The Rogers Cup in Toronto for the women and Montreal for Men kicks off tomorrow with some exciting first rounders.The first round I will be focusing on sees in-form Venus Williams come up against relevant clay court player Irina-Camelia Begu. Williams does go into the match as the comfortable favourite but not by a massive margin.
Venus Williams has had an outstanding season so far and some could argue that she has been the best player of the year. The end of her hard court season saw her reach the quarterfinals of Indian Wells before going out to eventual champion Elena Vesnina before she moved on to her final hard court tournament in Miami. She managed to reach the semifinals with wins over Svetlana Kuznetsova and Angelique Kerber in Miami before she fell to eventual champion Johanna Konta. She would have hoped for a better start on the clay as she fell in the second round of Charleston to Laura Siegemund in a tense three set match. Her only French Open warm-up was in Rome, where she lost out in the quarterfinals to Garbine Muguruza which led her to a slightly disputing Rolland Garros result which was a fourth round loss to Timea Bacsinszky. She then turned around and made her second slam final of the season in Wimbledon with wins over Jelena Ostapenko and Johanna Konta before going out in straight sets to Garbine Muguruza. Irina-Camelia Begu has had a very inconsistent time on tour recently as just two weeks after a second round Wimbledon loss to Ana Konjuh which followed a first round loss at the French Open to Marina Duque-Marino, she marched to the title in Bucharest with wins over Julia Goerges and Carla Suarez Navarro. Her most recent event saw her fall in the first round of Bastad to Caroline Garcia, so who knows how she will be playing tomorrow.
Rogers Cup Record
Venus Williams is, like with a lot of tournaments, a Rogers Cup veteran and she will be playing in her eighth Rogers Cup tomorrow. She has an average of making the second round here which shows it isn’t the happiest of hunting grounds for her. Her best result was in 2014 when she made it to the final with wins over Angelique Kerber and Serena Williams before she fell to Agnieszka Radwanska. Her worst results were when she fell in the first round in 1995, 1997, 2013 and 2015 to Sabine Appelmans, Nathalie Dechy, Kirsten Flipkens and Sabine Lisicki respectively. Last year she made the third round before going out to Madison Keys so she has a few points to defend. Irina-Camelia Begu will only be playing her for the third time tomorrow so there isn’t really a point in calculating an average. Her best result was in 2015 when she went out to Olga Govortsova in the first round and her worst result was when she fell in the second round of qualifying to Carol Zhao in 2013. She didn’t play last year so she has no pressure to defend any points whatsoever this week.
Head to Head Record
Venus Williams and Irina-Camelia Begu have never played each other in an official WTA main draw match.
I don’t think that Venus Williams will be playing very well at all today but I think that even a poor Williams will be able to beat Begu. I don’t Williams will be able to get two shots in a row in the first set and Begu will be landing a lot of serves in to just blow past her easily 6-1. I think Williams will slightly improve and she will be able to handle the Begu serve a bit better to go on a run from 3-3 to take the second set 6-3. I think both women will be able to hold serve for the decider but neither will be playing well but in the end Begu will lose her nerves and Williams will win 1-6, 6-3, 7-5.