By Benjamin Snyder
With 41 matches to be completed on Tuesday, some of the most successful Americans in tennis today will be competing for spot into the second and third rounds of the Western & Southern Open.
In prime-time at the Lindner Family Tennis Center, two-time gold medalist at the London Olympics Serena Williams, who is currently on a 17-match winning streak with wins in singles at Wimbledon, Stanford, and the Olympics, will face qualifier Eleni Daniilidou in their second round match.
During a press conference on Monday, the younger Williams sister expressed her excitement at playing in Cincinnati this year, especially before the US Open. "For me, it’s important [to play well here]. I played Stanford, which was hard court, but went right back to grass," she said. "For me to come back and play Cincinnati on hard will be good because it’s such a change."
Earlier in the day, Serena’s sister and fellow gold medalist in doubles, Venus, will appear in her first match of the 2012 tournament on Center Court. A wild card into the Western & Southern Open this year, Venus will play the No. 12 seed Maria Kirilenko, a recent quarterfinalist at the All England Club and a semifinalist at the Olympic event. In their head-to-head, Venus has won all three times, with the last victory coming at Seoul in 2007.
Immediately following her match is 2003 and 2006 Cincinnati champion Andy Roddick, who as the No. 16 seed will take on lucky loser Jeremy Chardy of France. Earlier this year, the American, who won the US Open title in 2003 as well, claimed his 31st and 32nd titles at Eastbourne and Atlanta, respectively.
Chardy, meanwhile, comes to the Lindner Family Tennis Center on a strong run at the ATP Would Tour Masters 1000 event in Toronto. There, he defeated compatriot Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, the World No. 6, in straight sets to advance to the round of 16.
Roddick has won all three meetings with Chardy, including their most recent during his run to the title at Eastbourne this year.
After the completion of that match, two-time Cincinnati runner-up Mardy Fish will take to Center Court against Spain’s Feliciano Lopez for the eighth time of their careers. Fish currently leads the series with four wins to one loss.
Despite a medical scare earlier this year, Fish comes to Cincinnati with a quarterfinal run in Toronto and as a semifinalist in Washington.
Other Tuesday day matches featuring Americans include wild cards Sam Querrey, a winner at Los Angeles this year, Brian Baker, who will play for a spot in the third round after defeating Philipp Kohlschreiber in his round one match on Monday, and Sloane Stephens, who made it to the fourth round at Roland Garros this year.
Qualifier Madison Keys, the main draw’s youngest entrant, will also be in action on Tuesday. She faces Roberta Vinci of Italy for her third match of the tournament after winning two to take one of twelve main draw spots. Another American qualifier, Bethanie Mattek-Sands, is also playing on Tuesday and will play Andrea Hlavackova of the Ukraine.
Rounding out the day’s representatives from the United States is Christina McHale against South Africa’s Chanelle Scheepers. Last year, McHale notched one of the biggest wins of her young career at the Western & Southern Open by defeating then World No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki.
Other notable matches in singles to be decided tomorrow include the No. 5 seed Tomas Berdych’s match against qualifier Yen-Hsun Lu following Serena’s match on Center Court and the No. 3 seed and 2011 US Open champion Samantha Stosur, who plays Anabel Medina Garrigues in the third match on the Grandstand.