(10) Victoria Azarenka vs Barbora Zahlavova Strycova
Defending Champion Victoria Azarenka returns to Cincinnati to defend her title a shadow of her former self. The Belarusian has bounced in and out of the top 10 in last few weeks as she continues to struggle with injury. In Montreal, Vika’s right leg has heavily strapped, she grimaced with pain throughout her 6-2 6-2 quarter-final loss to Agnieszka Radwanska. Vika is fighter; it looks like she will soldier on despite her injury woes, she has been seen practicing with her knee still heavily strapped in Cincinnati.
Her opponent on Tuesday, Barbora Zahlavova Strycova was also knocked out of the Rogers Cup by Agnieszka Radwanska. Strycova went down 4-6 4-6 in her second round match. Strycova had a breakthrough tournament at Wimbledon, reaching the quarter-finals of a Grand Slam for the first time. It will be interesting to see if Barbora can build on her recent success during the reaming months.
Barbora has a 0-3 record against Victoria Azarenka. The Belarusian has thumped Barbora in all three of their previous encounters. Their most recent meeting was at this years Australian Open, Vika won comfortably: 6-1 6-4. Despite her injury woes I believe Vika will still come through this match victorious. Vika showed in Montreal and Stanford that she is still able to fight and compete and come through these types of matches.
Prediction: (10) Victoria Azarenka to defeat Barbora Zahlavova Strycova in straight sets