Who Will “Find it Here” in Ohio? Three @WTA Players Vie For World #1 at @CincyTennis
Steve Fogleman in Mason
Who will find it here in Ohio? Today should give us some clues and the women’s world No. 1 ranking hangs in the balance. Naomi Osaka became world #1 on Monday but she can hardly afford to relax. Yet when you see her off the court, she’s pretty good at projecting a relaxed persona.
#2 Ashleigh Barty has carried the mantle for most of the summer before yielding it to Osaka on Monday and #3 Karolina Pliskova has held the position albeit briefly in 2017. Pliskova’s only 232 points behind Osaka in the rankings and Barty is a mere 161 points behind the Japanese 2-year-old’s 6417.
Osaka owns a 3-0 record against today’s opponent, Aliaksandra Sasnovich.
Barty should be tested today with a healthy Maria Sharapova eager to settle the score after the last time they met in January at the Australian Open when Barty went on to a three set victory.
Pliskova, the 2016 Cincinnati champion, comfortably faces off against Yafan Wang in a first meeting for both.
World #4 Simona Halep, while unable to return to #1 this week, is in an interesting position with finalist points to defend in order to stay in striking range. After that, she’ll have nothing to lose at the US Open as she was ousted in the first round there last year by Kaia Kanepi.