk and amanda anissa mova anissa moba, unfortunately had to pull out of lexington last week with a minor shoulder injury ali risk, though now in the Top 20 of the rankings similar playing styles for these two americans you’ve got flat ground, strokes, good, offensive tennis from both wings. I probably give the slight edge to anissa mova and then perhaps the real gem of the entire first round, jennifer brady versus the kim kleister’s brady, coming off a title in lexington, where she beat coco golf in the semi finals did not drop a set. The entire tournament, so the world number 40 in some fine form at the moment and then for kim kleister, is the 2017 international tennis hall of fame inductee. This is her first year back since retiring all the way back in 2012, but i think she’s looked great in a couple of matches. So far this year she played a really tight match with garbine muguruza. Her opponents are going to be wanting to to get her moving, though from side to side and test her movement that’s, the only red flag i see with clyster’s game, because, if she’s set, if she has time, she can still smack the ball.

Just like the good old days, i can’t wait to watch her she’s, a former cincinnati champ as well so i’m, looking forward to watching clyster’s quarter number two, a couple of wta superstars in this section in naomi osaka and petra kavitava like plishkova. This is uh their first events back since the pandemic as well. So these two hard hitters, though, met in the 2019 australian, open, final and i’m, very excited to see what the near future holds for osaka. It seems to me just kind of reading through the tea leaves and during her interviews and watching her on social media. It seems like she’s a lot more comfortable now. I think back in 2018 osaka had such a rapid ascension to stardom that maybe at parts at times she was a bit overwhelmed, but now she seems very balanced both on and off the court. So i expect you know osaka. She is a prime candidate to win, not just cincinnati, but the us open as well. Another great first round matchup here, venus williams versus diana yastremska venus last week played serena her sister for the 31st time in their illustrious careers. Venus won the first set, but did lose that match in three. I think, overall, the more positives, the negatives for venus she’s serving extremely well uh she’s, taking huge cuts of the ball with the backhand and hitting some great winners. Yeah streams can do the same, though i would lean towards venus pulling off that upset and then also in lexington.

I was impressed with the young czech player marie buscova. She knocked off jocanta in the first round and speaking of kanta. She is the eighth seed here in quarter number three: can she find her a game serena in this group also she’s coming off a very productive week in lexington, i feel like the goat kind of pacing herself for the u.s open, obviously that’s her main target she’d, Like to win a grand slam number 24, but a trio of hard fought three set matches for serena last week, i feel like that’s, only going to help her fitness and, more importantly, her timing. Serena wants her rhythm to be as in sync as possible for the us open williams, though she may have to run into the 16 year old phenom coco golf in the third round. Goff has already played venus twice in her young career. I think she’s never played serena if we get coco versus serena. The networks would absolutely explode with anticipation there, but goff continues to climb her way up the rankings now at number 50 in the world, and i want to talk about coco’s a first round opponent, maria sakari. That should be a thrilling matchup, because saqari is as athletic as they come so adept at defending and moving around the court. Zakari’S, like a road runner, but coco already has proved her defensive medal as well early in her career, so expect some long rallies between those two.

You probably label that as a toss up match. I give the slight edge, though, to coco, because we already seen so many upsets on her resume. I think coco again with the slim advantage over sakari. Finally, in section number, four we’ve got plenty more americans to discuss including number seven seed, madison keys, number, two sophia cannon and sloane stevens as well for key she’s, the defending champion here at the western and southern open. And although it’s not going to be held in cincinnati this year, luckily for keys, she’s played some of the best tennis of her career on the hard courts in flushing meadows, new york, so always fun to watch keys, blistering forehand and then how about sophia cannon? I believe if she wins this event, she’ll be the number one seed heading into the u.s open, which is quite incredible. She was scorching hot in january and february, winning her maiden grand slam title at the australian open, beating, coco golf there beating the number one player in the world ash barty as well as muguruza in the final and i love kennen’s defense, her ability to reset rally She’S behind in and get back to neutral is brilliant. She’S got some unorthodox aspects to her game. The service motion is a little funky, but we’ll see if kenny can still stay in fine form. She’S 15 and 5 in 2020 had another title in lyon. By the way and the only other player who can say that she was in as great a form as kennen, this year was uh the number nine seed elena ribakina, also in this section, she’s 21 and four, this season, four finals in 2020, already uh title in Hobart six feet tall, very aggressive, baseline or powerful ground strokes, though off of both wings and she’s ranked number 17th right now i see ribakina as a top 10 player for years and years to come.

Sloan stevens is going to look to turn her kind of less than stellar play around against the french woman, caroline garcia and a pretty tasty first round match up in this section as well. Donna vekic versus vika azarenka, give me the crow at vekich in uh.