In an epic battle of top tennis players, Maria Sharapova will lock horns with World No. 2 Ashleigh Barty in the second round of the 2019 Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati on Wednesday. The match will take place on August 14 and the timings will be announced soon. Get Maria Sharapova v Ashleigh Barty live streaming options with the preview here.
Looking to watch (and bet) on the Maria Sharapova v Ashleigh Barty live streaming online? Go to bet365 > Tennis > Live Streaming here*
*Geo-restrictions apply & pre-funded account needed
Maria Sharapova v Ashleigh Barty Head to Head
The two players are currently tied at 1-1, with their last meeting taking place in the Australian Open earlier this season. Barty was the winner there in three sets.
Sharapova Makes a Winning Return in Cinci
Playing in Cincinnati for the first time since her semifinal run in 2014, Sharapova started her campaign with a straight-set win over Alison Riske. This was a much-needed win for the Russian, who has been struggling with her form for quite some time now.
It has been a whirlwind year for World No. 97, who has been out of the action for most part due to injuries. Since June, she has featured in just three tournaments, including the Rogers Cup last week where she fell to Anett Kontaveit in the opener. Her win-loss tally stands at 7-5 at the moment.
Of course, this loss in form resulting from her taking time off the tour to recover, but her road to the top 50 is a long and arduous one. More than that, her chances at the US Open are also quite slim, especially considering the playing field.
Barty Back in Contention for No. 1
Ashleigh Barty has a chance to regain the No. 1 ranking – she can do so by reaching the semifinal here. Standing in her way is the veteran Russian, whom she has already defeated on a much bigger stage earlier this season.
Considering her performance in Toronto last week, it was quite a disappointing one as she fell to Sofia Kenin in the opener in three grueling sets. That unexpected defeat showed that Barty isn’t as immune as she may have thought and that is something that Sharapova can look to exploit.
But at the same time, the young Aussie has three titles to her name already – one from each surface, including the French Open. With a win-loss tally of 39-7, she has been in an astounding form for most of the season and a defeat here and there may not matter much for her.
Sharapova v Barty Prediction & Tips
Barty will start this match as the favourite to win, at least on paper. But then again, Sharapova needs this win a lot more desperately than her Australian adversary. Plus, she has won the competition thrice in her career and reached the final on one other occasion. With that kind of experience under her belt, Sharapova is more than capable of moving past Barty. Expect this to be a three-setter.
Tip: Three sets in the match: 31/20 (888Sport)