Top Seed Open Preview and Predictions

AP Photo/Adam Hunger

Top Seed Open Preview and Predictions

As most WTA European players head to the Prague Open from August 10th to August 16th, most Americans will be participating in the Top Seed Open, another lower tier WTA tournament. Like the Palermo Open and the Prague Open, the financial commitment will be around $200,000, and the draw will consist of 32 players.

Like both those European tournaments, the Top Seed Open is counting with a stacked roster of top players, which include Serena Williams, Sloane Stephens, Amanda Anisimova and Victoria Azarenka. Also, on tap will be rising youngster Coco Gauff and Venus Williams. That being said, make no mistake, this will be the Serena show. Serena has already enthusiastically committed to playing the US Open, despite all the controversy surrounding Covid 19 regulations and guidelines. I don’t blame her, she’s 38 years old, and is looking for that elusive 24th Grand Slam to tie Margaret Court. She plays well at the US Open, and she won’t a lot more chances.

Serena has not played since the 2020 Australian Open, where she was ousted in the third round by 28th seed Wang Qiang in a three-set thriller. This was obviously not the result Serena was looking for, and she looked flat throughout the match. This will be a good warm up tournament for Serena as she looks to win the US Open. One has to wonder though, at 38 years old, will this layoff give her some renewed hunger, or will she come out flat again?

It will be really interesting to watch, especially because there are some good players in the draw, such as Victoria Azarenka, Sloane Stephens, Amanda Anisimova and Coco Gauff. Also, Anisimova, Azarenka and Stephens have been getting some good match play in the last couple of months playing team exhibitions. That will bode well for them.

Who can we expect in the finals?

I wouldn’t be surprised if Serena crashes out early, and the tournament is won by a youngster like Anisimova or even Coco Gauff. These youngsters will be coming in with lots of energy and have the ability to take the racket off the veteran’s hands before they know what hit them. Expect lots of upsets.

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