Preview: Fantastic Friday Ahead

[1] Djokovic vs. Pouille

Defending champion Novak Djokovic is showing no signs of a post-Wimbledon slow down. He eased into the quarterfinals with a straight sets win over former world No. 10, Pablo Carreno Busta. 

 

Next in line is Frenchman Lucas Pouille, who upset No. 8 seed Karen Khachanov in the round of 16. Djokovic played Pouille in the Australian Open semifinals this year, dropping just four games in three sets. Perhaps Pouille, coached by French Hall-of-Famer Amelie Mauresmo, will come with a different game plan this time around.   

 

V. Williams vs. [16] Madison Keys

With her round of 16 victory on Thursday, Venus Williams, 39, became the oldest Western & Southern Open quarterfinalist since then 34-year-old sister Serena in 2015. She did it by taking out 23-year-old Donna Vekic in her second straight three-set marathon. Luckily for Venus, her quarterfinal opponent, fellow American Madison Keys, may be feeling some fatigue of her own, downing three-time Cincy Tennis finalist Simona Halep 6-1, 3-6, 7-5 on Thursday night. 

 

 

Williams and Keys have split their four meetings, but they haven’t played since Keys three-set win in Montreal in 2016

 

[1] Barty vs. Sakkari

“Cool” and “laid back” are just some of the adjectives Maria Sakkari used to describe top-seeded Aussie Ashleigh Barty following her round of 16 upset of No. 9 seed Aryna Sabalenka. Sakkari will face the Aussie world No. 2 for a spot in the Cincy Tennis semifinals. The 24-year-old from Greece took out Barty in 2018 during a breakout performance at Indian Wells, while Barty returned the favor at the Australian Open this year. 

 

[13] Goffin vs. [Q] Nishioka

Qualifier Yoshihito Nishioka’s work wasn’t done after earning his first top 10 win over Japanese countryman Kei Nishikori on Wednesday. He followed it up Thursday with a win over Australia’s Alex de Minaur, to earn a place in the quarterfinals of a Masters 1000 event for the first time in his career. He’ll face 2018 Western & Southern Open semifinalist David Goffin for the second time in the past two weeks, after Nishioka defeated the Belgian 7-6 in the third in Washington, D.C. 

 

[3] Pliskova vs. [WC] Kuznetsova

A champion here in 2016 and semifinalist in 2017, Karolina Pliskova has been known to come up with some of her best tennis in Mason, Ohio. And, she’s pulling double duty. Partnering with twin sister Kristyna, she’s also into the doubles semifinals.

 

She’ll face a stiff test on the singles court at the hands of two-time major champion Svetlana Kuznetsova, who has had an impressive week of her own, taking out No. 11 seed Anastasija Sevastova and No. 8 seed Sloane Stephens. The former world No. 2 is working her way back from a wrist injury. A semifinal run here would certainly give the 34-year-old Russian a boost of confidence heading into the US Open. 

 

Here are the rest of Friday’s quarterfinals. Check out the doubles action here

 

Day Session

[11] Roberto Bautista Agut vs. Richard Gasquet

[2] Naomi Osaka vs. Sofia Kenin 

 

Night Session

[9] Daniil Medvedev vs. [Q] Andrey Rublev

 

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