Serena Williams: WTA Player of the Week


Aug 23, 2015; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Simona Halep (left) and Serena Williams (USA) stand with their trophies after their match in the finals during the Western and Southern Open tennis tournament at the Linder Family Tennis Center. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

WTA Player of the Week: Cincinnati Champion and World Number One 1, Serena Williams

Despite some mediocre performances and dismal serving, Serena Williams will strut into the US Open with yet another Cincinnati title in her possession.

After an astonishing loss in Toronto last week to Belinda Bencic, Serena entered Cincinnati determined to obliterate every opponent in her path.

After taking out Tsvetana Pironkova and Karin Knapp in the first two rounds, Serena was greeted with adversity in the form of a quarterfinal clash with Ana Ivanovic. With her serve and groundstrokes failing to find the court, the American found herself down a set and a break, and was seemingly on her way to packing her bags for New York. But that’s when Serena tightened her shots and increased the margins that she hit within. And with the adjustments came a hard-fought three set victory.

She was again less than stellar in the semifinal against Elina Svitolina, but managed to claim victory in straight sets to set up a finals encounter with Simona Halep.

As is so common for Serena, the numero uno saved her best tennis for the final. Her opponent, Halep, was incredibly solid, with a positive winners-to-unforced-errors differential and some varied serving. But as great as Halep was, Serena was phenomenal. Ending the match with 44 winners to 27 unforced errors, and 15 aces, Serena had managed to clinch the title in two tight sets with aggressive play, and a revitalised serve.

Serena now enters the US Open with another title, and an all-but-certain first place finish on the US Open Series leaderboard. She will now have the opportunity to win a $1,000,000 bonus prize with the title Flushing Meadow.

And given her ability this week to defeat opponents while playing subpar tennis, would anyone actually bet against Serena Williams?

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Winner: Simona Halep

Entering Cincinnati, there were questions as to whether Simona Halep would actually compete in the tournament. After a taxing week in Toronto, the Romanian was fatigued and nursing a left leg injury.

And not only did she compete, but she fought her way through to yet another final in the US Open Series. On the way she defeated her frequent party crasher Kristina Mladenovic, a top-notch Andrea Petkovic, Nastia Pavlyuchenkova, and Cincinnati favourite Jelena Jankovic.

She may have lost the final to Serena, but she put up strong resistance to Serena’s sheer power and dominant serve.

After several months of uninspired play and poor results, it’s great to see Halep (almost) back in the winner’s circle. And if she can carry her form into New York, a Cincinnati final rematch in the championship match isn’t out of the question.

Winner: Anna Karolina Schmiedlova

Welcome to the upper echelon of women’s tennis, Anna Schmiedlova.

The rising star is enjoying a breakthrough year in 2015, winning her first two titles in Bucharest and Katowice.

And to prove just how deserving she has been of her results this year, she went on to reach the quarterfinals in Cincinnati. On the way she defeated former world no. 2 Agnieszka Radwanska, who has been playing some fantastic tennis of late.

She did lose to Jelena Jankovic in the quarterfinals in straight sets, but Schmiedlova can be comforted by her brand-new no. 32 ranking, which has guaranteed her a seeding in New York next week.

And with so many of the WTA’s top stars in poor form at the moment, it will be intriguing to see how much damage the Slovak can do with the digit next to her name. Is another quarterfinal showing – this time at a slam – possible?

Winner: Andrea Petkovic

Yes, she lost in the third round. But she sure did lose in style.

Halep managed to squeak past Petko in Cincinnati, but in doing so helped produce the best match of the week. The aggressive German was rarely missing the court, and the duet of Petko’s powerful groundstrokes and Halep’s defensive capabilities made for breathtaking viewing.

Both women were unrelenting and delivered gritty performances in the tight three set match. And even though she came out on the losing end, Petkovic should enter Flushing Meadows confident knowing the extent to which she can challenge the world’s second best player.

Who Was The Biggest Winner In Cincinnati?

Who do you think was the biggest winner in Cincinnati? Let us know in the comments below!

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