US Open 2021 is just a few weeks away, as players enter into the final leg of their preparation for the tournament. Cincinnati Open, one of the premier tournaments held on hard courts every year will commence from August 15. Ashleigh Barty enters the tournament as the top seed, whereas, Naomi Osaka and Aryna Sabalenka are among the other top stars.
- Tournament: Western & Southern Open
- Date: August 15 – 22, 2021
- Number of Entrants: 56 (Singles), 28 (Doubles)
- Venue: Cincinnati, OH, U.S.A.
- Surface: Hard Court
- Prize Money: $3,028,140
- Defending champion: Victoria Azarenka
Top Seeds at the Western & Southern Open 2021
- Ashleigh Barty
- Naomi Osaka
- Aryna Sabalenka
- Elina Svitolina
- Karolina Pliskova
Women’s Singles Draw Analysis and Prediction
Ashleigh Barty, top seed at Cincinnati Open is in the top half of the draw. She has received a bye in the first round, and will face a qualifier in the second round. In the third round, she is expected to face defending champion, Victoria Azarenka. Her path gets tougher as she can face French Open 2021 champion, Barbora Krejcikova or Spaniard, Garbine Muguruza in the quarterfinals.
Elina Svitolina, fourth seed at Cincinnati Open also received a bye in the first round, and is expected to face Maria Sakkari in the second round. The Ukrainian could face Australian Open 2021 runner-up, Jennifer Brady in the finals. Her toughest challenge is expected to be in the quarterfinals, where she will either face Petra Kvitova or Iga Swiatek. However, Svitolina claimed the bronze medal at Tokyo Olympics, and would be high on confidence, hence she should book a place in the last four.
First Semifinal Prediction: Ashleigh Barty vs Elina Svitolina
Naomi Osaka, seeded second at the Cincinnati Open has also received a bye in the first round, and is expected to face the American, Coco Gauff in a blockbuster second round matchup. She could face the Canadian, Bianca Andreescu in the quarterfinals, which will be an interesting watch. The Canadian opens her campaign against either Karolina Muchova or Johanna Konta in the second round. She could face the Tokyo Olympics gold-medalist, Belinda Bencic in the third round encounter.
Aryna Sabalenka is already through to the second round, after receiving a bye in the first round. She can face Paula Badosa of Spain in the second round, with a potential matchup against Elise Mertens in the third round. Her biggest challenge could come in the quarterfinals, where she could face Wimbledon 2021 runner-up, Karolina Pliskova. However, Sabalenka is a strong player on hard courts, and should progress into the last four.
Second Semifinal Prediction: Naomi Osaka vs Aryna Sabalenka
The first semifinal will feature Ashleigh Barty and Elina Svitolina. Barty is expected to emerge victorious, as she aims to win her fourth title of the season. In the second semifinal, Aryna Sabalenka will topple the Japanese, Naomi Osaka to book a place in the finals. Both matches will be close encounters, and will be decided by a three setter.
Aryna Sabalenka and Ashleigh Barty have already met in two finals this year, with each player winning a match. This time, Aryna Sabalenka will just edge out Ashleigh Barty in a close three set affair, to claim the title in Cincinnati.