WTA Cincinnati third round preview: Madison Keys vs Garbiñe Muguruza

Two top players on the women's side meet early in Cincinnati as the American and Spaniard clash for the second time in three weeks

WTA Cincinnati third round preview: Madison Keys vs Garbiñe Muguruza
WTA Cincinnati third round preview: Madison Keys vs Garbiñe Muguruza

Madison Keys and Garbiñe Muguruza face off in a blockbuster third round showdown at the Western and Southern Open. The winner of this match will meet the winner of the Svetlana Kuznetsova and the Carla Suárez Navarro match. 

Head-To-Head

Surprisingly, Keys leads the head-to-head against Muguruza 3-0. The American defeated Muguruza just a few weeks ago in Stanford. That was their first meeting in over a year, winning the semifinal in Rome. All of their meetings have been in semifinals with the first coming here in Cincinnati.  

Keys' Recent Matches

The American started off her US hard court summer with a title in Stanford a couple of weeks ago. Before defeating Muguruza, she knocked out Caroline Dolehide and Lesia Tsurenko. She defeated her good friend Coco Vandeweghe in the final. She withdrew from the Rogers Cup and met Vandeweghe in her opening round match in Cincy. She took out her compatriot in straight sets. 

Keys hitting a forehand (Noel Alberto/VAVEL USA)
Keys hitting a forehand (Noel Alberto/VAVEL USA)

Muguruza's Recent Matches

Before going down to Keys the Spaniard, the defeated Kayla Day and Ana Konjuh in Stanford. In Toronto, she took out Kirsten Flipkens and Ashleigh Barty before losing to eventual champion Elina Svitolina. She kicked off her Cincinnati campaign by defeating Beatriz Haddad Maia. 

Analysis

Despite leading the head-to-head, the American and the Spaniard are close in many categories. Serve has to go to Keys but with groundstrokes, the edge goes slightly to the Spaniard. Keys holds the slight edge in power on groundstrokes, but the consistency of Muguruza is what gives her the slight edge on groundstrokes. 

In terms of movement, the Spaniard is by far the better mover of the two. However, Keys does have the American crowd with her which will definitely give her a boost when she needs it the most.

Prediction: Muguruza in three sets