Friday Preview: Semifinals In Sight


Rain? What rain? Thanks to the spectacular squeegee skills of the Western & Southern Open ball kids and grounds crew, faithful fans enjoyed thrilling tennis action during pockets of dry weather on Thursday. The quarterfinals are slowly being set -- and we've got the matches to watch. 

[13] Madison Keys vs Aryna Sabalenka
Madison Keys, 23, entered her third-round match against Angelique Kerber having beaten her just once in their eight meetings. She turned the tables on Thursday, clinching a three-set win over the world No. 4. She’ll need all of that momentum when she faces the red-hot Aryna Sabalenka in the quarterfinals. The 20-year-old Belarusian upset Johanna Konta and Karolina Pliskova, before taking out No. 6 seed Caroline Garcia on Thursday. The two big hitters will be facing each other for the first time. Explosive groundstrokes ahead!  

[8] Petra Kvitova vs [15] Elise Mertens
Petra Kvitova has already won five titles in 2018. Though she has had inconsistent results in Cincinnati, her opening wins over Serena Williams and Kristina Mladenovic this year indicate she has her eyes trained on title No. 6. Next up for the 28-year-old is a first meeting with Belgium’s Elise Mertens. Mertens has had a strong year of her own, winning the title in Hobart and following that up with a surprise run to the semifinals at the Australian Open. A comfortable victory over world No. 3 Sloane Stephens in the third round shows exactly what she’s capable of.  

More to come…