| By David Drucker

This week at the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati, we’ve seen what happened to the men in Montreal last week. Top players losing early and other top players withdrawing due to injury during and before the tournament had even started.

World number one-ranked Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark was upset by 19-year-old American Christina McHale in the second round. Serena Williams withdrew before her second match even got underway, citing a sore big toe. Belgian Kim Clijsters who is defending champion at Cincinnati withdrew before the tournament, began citing nagging injuries. Venus Williams is still recovering from a virus that has plagued her for multiple tournaments in a row now. Victoria Azarenka of Belarus also withdrew before the tournament began citing an injured hand.

As you can see, the majority of the top tier names in women’s tennis have fled the courts of Cincinnati with only a few top tier names remaining. Maria Sharapova of Russia is still hanging around, as she advanced to the quarterfinals after dismissing fellow countrywoman Svetlana Kuznetosva in straight sets, 6-2, 6-3. Sharapova will now go head to head with heavy-hitting Australian Sam Stosur. Another Russian, the number two seed Vera Zvonareva, has quietly made her way into the quarterfinals as well, beating Croatian qualifier Petra Martic in straight sets, 6-2, 6-2. Zvonareva will now face off with veteran Daniela Hantuchova of Slovakia in what should be a quality match.

Serbian Jelena Jankovic was able to overcome a comeback from Italian Francesca Schiavone to move into the quarterfinals with a three-set 6-3, 5-7, 6-4 win where she will now face Shuai Peng of China. Christina McHale coming off her monumental win over Wozniacki, fell to Russian veteran Nadia Petrova in straight sets, 6-3, 6-3 ending her Cinderella run. Petrova will face off against Germany’s Andrea Petkovic.

2011 WTA Masters Series Western & Southern Financial Group Masters Results (Thursday, August 18, 2011)

►[2] Vera Zvonareva (RUS) def. Petra Martic (CRO) 6-2, 6-2

►[4] Maria Sharapova (RUS) def. [14] Svetlana Kuznetosva (RUS) 6-2, 6-3

►[9] Andrea Petkovic (GER) def. [6] Petra Kvitova (CZE) 6-3, 6-3

►[10] Sam Stosur (AUS) def. [5] Na Li (CHN) 6-4, 3-6, 6-4

►[13] Jelena Jankovic (SER) def. [7] Francesca Schiavone (ITA) 6-3, 5-7, 6-4

►[16] Shuai Peng (CHN) def. Shahar Peer (ISR) 6-3, 6-2

►Daniela Hantuchova (SVK) def. [8] Marion Bartoli (FRA) 6-3, 5-7, 6-3

►Nadia Petrova (RUS) def. Christina Mchale (USA) 6-3, 6-3