World number one Serena Williams is set to face Australian Samantha Stosur, while Canadian Eugenie Bouchard will lock horns with the dangerous Svetlana Kuznetsova in their Cincinnati Masters opening matches.
Playing against Serena is the last thing Stosur wanted, as the American recently dispatched the Australian in straight sets in Montreal last week. The Australian proved to be no match for the five-time US Open champion, as she only managed to win two games.
Serena has a 7-3 win-loss record over Stosur and she has defeat the Australian in the last three meetings in straight sets. On the other hand, Stosur's last victory over Serena came in the 2011 US Open final.
Although, the 17-time singles Grand Slam winner is going in as the favourite in the contest, the Aussie certainly has weapons to surprise her opponent. Stosur can trade blows with Serena on the backcourt if she plays with conviction, which she has lacked throughout the season.
Hard-court is arguably Stosur's favourite surface, as she won her only major championship on it and she has a strong serve and biting forehand to trouble top-ranked opponents. But, unfortunately these have been missing in Stosur's game lately.
Serena, meanwhile, seems to have rediscovered her form after making an early exit at Wimbledon. The American won the Stanford Open by beating Angelique Kerber, and then made it to the semifinals of the Toronto Masters.
However, Serena is yet to get her 2013 form back, when she won two majors, even if she is showing signs of improvement. The top seed has never won in Cincinnati with Serena failing to cross the final hurdle in 2013.
Meanwhile, Bouchard will face Kuznetsova in her opening match of the tournament. The Russian was made to work hard in her first round fixture by Italian Camila Giorgi, with the veteran having to come back after losing the second set on a tiebreak, to clinch the encounter.
Bouchard and Kuznetsova have faced each other once on the professional tour and the Russian got the better of her Canadian opponent in straight sets on the clay courts of Oeiras, Portugal.
The Canadian Bouchard is heading into the tournament after a shocking second round 6-0, 2-6, 6-0 defeat at the hands of American Shelby Rogers at the Toronto Masters. Bouchard will be hoping to kick-start her Cincinnati campaign with a win, but it will not be easy against Kuznetsova.
Schedule of Play
Serena Williams vs Samantha Stosur starts 10:30 pm IST
Eugenie Bouchard vs Svetlana Kuznetsova starts 4:30 am IST
Where to Watch Live
The day's action is scheduled for an 8:00 pm IST (10:30 am ET, 3:30 pm BST and 2:30 pm GMT) start with live coverage on Ten Sports in India. Cincinnati Masters will also be streamed live HERE and HERE or catch the live updates HERE. ESPN 2 will telecast the matches live in the United States with an online streaming option HERE. In South Africa and sub-Sahara region the tournament will be available live on Super Sport with live online viewing option HERE.