Cincinnati Open Semifinals Preview

Cincinnati Open Semifinals Preview

What has been an eventful week at the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati is reaching its climax as the women’s and men’s singles semifinals are set!

The tournament has witnessed surprises and upsets, but the semifinals are not short of big names and firepower.

Women’s Singles Semifinals:

With top players like World No.1 Iga Swiatek, Ons Jabeur, Anett Kontaveit, Paula Badosa, Maria Sakkari, Coco Gauff, Simona Halep and more all out before the quarterfinals, one would have thought the women’s singles semifinals would turn out somewhat underwhelming. The draw however still includes some powerhouses in the WTA and the loss of the many big guns has not dampened this side of the tournament.

Madison Keys v Petra Kvitova

World No.24 Madison Keys has had a noteworthy tournament up to this point and while the American was probably not one of the absolute favorites this year, she has channeled the form which led her to this same title in 2019.

Her path to the final four has been full of some major obstacles but the 27-yerar-old has beaten Yulia Putintseva, 16th seed Jelena Ostapenko, World No.1 Iga Swiatek and Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina all in straight sets to make her first WTA 1000 semifinal since her remarkable Cincinnati title run in 2019.

Petra Kvitova’s season has been an inconsistent one but the Czech veteran, playing in Cincinnati for the 11th time, has dug deep and found some much-needed form.

It looked unlikely that the two-time Wimbledon champion would make a deep run into the tournament when she faced a match point against Jil Teichmann in the first round, but she has come from the very brink of defeat and also taken out Sorana Cirstea, fifth seed Ons Jabeur and Ajla Tomljanovic to reach the final four of the tournament for the third time.

Head-to-head: 4-4

Four of their eight clashes have gone the distance and they are known to battle it out in every meeting.

Keys will be out for revenge this time, as Kvitova defeated her in the first round of this same tournament last year. Considering she is the only American left in the draw, Keys will have the crowd mostly on her side and that could serve as a confidence booster.

Kvitova is surely not new to playing home favorites, though, and she will not be fazed by the crowd.

Caroline Garcia v Aryna Sabalenka

Frenchwoman Caroline Garcia is experiencing an admirable resurgence and is no doubt the most in-form player in the WTA at the moment.

The 28-year-old struggled with form and injuries for a couple of years but is back to being a contender. She has fought her way through, becoming the first qualifier to reach the semifinals in Cincinnati since Akgul Amanmuradova in 2007.

In the main draw, Garcia has defeated Petra Martic, World No.3 Maria Sakkari, Elise Mertens, and seventh seed Jessica Pegula to come this far. She is definitely that player no one would like to face at the moment.

Aryna Sabalenka has blown hot and cold this year but she has come alive again in Cincinnati.

The Belarusian is the only top 10 player left in the women’s draw and she should naturally be considered a favorite, but her shaky serve has been a major problem for her this year.

Regardless of her numerous double faults, World No.7 has reached her second WTA 1000 semifinal of 2022, fending off Anna Kalinskaya, Shelby Rogers, and Shuai Zhang on the way.

Head-to-head: Sabalenka has won two of their three meetings, with all three clashes played in 2018.

Garcia came out on top in their last match, beating Sabalenka 6-4, 6-4 in the round-robin stage of the WTA Elite Trophy tournament in Zhuhai.

Coming from qualifying and playing quite a number of matches in the last two months might take a toll on Garcia and that is exactly why Sabalenka will need her services to work.

Men’s Singles Semifinals:

Few of the favorites in the ATP draw in Cincinnati are still going strong and have made their way into the last four.

Daniil Medvedev v Stefanos Tsitsipas

A clash of two of the world’s best players surely makes a mouth-watering semifinal. It is a battle between familiar foes.

World No.1 Medvedev’s side of the draw has been a tricky one but the Russian has impressively made his way to the semifinals without dropping a set against Botic van de Zandschulp, Denis Shapovalov, and Taylor Fritz.

In the quarterfinals, Fritz seemed like the better player in the first set but Medvedev’s relentless defense and mental strength were decisive going into the tiebreak and ultimately cruising through it.

The 26-year-old has put his loss to Nick Kyrgios in Montreal behind and is now playing some of his best tennis as he looks to successfully defend his title at the US Open which serves off in less than two weeks.

By beating Filip Krajinovic, Diego Schwartzman, and big-serving John Isner, Tsitsipas has reached the Cincinnati final four for the third year in a row.

The Greek has had his share of Masters 1000 success this year, capturing the title in Monte Carlo, making the final in Rome and semifinals in Madrid. He has now reached at least the semifinals of four of his last five Masters 1000 events.

Head-to-head: Medvedev leads 7-2

While Medvedev has won most of their clashes, it is always a fierce battle between these two, and nothing less is expected as they lock horns for a final spot in Cincinnati.

“I am going to have to play my game,” Tsitsipas said. “I have been playing well so far. Of course, an obstacle like Daniil is never easy. I am going to try and approach my game in the most precise and best manner and let my tennis do the talking.”

Cameron Norrie v Borna Coric

What has been an inspiring season for Norrie became even more so with the Brit’s three-set win over World No.4 Carlos Alcaraz in the quarterfinals. It took four tries but the 26-year-old finally got one over young Alcaraz who is taking the ATP by storm; one of the biggest victories of his career.

Leading up to the final four, Norrie has taken out Holger Rune, compatriot Andy Murray, Ben Shelton, and then Alcaraz, winning just one of those matches in straight sets. He has had to battle his way through and has definitely earned his semifinal spot.

Coric is having the best time of his career in a while at Cincinnati.

After undergoing shoulder surgery in May 2021, the former World No.12 only just returned to ATP action in March and had struggled to find his rhythm. He has however become the surprise of the tournament, defeating Lorenzo Musetti in the first round, upsetting Rafael Nadal in the second, and backing that up with straight-set wins over Roberto Bautista Agut and Felix Auger-Aliassime.

Now ranked 152, the Croatian is the third-lowest-ranked ATP Masters 1000 semifinalist since 1990.

Head to head: Norrie and Coric have met twice and split both matches.

Their last meeting was in the second round of the Rome Masters, where Norrie won 6-2, 6-2.

Seeing as Norrie is coming off playing Alcaraz for over three hours, he might be understandably fatigued. The Brit is remains the favorite to win this matchup, considering the circumstances, but Coric will give it everything as he aims at a first final on the ATP Tour since 2020.

1000 points is a lot to play for and all semifinal matches are expected to be intense.

Head to BetKing now to place your bets!

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