The field is set for the inaugural edition of the Top Seed Open in Lexington. With some of the biggest names arriving in Kentucky for the continuation of the WTA restart, fans can expect a week of pulsating tennis action.
Just the third tournament since the return of tennis from the pandemic-induced hiatus, the Top Seed Open will witness the return of Serena and Venus Williams, Victoria Azarenka, Aryna Sabalenka and a slew of other top American players. With main draw action set to begin on Monday, here is a look at the prospects of the big names in the draw.
Expected semifinal: Serena Williams vs Amanda Anisimova
Analysis: In an absolutely jam-packed section of the draw, the first quarter will see Serena Williams battle it out against three other Grand Slam champions.
The 23-time Slam champion is set to take on the winner of the Venus Williams vs Victoria Azarenka clash in the second round, only to have fourth seed Sloane Stephens looming in the quarterfinals. Given the quality of all four women, there are unlikely to be any easy wins in this quarter.
Things look tricky even for Amanda Anisimova, the other top seed in this half. The talented CiCi Bellis offers a tough first round test for her; if Anisimova were to come through that match, she is likely to face another gritty opponent in fifth seed Yulia Putintseva.
Semifinal prediction: Serena Williams vs Yulia Putintseva
Expected semifinal: Johanna Konta vs Aryna Sabalenka
Analysis: The seeds in the third quarter can breathe a little easier as not too many big names feature in this part of the draw. Third seed Johanna Konta has a straightforward path to the last eight, while Magda Linette might face some resistance from local talent - especially Jennifer Brady in the last 16.
For Ons Jabeur, things look even simpler on paper. The Tunisian has a good shot at resuming an already successful 2020 in strong fashion, with only a wildcard and a couple of qualifiers standing in her way.
All eyes, however, will be on the possible second round encounter between Coco Gauff and Aryna Sabalenka. The explosive battle will definitely be a crowd-puller, with the winner earning a shot at the all-important semifinal spot.
Semifinal prediction: Magda Linette vs Ons JabeurPublished 10 Aug 2020, 00:50 IST