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WTA Cincinnati Open Preview: Halep Favored to Win Big in Ohio

Hayley Graham

by Hayley Graham in Tennis

Aug 12, 2019 · 7:25 AM PDT

Simona Halep
Simona Halep is the top choice to win the Cincinnati Masters this week. Photo By Mihnea Stanciu (Flickr).
  • Kiki Bertens will return to Cincinnati defend her title
  • Bianca Andreescu withdraws from the tournament after winning the Rogers Cup
  • Maria Sharapova and Venus Williams have been awarded wildcards for the tournament

The Cincinnati Open, also known as the Western and Southern Open will take place August 12-18, following the Rogers Cup, and leading up to the US Open.

An eventful Sunday at the Rogers Cup, has led to some uncertainty in Cincinnati. After Serena Williams withdrew just 16 minutes into her finals match against Bianca Andreescu, with what was later addressed as back spasms, she says she’ll compete in Cincinnati but we won’t know until Tuesday.

 2019 Cincinnati Open Women’s Singles Odds

Player Odds
Simona Halep +600
Ashleigh Barty +700
Naomi Osaka +750
Karolina Pliskova +900
Serena Williams +1000
Angelique Kerber +1400
Kiki Bertens +1800
Petra Kvitova +2000
Elina Svitolina +2200
Aryna Sabalenka +2500

Odds taken 8/12/19.

Kiki Bertens, who beat Simona Halep to take the trophy home last year will be joined by other Cincinnati past winners, Garbine Muguruza, Karolina Pliskova, Victoria Azarenka and Maria Sharapova, as well as young guns who have flipped between world No.1 Naomi Osaka and Ashleigh Barty.

Lead up to the US Open

The Western and Southern Open is the last major tournament before the US Open happens at the end of the month. Players seem to use this and the Rogers Cup as an indicator of what’s to come.

Andresscu’s Withdraws

Bianca Andresscu showcased this last week that there’s not much the young 19-year old can’t handle. After coming back from injury, she wasn’t able to play without some challenges, having taken a medical timeout, and tape very evident on her legs.

After all of that tennis, she was on the court the most, having played over ten hours of tennis, which was deemed to be a lot, and the champ has withdrawn from this event,

Another Final for Halep?

The 2018 Western and Southern Open finalists Simona Halep and Kiki Bertens are separated by just one seed this year. Halep didn’t have the result she wanted in Toronto, but she will be looking to come out strong to make it to the finals once again, this time with a better outcome.

The favorite to win the tournament at +600 odds, we’ll have to see if that injury that bothered her in Toronto will take over, or the few days rest will prove to be helpful.

New No. 1

With the WTA rankings coming out this morning, Naomi Osaka regained no. 1 after making it to the quarterfinals of the Rogers Cup, and Ashleigh Barty being knocked out in the round of 32. A lot of WTA points will be on the line this tournament, which could bounce around the top 10, depending on the outcomes.

The 21-year old who has been open in recent weeks about her struggle to find the joy in tennis, has mentioned that it has come back and she’s enjoying everything the game has to offer. When Osaka has her determination and focus, she is a force that should never go unnoticed.

What About Serena?

Everyone is just going to have to wait until Tuesday to see if Serena plays her match. The 37-year old said that she will go to Cincinnati, as her back spasms only seem to ever last 12-48 hours.

Williams was in tears when she realized that she had to retired from the match just four games in. She is the 10th seed in the Western and Southern Tournament, making her first match Tuesday, and as of last night, she was going to go.

“As of now, I’m gonna go (to Cincinnati) to see what happens.” ~ Serena Williams

Where to Put Your Money

Naomi Osaka is an easy choice. She’s getting back to her old self, she’s just been put back on top as world no. 1, and she has been able to come back from injury strong. Osaka received a decent enough draw in the tournament, possibly playing Aliaksandra Sasnovich in the second round, who is on a eight match losing streak.

Pick: Osaka +750

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