Former world number one Serena Williams will take on Zarina Diyas in their first round match at the 2019 Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati on Tuesday. The match will take place on August 13 and will start after 9 pm local time (2 am BST the next day). Get Serena Williams v Zarina Diyas live streaming options with the preview here.
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Serena Williams v Zarina Diyas Head to Head
These two have played each other thrice and Serena leads her opponent 3-0 on head to head. All three matches, incidentally, came on hard court surfaces, two of them at the Indian Wells Open and one at the Miami Open.
Williams Playing Very Quickly After Injury
While it hasn’t been Serena Williams’ best season so far, having yet to win a title, she still has managed to make it to the final at Wimbledon. That loss to Simona Halep in the title-decider at Wimbledon was followed by another final in Toronto last week but that match lasted just four games.
Williams retired in the first set, down 1-3 to Bianca Andreescu due to injury, and that had led to question-marks over whether she would be fit to feature in the US Open. While the final Grand Slam of the season is still a few days away, not too many would have expected her to participate in this competition in Cincinnati.
And yet, here she is, the champion attempting to get into best shape before the start of the US Open. As mentioned earlier, Serena’s form has been good despite playing so little – coming off back to back third round defeats at the Sunshine Masters, the two-time winner in Cincinnati was also knocked out in the third round of the French Open but came back with that showing at Wimbledon and Toronto.
Diyas Needed Stint at Lower Circuit
After not making it to the second round of any of the WTA tournaments she played in the early part of the year, Diyas has had to feature in the lower-level tournaments like the Indian Wells Challenger, and a few others organised by the ITF. And while she is doing well at that level, making the final regularly, it’s the step-up that has been an issue.
She finally managed to win her first match of a WTA main draw at Monterrey before losing to Victoria Azarenka and then won a match at the French Open. A first round loss at Wimbledon followed, before her best ever showing of the year that came in Washington.
For the first time this year, Diyas won two matches in a competition, before going down in the quarter-finals. She has now won two matches in the qualifiers to make the main draw but can she test an even half-fit Serena?
Williams v Diyas Predictions & Tips
An even half-fit Serena Williams should have no worries getting past Diyas and in all probabilities in straight sets as well.
Tip: Williams to win in straight sets: 41/50 (888Sport)