When I left a flooding Louisiana, I knew I was going to see more rain, but maybe not this much. I've never seen so much court squeegee action before. Play has started and stopped so many times in Cincinnati, but--even with the delays--matches have been completed. Today, Alize Cornet defeated Kiki Bertens 7-6, 6-3, and Kristina Pliskova defeated Jelena Ostapenko 6-4, 6-1. Also winning were Timea Babos (def. Louisia Chirico), Annika Beck (def. Julia Putintseva) and Alison Riske (def. Varvara Flink).
And on Court 10, away from the conversation, lucky loser Tsvetana Pironkova quietly defeated Daria Kasatkina 6-1, 6-1 in just over an hour. The Russian won only 42% of points on her first serve (and 50% on her second serve). The Bulgarian Woman Of Mystery will next face 6th seed Roberta Vinci. The Italian leads 3-1 in their head-to-head.
Angelique Kerber will begin her Cincinnati campaign against either Kateryna Bondarenko or Kiki Mladenovic. Kerber met with the press this afternoon, and talked at length about her Rio experiences, citing "my fight" as the biggest challenge she faced. Now Cincinnati's top seed, the German star will become number 1 in the world if she wins this event.
Right now, we're waiting for (among other things) the first round contest between Barbora Strycova and Eugenie Bouchard, which sounds appealing. Also scheduled for later this evening--sometime comedy act/doubles team members Elina Svitolina and Daria Gavrilova are scheduled to play one another. But right now, it's all about towels and squeegees.