Seven-time Major champion Venus Williams was looking set for a deep run in Lexington before her close three-set loss to sister Serena in round of 16. The 40-year-old will now be hoping for a reversal of fortunes at the 2020 Western & Southern Open - the last stop in the lead-up to the US Open.
Things haven't exactly aligned well for Venus though, as she has been drawn in the same section as Naomi Osaka and Petra Kvitova. The American also has a nightmare first-round opponent in Dayana Yastremska, the in-form ninth seed.
Building on her solid season last year, Yastremska registered a slew of big wins at the start of 2020. She got the better of multiple top 10 opponents - including Aryna Sabalenka and Sofia Kenin - in the hard-court events that took place before the tour's suspension.
The Ukrainian also played in the recently concluded Palermo Open, and was looking solid on her return. It took a spirited performance from home favorite Camila Giorgi to stop her run, but Yastremska will be eager to move past the disappointment of that loss.
The youngster will come out with her trademark aggression against Venus and look to take control of the match, but things will not be easy against the battle-hardened American.
Venus Williams vs Dayana Yastremska head-to-head
This will be the first career meeting between the two women. And other than the 20-year age difference, there is very little to choose between them.
Venus is arguably the stronger player in the forecourt, and at Lexington she used her forehand incredibly well to set up points at the net. The American rarely faltered while hitting a volley or an overhead, which will give her the confidence to continue playing in the same vein.
Yastremska is as powerful as Venus from the back of the court, but she will have to find a way around Venus's net attacks. She would also do well to keep the American on the run; the longer a rally goes on, the better her chances of winning it.
Venus Williams vs Dayana Yastremska prediction
This encounter has all the makings of an epic three-setter, as both women have been playing some fine tennis in recent times.
While Yastremska will look to add another big scalp to her list of conquests, Venus will not make things easy. It is the American who needs this win much more than her opponent, and that bit of extra motivation might just be enough to see her through.
Prediction: Venus to win in three sets.
Tournament: Western & Southern Open 2020
Venue: Flushing Meadows, New York, USA
Category: WTA Premier 5
Surface: Outdoor hardcourt
Prize money: $1,950,079
Match timing: 5 pm EDT, 2.30 am IST
Live telecast: USA - Tennis Channel / ESPNPublished 22 Aug 2020, 14:10 IST