No spam ever. Unsubscribe in one click. By submitting your email address, you indicate your consent to receiving email marketing messages from us.

Barty vs Sharapova WTA Cincinnati live streaming, preview and tips - Barty aiming for first win since Wimbledon against former champion Sharapova

Andrew Hendrie in WTA Tour 14 Aug 2019
  • Ashleigh Barty vs Maria Sharapova is live from Cincinnati around 1.00pm local time on Wednesday (6.00pm BST)
  • Their head-to-head is level at 1-1, with Barty winning their last clash at the Australian Open in January
Ashleigh Barty (PA Images)

Ashleigh Barty has a tough test on her hands to claim a first win since Wimbledon when she takes on former Western & Southern Open champion Maria Sharapova in the second round of Cincinnati on Wednesday.

(geo restrictions apply; funded account required or to have placed a bet in the last 24 hours to qualify)

It’s a battle of former World No. 1s and Grand Slam champion in the second round of the Western & Southern Open on Wednesday as top seed Ashleigh Barty squares off against 2011 champion Maria Sharapova.

Barty has made the Round of 16 on her only two previous appearances in Cincinnati, qualifying for the main draw in 2017, beating Venus Williams before going down to Caroline Wozniacki, while she lost to World No. 1 Simona Halep last year. Can the Australian regain her best form and go deep at the Western & Southern Open for the first time this week?

It’s been a truly phenomenal season for Barty, but she would like to avoid another opening round loss like the Rogers Cup last week, where she went down to Sofia Kenin and dropped the No. 1 ranking to Naomi Osaka as a result. The 23-year-old started the season by making the Australian Open quarter-finals and finishing runner-up in Sydney, losing to Petra Kvitova on both occasions, and only got better from there, capturing her first Premier Mandatory title in Miami with victories over Kiki Bertens, Kvitova, and Karolina Pliskova, while she would go on to secure her maiden Grand Slam crown at the French Open, losing just one set along the way.

The milestones kept coming for Barty as she climbed to the No. 1 ranking courtesy of her title triumph in Birmingham, which had many believing she could secure back-to-back majors at Wimbledon. However, Barty would suffer a fourth round exit to an on-fire Alison Riske, which was followed up by an opening defeat at the Rogers Cup. It’s also worth noting Barty didn’t face a player ranked higher than No. 14 Madison Keys during her Roland Garros and Birmingham title runs. It’s by no means panic stations for Barty (and you know she’s not concerned at all), but going into the U.S. Open on a three-match losing streak wouldn’t be ideal. Can she get back to winning ways in Cincinnati this week?

Maria Sharapova (PA Images)
Maria Sharapova will have other ideas. The Russian has only played the Western & Southern Open four times, but she’s made the final on half of those appearances, winning the 2011 title over Jelena Jankovic, while she also finished runner-up to Kim Clijsters in 2009. Sharapova would lose her opening match in 2013 to Sloane Stephens and beat Simona Halep on her way to the semi-finals in her last visit to the tournament in 2014. Sharapova played her first match in five years in Cincinnati on Monday night, registering a very good win over the aforementioned Alison Riske, prevailing 6-3 7-6(4).

"I think she's had some of her best results this summer and she's dangerous, especially in early rounds when you haven't played a lot of matches and she has,” Sharapova said after her win.
"I was excited about it, and I took on the challenge and I found a way."

Sharapova has been plagued by numerous shoulder injuries throughout her career, while she hasn’t been the same since returning from a 15-month doping suspension in April 2017. The five-time major champion managed to claw her way back up the rankings to No. 22 last year, but she’s failed to go on any sort of consistent run - and that’s mostly been due to niggling injuries popping up every couple of months. Sharapova started 2019 in encouraging enough fashion, beating Caroline Wozniacki to make the fourth round of the Australian Open (where she lost to Barty), but her latest shoulder setback after St. Petersburg in February caused her ranking to drop to a current mark of No. 97, and now she’ll have to work hard all over again to claw her way back up to a seeding position at the bigger tournaments.

That being said, Sharapova was playing at a solid level against Anett Kontaveit in a three-set loss in Canada last week, and she was good against Riske on Monday. Barty won in a tight three-setter at the Australian Open, but she’s not playing at that level at the moment. Barty will be hoping her variety can trump Sharapova’s power, but if the Russian can serve well, I think she has a great chance of posting what would be one of her biggest wins in years.


Share this with your friends

To:
From:
Your comments:

Barty vs Sharapova WTA Cincinnati live streaming, preview and tips - Barty aiming for first win since Wimbledon against former champion Sharapova

Ashleigh Barty has a tough test on her hands to claim a first win since Wimbledon when she takes on former Western & Southern Open champion Maria Sharapova in the second round of Cincinnati on Wednesday.

Read more »

You have unread messages

You have unread messages