With the energy shifting in the Red Group, Serena Williams is no longer a major contender for the title, as she needs a win in order to keep her hopes alive.
It’s rare that one match carries so much importance in a round robin, but her staggering 6-0, 6-2 defeat to Simona Halep cost the defending champion not only a point, but also a favourable game difference.
Her next opponent Eugenie Bouchard has only a slight mathematical chance of qualifying for the semi-finals, as she lost both of her matches so far against Halep and Ana Ivanovic.
Bouchard gained the spotlight earlier this year when she reached the Wimbledon finals, as well as the semi-finals in Melbourne and Paris.
The debutant crosses paths with Williams for the second time in her career, and will attempt to repeat Halep’s achievement of beating the world no.1.
If Williams wins she would have to hope Halep defeats Ivanovic, in order to claim the second spot in the semi-finals. If Bouchard wins, the promotion could still be anyone’s game.
START: Thursday, evening session
2013 Cincinnati (Hard) Williams won 4-6, 6-2, 6-2
Williams has spent 212 weeks at world no 1, including the entire 2014 season.
Williams finished both the 2013 and 2014 seasons on top of the table; however, she had 13,260 points at the end of last year compared to her current 7,146.
Bouchard finished the 2013 season ranked 31 and throughout the 2014 season made her way up to world no. 5.
Williams to win 1.19
Bouchard to win 5.7Reuse content