Originally posted on Cuzoogle  |  Last updated 8/21/12

The Cincinnati Open is providing the lesser ranked players on the WTA tour with an ideal opportunity to get into form ahead of the US Open.

Victoria Azarenka and Maria Sharapova are missing through injury, and the top two ranked players have been joined on the sidelines by the withdrawn Nadia Petrova and Ana Ivanovic.

Five other seeds lost their openers and there are sure to be some surprise names in the latter stages of the principal Flushing Meadows warm-up event.

Qualifier, Yaroslava Shvedova, beat 16th seed, Lucie Safarova, in the first round at Cincinnati, maintaining her improved form this season. Shvedova is 237/1 for the US Open title in the Betfair tennis betting.

A quarter final appearance at Roland Garros was followed by a run to the fourth round at Wimbledon, where she became the first woman in the professional era to win a ‘Golden Set’, against French Open runner-up Sara Errani. She could not convert a match point against Sabine Lisicki to reach the third round at the Olympics.

The 45th ranked Shvedova has a poor US Open record, losing in qualifying last year and falling in the first round three times from four appearances. However, with Vania King, she became doubles champion in 2010 and lost in the final last year. She is clearly comfortable on the DecoTurf surface and is a decent bet to provide an upset.

Sloane Stephens is at the forefront of the regeneration of women’s tennis Stateside, and is set for a decent performance at Flushing Meadows. She reached the third round as a wildcard last year in her second slam appearance, embracing the big stage and thriving under the spotlight. She has since entered the top 50 of the rankings, thanks in part to a last 16 appearance at Roland Garros.

Catch up on the latest developments ahead of the start of the US Open by visiting the Betfair tennis website: http://betting.betfair.com/tennis/us-open/.


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