Eleven Past Champions Headline 2021 Western & Southern Open Singles Fields
CINCINNATI, Ohio (July 21, 2021) -Ashleigh Barty and Novak Djokovic, the No. 1 ranked players in the world who are fresh off Wimbledon titles, highlight the initial singles entry list for the 2021 Western & Southern Open.
The Top 20 players in both the ATP Tour and WTA Tour rankings have entered the event, which will be held Aug. 14-22. The field also includes 11 former tournament winners, including the defending champions Djokovic and Victoria Azarenka, both two-time Western & Southern Open winners.
Cincinnati will welcome five former champions in the WTA field, featuring Karolina Pliskova (2016), Garbiñe Muguruza (2017) and Madison Keys (2019) along with two-time champions Serena Williams and Azarenka. In addition to Djokovic, former ATP champions returning to Cincinnati in 2021 include Daniil Medvedev (2019), Rafael Nadal (2013), Grigor Dimitrov (2017), Marin Cilic (2016) and seven-time champion Roger Federer.
The women’s field is also highlighted by 13 total Major champions, with recent winners including 2020 Western & Southern Open finalist Naomi Osaka (2020 US Open, 2021 Australian Open), Barbora Krejcikova (2021 French Open), Sofia Kenin (2020 Australian Open) and Iga Swiatek (2020 French Open). Eight entrants have held WTA’s No. 1 ranking, with Azarenka, Barty, Osaka, Pliskova, Muguruza and Williams being joined by multi-time Cincinnati finalists Simona Halep and Angelique Kerber.
In addition to the wealth of experience among the women’s field, 10 participants are 23 or younger. Leading the WTA youth movement is 17-year-old Cori “Coco” Gauff, who will make her debut in Cincinnati following a quarterfinal finish in the 2021 French Open.
Djokovic’s Western & Southern Open title defense will come as he chases history this season. The winner of the year’s first three Majors, he is bidding to be the first man since Rod Laver in 1969 to complete a calendar Grand Slam. The trio of Major titles this season has drawn him level with Federer and Nadal atop the all-time list, with each having won 20 titles at Grand Slam tournaments. A trio of former US Open champions are also on the Cincinnati entry list: Dominic Thiem (2020), Stan Wawrinka (2016) and Cilic (2014).
The men’s field comprises the top 43 players in the ATP rankings and will have 11 players aged 23-or-younger competing. Leading the ATP youth charge is 19-year-old Jannik Sinner, who held a career-high ranking of 17 earlier in 2021 and reached the 2020 French Open Quarterfinals.
The top eight seeds in both draws will receive first round byes. Eight women and seven men will be added to the fields through a two-round qualifying tournament that will be held Aug. 14-15. Four men and as many as five women will be awarded wild card entries into the main draw singles fields.
Tournament action will take place Aug. 14-22, where first serve will take place at 10 a.m. on Aug. 14 for the qualifying tournament. The men’s and women’s singles finals will take place on Sunday, Aug. 22. The full schedule is available here.
–W & S Open