World number one Serena Williams will be aiming to end her US Open preparations on a high by beating Ana Ivanovic in the final of the Cincinnati Masters at the Lindner Family Tennis Center in Mason today.
After a disastrous outing at the All England Club, Williams bounced back quite well and clinched the Stanford Open. She reached the semifinals of the Toronto Masters and also won the US Open Series women's title in Ohio.
Williams, after a long time, played in three successive tournaments to put herself in good shape for the last major of the year.
"I didn't expect to do this well over the summer," she said. "I knew I needed matches so I entered three tournaments - but I'm still here."
Meanwhile, Williams was made to work hard by Denmark's Caroline Wozniacki in the semis as the top-seed, after losing the opening set, rallied back to clinch the encounter.
Wozniacki came out solid in the first set but Williams rallied back by taking the second and forced the decider. The Dane, again, looked good in third and built a 4-2 lead over the American but Serena did not crumble under pressure and clinched the encounter.
"It was definitely feeling super tight in the match," Williams said. "That's when I really relaxed, to be honest. By then I was able just to go for more shots and come to the net more and just kind of just not have anything to lose."
Meanwhile, Ivanovic defeated Maria Sharapova in a marathon three-set encounter to book an epic showdown with the world number one.
The Serbian started strongly by winning the first set but collapsed in the second. She managed to regroup and took the third to book a clash with Williams in the final.
It will not be an easy task for the former French Open champion to get past the final hurdle. Williams has defeated Ivanovic six times in seven clashes, including a quarterfinal defeat a couple of weeks ago in Stanford.
Ivanovic's only victory over Williams came earlier this year, when she defeated the American in the pre-quarterfinals of the Australian Open but since then she has been beaten twice.
"For me, the most important thing is recovery for tomorrow and trying to be fresh," Ivanovic said. "It's going to be a great match, I think. We played three times this year already.
"I think it's going to be a great test for me as well to play against Serena. She is the number one player in the world and she is a great champion, so I think it's going to be a good match. I hope it goes well."
Where to Watch Live
The Cincinnati Masters women's final between Serena Williams and Ana Ivanovic is scheduled for a 11:30 pm IST (2:00 pm ET, 7:00 pm BST and 6:00 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.