Cincinnati talking points; Keys, Kuznetsova, Kenin, Osaka & others…

Cincinnati is home to one of the most favoured theme parks in the America, Kings Island. Many tennis players head down there including Serena Williams on Sunday but the tennis produced some of the most brilliant rollercoaster moments over the week.

Welcome back Kuznetsova!

There were concerns not long ago whether we would see Kuznetsova in the USA after visa troubles made her miss Washington and couldn’t defend her title but got it sorted to be in Toronto and to pick up her wildcard in Cincinnati.

The Russian is an experienced player who had a tough time with injuries and a change of coaching team but found form. She dropped to 198 in the world but will now be back at around 62 following her run to the final where she produced stunning moments turning back the clock.

Svetlana defeated;

Sevastova
Yastremska (saving 2 MP’s)
Stephens
Pliskova
Barty

on route to the final.

Finding the Key!

It has been an up and down season for the 24 year old but right before the big one she’s come up good.

Madison blew everyone in her path away with her hard hitting tennis in Cincinnati doing her the world of good going into New York and you’d have to say the former Flushing Meadows finalist could contend there.

Madison defeated;

Muguruza
Halep
Kasatkina
Venus
Kenin
Kuznetsova

to win the biggest title of her career.

Screenshot 2019-08-18 at 21.06.14

Osaka concerns

Naomi Osaka played well these last couple of weeks. There wasn’t any added pressure and the key was having fun again and she certainly seemed to do that.

Her time in Cincinnati did come to a sad end with a retirement. She won 6 of 8 games in a row against Kenin and then pulled up so there is a little concern. Naomi did try to play on but lasted a minute or two so hopefully the top seed and defending champion will be at a good level.

Kenin impresses again!

Watch out… America have a lot of promising youngsters and Kenin may not be top of that list but for me she’s the most infectious.

Another great week for her, I love her intensity. She hits the ball so true and maybe a problem for her might be a little bit too intense and I think that’s where things fell down is she didn’t look completely relaxed and instead quite stressed.

Things to think about…

Ash Barty, probably stayed longer than expected. She got out of trouble against a wild Kontaveit but is someone who now has that expectation and something to think about. I don’t think we’ve seen her best since the early stages of Wimbledon.

Kiki Bertens and Sloane Stephens are two players I have spoken about who have had unideal preparations for New York. Badly off the boil. Kiki has made two finals since winning Madrid which she has lost and Sloane hasn’t found momentum.

Simona Halep. Something to think about? Yes, something to worry about? No… Halep seemed pretty content with how she did in Cincinnati. She stayed on site with her coaching team and also Darren Cahill as they prepare for the US Open.

Things to shout about…

Venus Williams had a very good week. Early rounds of a Premier 5 event don’t get tougher than Kiki Bertens and Donna Vekic who she saw off in three sets and also gave Madison Keys a run for her money.

Sofia Kenin who I spoke about above…

Maria Sakkari as well had a good run in Cincinnati. A big win again against Kvitova and then Sabalenka before running Ash Barty close. It has been a season of great progression for Maria who won her first title earlier this year.

 

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