The North American hard courts swing does not stop, as just one day after the end of tournament in Montreal, another WTA 1000 event is about to start. The world's top players will compete in Western & Southern Open hosted in Cincinnati, which is the last big test before US Open, starting in just 2 weeks since now.
Despite the 72 weeks long supremacy in WTA rankings and winning Grand Slam titles in between, Iga Swiatek waits 15 months since her last victory in the WTA 1000 level tournament. The draw in Cincinnati sets up a possible delightful match-up between the Pole and Danielle Collins, less than a week after their meeting in Montreal's quarterfinals. The American showed signs of coming back to a great form, which helped her to become a Grand Slam finalist and world's top 10 player in year 2022. Collins played impressive stuff in Montreal, winning 3 main draw matches in straight sets against notable opponents and also made tough conditions for Swiatek, who needed to prevail in 3 sets against her on a road to semifinals in Montreal. Before matching up with Swiatek, Collins needs to overcome her first opponent - another Grand Slam finalist from the past, Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova.
Venus Williams makes the next try to compete on the highest level as a wild card receiver. One week after losing to Madison Keys in Montreal's opening round, the 7 times Grand Slam champion stays ahead of another tough challenge, as she meets Veronika Kudermetova in first round. The top quarter of main draw contains three world's top 10 players. Caroline Garcia gets a bye as 6th seed, while the reigning Wimbledon champ Marketa Vondrousova starts her Cincy campaign from a match against fellowcountry - Katerina Siniakova.
Another super strong section on paper, which also contains three players from world's top 10 in names of Elena Rybakina, Cori Gauff and Petra Kvitova. Rybakina and Gauff start from second round, but it's doubtful if the Kazakh will appear in Cincinnati, as she suffers the shoulder injury and overall fatigue after the tournament in Montreal. In case of playing in Cincy, Rybakina can set up an interesting second round's match-up against the winner of clash between Jelena Ostapenko and Karolina Pliskova, which is the first round's highlight in this quarter. Liudmila Samsonova appears in Cincy after a great start of US swing and moving up into 12th place in world's ranking. The runner-up from Montreal starts against Linda Noskova and can meet Petra Kvitova in potential second's round clash.
Jessica Pegula is the highest seed there, coming to Cincy as the world's number three after winning her second career's WTA 1000 title in Montreal. The draw looks quite formidable for Pegula, who is a big favorite in this section and should be the one expected to advance into semifinals out of all the other players from third quarter. Maria Sakkari is another top 8 seed there, while the match between Beatriz Haddad Maia and Karolina Muchova looks like the one not to be missed during opening round.
The recent Wimbledon's runner-up - Ons Jabeur, comes back to the circuit after a few weeks of break and missing the opening tournaments of US swing. The Tunisian is 5th seed in Cincy and has landed up in the same quarter as the player who got eliminated by her in the semis of the Grand Slam in London, as Aryna Sabalenka almost traditionally takes up the last spot in WTA 1000 main draw this year. Some big matches appear on the card just from the start, as Elina Svitolina and Caroline Wozniacki will headline the action in the opening evening session on Monday. Barbora Krejcikova comes back after some injury issues to set up the clash between Grand Slam champions, while plaing against Victoria Azarenka. Jennifer Brady continues her professional comeback from setting up an intriguing match-up against Donna Vekic.