By Benjamin Snyder
CINCINNATI (August 10, 2012) - Wimbledon runner-up Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland headlines the Western & Southern Open’s draw as the top-ranked player, along with the No. 2 seed Serena Williams, who followed-up her fifth Wimbledon title with a gold medal at the London Olympics.
Radwanska appears in the same section of the draw as Italy’s Francesca Schiavone, the 2010 Roland Garros champion and 2011 runner-up at the event. Additionally, the eighth-seeded Marion Bartoli, the finalist at Carlsbad in July, could potentially meet China’s Li Na in a third round match.
The No. 3 seed and defending US Open champion Samantha Stosur of Australia is in Radwanska’s half of the draw. The first seeded player looming ahead in Stosur’s portion of the draw is Nadia Petrova, the 2008 Cincinnati champion.
Meanwhile, Sara Errani, the Roland Garros runner-up to Maria Sharapova, appears at the bottom of this half as the No. 7 seed. She could potentially face Maria Kirilenko, a quarterfinalist at Wimbledon and a semifinalist at the Olympics, in the third round.
On the opposite side of the draw is Serena, who comes to Cincinnati in top form, having won her last 17 matches, including three titles at Wimbledon, Stanford, and the Olympics. Along with her run in singles, the younger Williams partnered up with sister Venus to claim the doubles events at Wimbledon and the Olympics.
The first potential seed Serena would face is the No. 16 Lucie Safarova of the Czech Republic. In comparison to Serena’s domination of the two grass court events, Safarova dropped both of her opening round matches at the All England Club this summer.
Carlsbad champion Dominika Cibulkova and Wimbledon semifinalist Angelique Kerber, a winner at Paris and Copenhagen this year, is present in Serena’s quarter, too.
In the top half of this section is the No. 4 seed Petra Kvitova, the only woman to reach the quarterfinals, or better, of the year’s first three majors. Additionally, the 2011 Wimbledon winner reached the final eight of the Olympics before losing to Kirilenko in straight sets.
Serbians and former World No. 1s Jelena Jankovic, last year’s Cincinnati runner-up to Sharapova, and Ana Ivanovic, who advanced to the round of 16 at Wimbledon and the Olympics, will play in Kvitova’s section of the draw. Additionally, another former World No. 1, Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark, is at the top of the quarter as the No. 6 seed.
The rest of the draw for the women will be released on Sunday.