August 13th, 2019
Sloane Stephens looks to gain some hard court wins before this years US Open in a few weeks. With virtually no points to defend in Cincinnati this year, the pressure should be off this week for Stephens. The 2017 US Open champion has yet to make a final in 2019 and lost last week in Toronto in her opening round against qualifier and eventual semi-finalist Marie Bouzková 6-2, 7-5.
Yulia Putintseva on the other hand has been having a solid season with three top 10 wins. Earlier this year in Nuremberg, Putintseva won her maiden title on clay and is currently ranked #42. She also made headlines during the grass season when she beat world #1 Naomi Osaka twice in just two weeks. She played her first match since Wimbledon this past week in Toronto and lost to Caroline Wozniacki 6-4, 6-2.
The two players played in January at the Premier event in Sydney with Putintseva taking it 3-6, 7-6, 6-0. Sloane will be looking for revenge and has had a previous win over Putintseva in 2017 on hard court. In the three matches they have played previously, all have gone to three sets, so this match is guaranteed to be competitive. Sloane is eager to begin a deep campaign into a tournament and should end up taking this match in three tough sets.
Sloane Stephens in 3.