2022 Western & Southern Open: All you need to know
The Western & Southern Open (Cincinnati Masters) is set to be held at the Lindner Family Tennis Center in Cincinnati from August 14-21. The ATP and WTA 1000 event is the last big tourney before the year's final Grand Slam event - US Open. Reigning women's singles US Open champion Emma Raducanu will face Serena Williams in the first round. We present the details.
Women's singles: A look at the top eight seeds
World number one star Iga Swiatek tops the 56-player singles draw. Notably, the top eight seeds will receive byes into the second round. Number 3 seed Paula Badosa, No. 5 Ons Jabeur, No. 8 Garbińe Muguruza are in the top half of the draw. No. 2 seed Anett Kontaveit, No. 4 Maria Sakkari, No. 6 Aryna Sabalenka, and No. 7 Jessica Pegula constitute the bottom half.
Serena to face Raducanu in opener
Serena Williams will open her tournament against Emma Raducanu on Monday. It will be the first meeting between the two players. Serena heads to Cincinnati after losing to Belinda Bencic in the second round at the 2022 Canadian Open. British star Raducanu fell to Camila Giorgi in her opening hurdle in Toronto. The winner will face either Victoria Azarenka or Kaia Kanepi.
A look at the interesting opening duels
Wild-card entrant Venus WIlliams will face No. 14 seed Karolina Pliskova in the first round. Pliskova holds a 2-1 record against Venus and has reached the Canadian Open semis. Naomi Osaka, who was forced to retire with a back injury in Toronto, will open her tournament against Zhang Shuai. Simona Halep will face Karolína Muchova in her opening duel.
Djokovic forced to pull out
In the men's section, the likes of Rafael Nadal, Daniil Medvedev, Carlos Alcaraz, and Stefanos Tsitsipas will be seen in action. Meanwhile, Novak Djokovic has pulled out of next week's hard-court tournament Cincinnati Masters as the Serb has not received COVID-19 vaccination and is not allowed to travel to the United States. He is also expected to miss the US Open.
Nadal has a shot at number one in the Rankings
Nadal could pass Medvedev at the top of the ATP Rankings if he wins the title and the Russian fails to reach the quarter-finals. Rafa is set for his first competitive action since an abdominal tear forced him to pull out of 2022 Wimbledon semis.
Zverev and Barty won the titles last year
Alexander Zverev won the 2021 edition of the Cincinnati Masters title. He beat Andrey Rublev in the final. In the women's section, Ashleigh Barty sealed the title. She overcame Jil Teichmann 6-3, 6-1.