All the big dogs take to the court on both the men’s and women’s sides in Cincinnati, which sees defending champ Roger Federer return to the court after skipping Montreal last week.
On the women’s side Serena Williams will try and rebound from her semifinal loss in Toronto as the defending Cincy champion amidst a draw featuring 16 of the Top 17 players on the WTA rankings.
WESTERN & SOUTHERN OPEN
Cincinnati, Ohio, USA; Surface: hard
Men’s Seeds: Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer, Andy Murray, Kei Nishikori, Stan Wawrinka, Tomas Berdych, Marin Cilic, Rafael Nadal, Milos Raonic, Gilles Simon, John Isner, Richard Gasquet, David Goffin, Gael Monfils, Kevin Anderson, Grigor Dimitrov
Men’s Floaters: Gilles Muller, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Fernando “Hot Sauce” Verdasco, Ivo Karlovic, Sam Querrey, Nick “The Sledge” Kyrgios, Lukas Rosol, Feliciano “F-Lo” Lopez
Men’s Notes: The Top 8 seeds receive opening-round byes, but what a test for many of the seeds early on in this rough field…Tough openers go to (1) Djokovic after a bye and his draining Montreal effort likely vs. the huge-serving Muller, (13) Goffin after a qualifier facing either Tsonga or Hot Sauce, (10) Simon vs. Karlovic, (11) Isner vs. Querrey, (12) Gasquet vs. The Sledge, (16) Dimitrov vs. the upset specialist Rosol, and (9) Raonic vs. F-Lo…Wildcards were awarded to Americans Jared Donaldson, Mardy Fish, Bjorn Fratangelo and Rajeev Ram…Pulling from the event were David Ferrer, Guillermo Garcia-Lopez, Tommy Haas and Juan Monaco…Nine of the past 10 Cincinnati champions held the No. 1 ranking during their careers…Fun Fact: in 1935 the tournament was not held due to the Great Depression, and in 1918 cancelled due to World War I…Last year Federer beat Ferrer in three sets for the title…Former champs in the field are the six-time winner Federer (2014,’12,’10-09,’07,’05), Nadal (2013), and Murray (2011,’08).
Women’s Seeds: Serena Williams, Maria Sharapova, Simona Halep, Petra Kvitova, Caroline Wozniacki, Ana Ivanovic, Lucie Safarova, Karolina Pliskova, Garbine Muguruza, Carla Suarez Navarro, Angelique Kerber, Timea Bacsinszky, Agnieszka Radwanska, Elina Svitolina, Andrea Petkovic, Sara Errani
Women’s Floaters: Sloane Stephens, Venus Williams, Sabine Lisicki, Belinda Bencic, Victoria Azarenka, Sam Stosur, Jelena Jankovic, Madison Keys
Women’s Notes: The Top 8 seeds receive opening-round byes…The banquet of tough opening-round matches includes (10) Suarez Navarro vs. Stephens, (6) Ivanovic after a bye likely meeting Venus, (4) Kvitova after a bye likely meeting Lisicki, (11) Kerber vs. the Toronto finalist Bencic, (5) Wozniacki after a bye likely vs. Azarenka in a battle of former No. 1s, (8) Pliskova after a bye likely vs. Stosur, and (12) Bacsinszky vs. Keys…Wildcards went to Slovak Daniela Hantuchova and Americans Alison Riske and Coco Vandeweghe…Pulling from the tournament were former world No. 2 Svetlana Kuznetsova and fellow Russian Ekaterina Makarova…Sharapova is making her first appearance since Wimbledon due to a leg injury…Jankovic has 20 match wins at Cincinnati, the most of any player…Last year Serena rolled Ana Ivanovic in the final…There have been 11 different champions at the WTA event since the tournament started in 2004…Former champs in the field are Serena (2014), Azarenka (2013), Sharapova (2011), and Jankovic (2009).
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