Samantha Stosur vs. Svetlana Kuznetsova
Svetlana's momentum got all wrecked up after her injury in Paris. She was playing so well and on her way up the rankings, before being halted. Her comeback in Toronto was disastrous, losing to Davis twice, a player she should have handled easily. I think she will not be pardoned from losing against Stosur, who just won in Carlsbad. Samantha has been playing for the past 4 weeks, and you have to question if she is feeling fatigued. Svetlana has the tools to beat Stosur, but even with a sub-par Samantha, a fresh from injury Svetlana cannot finish the job.
Pick: Stosur in 3 sets
Sofia Arvidsson vs. Alisa Kleybanova
Alisa Kleybanova seeks out another wildcard here in Cincinnati and she has a good draw this time. Arvidsson is barely winning any matches this year and if Alisa performs to her pre-cancer days, she should be winning this match. However, you have to question her match fitness as coming back after such a long break isn't easy. If Alisa manages to win this, this will give her a much needed confidence boost to comeback on tour. If she gets thrashed, I believe it will be the nail in the coffin for her tennis career.
Pick: Kleybanova in 2 sets
Jana Cepelova vs. Venus Williams
A kinder draw this time for Venus Williams. If she manages to lose this, I think the end is nigh for the American. Cepelova doesn't have the experience nor the firepower to overcome Venus. If somehow Venus loses, it is a sign that she cannot perform with most of the girls on tour and she should really consider hanging her racket. I love Venus, but it's tough to see her struggling to beat players she should be owning.
Pick: Venus Williams in 2 sets
Sure win bets: Maria Kirilenko, Simona Halep, Sloane Stephens
Upset alerts: Sofia Arvidsson, Eugenie Bouchard