Predicted Winners in BOLD
(15) Karolina Pliskova VS (4) Garbiñe Muguruza – Pliskova is quite tall (1.86 M/6’1″), but moves well for a player of her height. Muguruza is also tall (1.82 M/6′) and moves well too. One thing Muguruza has going for her is superior power when hitting outside of her preferred comfort zones. Garbine has all of the tools to challenge for the #1 ranking sooner rather than later. She moves well enough, has a strong serve, and possesses deadly ground strokes. Her results are not as consistent as they should be, but a chance to win Cincinnati is on the line and her hardcourt season may get a jolt with a win today.
(3) Simona Halep VS (2) Angelique Kerber – These two met in the semifinal round of Montreal. I think the result will be pretty similar. Kerber certainly can win, but she has added pressure from being close to the #1 ranking and has added fatigue from her silver medal run in Rio. Halep’s strategy in Canada centered on attacking Kerber’s serve. I think that will continue to be a winning strategy. Both players compete like hell and scramble really well. I expect a lot of great points, but in either 2 or 3 tight sets Halep should prevail.