World No. 2 Ashleigh Barty will face the Russian wildcard Svetlana Kuznetsova in the semifinal of the 2019 WTA Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati on Saturday. The match will take place on August 17 and will start at 11:00 am local time. Get Ashleigh Barty v Svetlana Kuznetsova live streaming options with the preview.
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Ashleigh Barty v Svetlana Kuznetsova Head to Head
This is the first meeting between the two players on the WTA Tour.
Kuznetsova’s Epic Comeback
It has been quite a fortnight for the 34-year-old Russian, who has had to face a litany of problems to reach the point where she is at the moment. From last moment visa issues to personal battles, Kuznetsova has been through a lot in her journey as a player.
She was away from the WTA Tour for over eight months, courtesy of her injury. She ended the previous year in the Kremlin Cup and wasn’t until the WTA Lugano this season where she staged her return to the tour.
Currently ranked World No. 153, Svetlana has been working quite hard to rebuild her form and elevate her game to the level she once had. She gave us a glimpse of it in the Rogers Cup last week when she reached the third round.
But this time around in Cincinnati, she has simply outdone herself by reaching the semifinal in a stunning fashion. With all the odds stacked against her, she has had to defeat some big guns like Sloane Stephens and Karolina Pliskova, along with Anastasija Sevastova and Daria Kasatkina.
This run also marks her best run in the season so far.
Barty a Win Away from Reclaiming No. 1
With the elimination of Naomi Osaka and Pliskova, Barty is back in contention for the No. 1 crown. All she needs to do is defeat Kuznetsova and feature in the final – something that seems easier said than done.
The 23-year-old Aussie has had a pretty solid run in the tournament, defeating Maria Sharapova, Anett Kontaveit, and Maria Sakkari to reach the semis. The winner of French Open and WTA Birmingham has also put herself among the top favourites for the upcoming US Open.
This run has also essentially dispelled any concerns that may have arisen following Barty’s early exit from the Rogers Cup last week. She fell to Sofia Kenin right in the opener but by the looks of it, she has made amends for that defeat here.
Barty has been truly clinical this season and her form needs no introduction. With 42 wins and seven losses, she has been on a mission to be the best. There haven’t been a lot of instances where Barty has looked vulnerable to her opponents.
Barty v Kuznetsova Prediction & Tips
In terms of experience, Kuznetsova is miles ahead of Barty but when it comes to the current form, it’s the other way around. However, given the way the Russian wildcard has performed so far in Cincinnati, something tells me that form is hardly any concern for her. Kuznetsova appears to be highly determined to win the title and will certainly not go down without a fight against Barty. Expect three sets in this one.
Tip: Three sets in the match: 17/10 (888Sport)