WTA Cincinnati Day 4 Predictions Including Ashleigh Barty vs Victoria Azarenka

Karolina Muchova in action ahead of the WTA Cincinnati Open.

There are plenty of high caliber matches in store on day four at the WTA Cincinnati Open. With three of the top seeds leaving after today’s matches, it’s an open opportunity for anyone to claim the title in Ohio. We here at LWOT will be offering our predictions for every match on the schedule, including Jil Teichmann vs Naomi Osaka. But who will reach the quarterfinals?

WTA Cincinnati Day 4 Predictions

Ashleigh Barty vs Victoria Azarenka

Head-to-head: Barty 2-1 Azarenka

Ashleigh Barty is on the hunt for her second WTA 1000 title of the year. And, it’s been an impressive year for the world #1, lifting the trophy at four tournaments so far. Quite impressive considering she’s only played 11 tournaments. Consider the Tokyo Olympics an anomaly – Barty has been in impressive form.

Few saw Victoria Azarenka reaching the upper echelons of the game following the birth of her son. But, she continues to regain form, clearly demonstrating why she held the World #1 position. Versatility, a variety of shots and the ability to turn defense to offense lightening quick are a potent mix.

This is undoubtedly the popcorn match of the day. Two of the Tour’s best will square off to secure a spot in the Round of 16. This one should go the distance, but I give a slight edge to Barty who has the higher tennis IQ.

Prediction: Barty in 3
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Angelique Kerber vs Jelena Ostapenko

Head-to-head: Kerber 1-1 Ostapenko

Jelena Ostapenko will square off against Angelique Kerber, looking to build some momentum before the US Open. Clay is really the Latvian’s best surface. However, she impressed in Eastbourne, winning her first title on grass in June. When the 24-year-old is hitting her marks, her power from the ground can create problems for most opponents. Yet, it’s not always certain she can find that range. Her gung-ho style can see her rail off a string of winners, or a string of unforced errors. Of late, she’s been taming that all-or-nothing style and playing with a bit more margin. But, it’s still high risk groundstrokes that can get Ostapenko into trouble.

Angelique Kerber will bombard Ostapenko with more shots that she’ll care to return. The German can chase down so many balls, forcing Ostapenko to find winners. Kerber’s serve is the true weakness of her game. And given a chance, Ostapenko will punish those shaky deliveries. If Ostapenko is on, she’ll run away with this one.

Prediction: Ostapenko in 2
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Karolina Pliskova vs Jessica Pegula

Head-to-head: Pliskova 0-4 Pegula

Certainly the head to head tilts in Jessica Pegula’s favor – a stat that should give Karolina Pliskova pause. Add to that the high level at which the American has been playing. Even when it looks like she’s down and out, Pegula finds a way to win. Her strategic style can dismantle an opponent. It’s uncanny that she can find the Achilles heal and expose it. Given the second round walkover against Halep was a much needed break for the World #30. After her deep run in Canada, I’m sure the reserves were low. With a day off, we should see a fresh Pegula, ready for the round of 16.

Prediction: Pegula in 3
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Karolina Muchova vs Belinda Bencic

Head-to-head: first meeting

In her first tournament since her incredible Tokyo Olympics results, Belinda Bencic has started out strong at the WTA Cincinnati Open, beating Marketa Vondrousova and Shelby Rogers in straight sets to reach the third round.  The world #11 has been in good form and has the confidence to match. Karolina Muchova should not be underestimated – she has made a Grand Slam semifinal this year after all – but I see little standing in the way of a deep run for the Swiss.

Prediction: Bencic in 2

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