Cincinnati Western and Southern Open 2012 WTA Draw Preview and Analysis

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With the hardcourt season well underway, the WTA’s top players are eyeing the trophy in Cincinnati en route to the US Open.

Following her Olympic gold medal, 2nd seed Serena Williams will return to action here and could set up a number of interesting matchups in the quarterfinal and semifinal rounds.  The American will have a chance to play either 11th seed Dominika Cibulkova or 5th seed Angelique Kerber in the quarterfinals.  Coming off a disappointing 2nd round defeat in Montreal, Cibulkova will be looking to turn things around.

Fresh off her first win of 2012, Petra Kvitova looks primed to continue her run if she can manage to play through Cincinnati’s heat and humidity.  If the seeds pull through, the quarterfinals will feature a rematch of the Montreal semifinal match between Wozniacki and Kvitova.

In the top half of the draw, another Montreal rematch looks likely between Rogers Cup finalist Li Na and 1st seed Agnieszka Radwanska.  Just a few days ago in Canada, the Chinese no. 1 scored an impressive victory over the world no. 2 Radwanska.  Firmly back in the top ten following her finals appearance at the Rogers Cup, it will be interesting to see if Li can shake up the draw two tournaments in a row.With the 1st round underway, the draw has already been on the receiving end of a few upsets.  Continuing a rocky season, 13th seed Jelena Jankovic fell to Shuai Peng of China in a three set battle while 14th seed Francesca Schiavone lost in straight sets to compatriot Camila Giorgi.

The full WTA draw can be viewed here

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