Where: Lindner Family Tennis Center, Mason, Ohio
When: Aug. 13-20, 2017 (qualifying starts Aug. 12)
Defending Champions: Marin Cilic and Karolina Pliskova (singles); Ivan Dodic-Marcelo Melo and Barbora Strycova-Sania Mirza (doubles)
Tournament Website: http://www.wsopen.com/
The Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati is the oldest professional tennis tournament ever played in its original city. First held in 1899 on the site of current-day Xavier University, the tournament now takes place at the Lindner Family Tennis Center, approximately 20 miles north of Cincinnati in Mason, Ohio. It was an ATP event for most of its history, added a WTA stop in 2004 and became a joint event in 2011.
Many of the game’s greatest players have earned titles in Cincinnati. Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Andy Murray, Andy Roddick, Pete Sampras, Andre Agassi, Stefan Edberg, Mats Wilander, Boris Becker, Ivan Lendl, John McEnroe and Jimmy Connors are among the men’s winners, while Kim Clijsters, Lindsay Davenport, Li Na, Maria Sharapova and Serena Williams are among the past women’s champions.
2014 US Open men's champion Marin Cilic (pictured above) captured the first ATP World Tour Masters 1000 title of his career at the Western & Southern Open last year, shocking top seed and two-time Cincinnati champion Andy Murray, 6-4, 7-5, in the final. With the win, Cilic, who knocked off No. 6 Tomas Berdych in the third round and Grigor Dimitrov in a late-night thriller in the semifinals, joined Murray, Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Stan Wawrinka as the only active players to win both a Grand Slam and Masters 1000 title in their careers.
In a preview of the 2016 US Open women's final, Karolina Pliskova stunned the tennis world by upsetting Angelique Kerber, 6-3, 6-1, and temporarily preventing the German from becoming the No. 1 player in the world. Pliskova dropped only one set en route to the title, in her quarterfinal match against Svetlana Kuznetsova. Then ranked 17th in the WTA rankings, Pliskova was the lowest-ranked finalist in Cincinnati since 2008, when No. 92 Nathalie Dechy played for the championship.
In doubles, No. 4 seeds Ivan Dodic and Marcelo Melo won a thriller over the No. 5-seeded team of Jean-Julien Rojer and Horia Tecau, 7-6 (5), 6-7 (5), [10-6], to captured the men's title. No. 7 seeds Sania Mirza and Barbora Strycova beat No. 4 Martina Hingis and CoCo Vandeweghe, 7-5, 6-4, to claim the women's crown.
The Western & Southern Open, the fourth tournament on the US Open Series schedule, consistently attracts the finest players from both the men’s and women’s tours, and 2017 will be no different.
Seven-time winner Roger Federer and defending champion Marin Cilic are entered in the field, alongside past champion Rafael Nadal. Also slated to play are young stars Dominic Thiem, Nick Kyrgios and Alexander Zverev and Americans John Isner, Jack Sock, Sam Querrey, Steve Johnson, Ryan Harrison and Donald Young.
For the women, reigning US Open champion Angelique Kerber and 2017 Wimbledon champ Garbiñe Muguruza are among the entrants, as well as world No. 1 and defending champion Karolina Pliskova, No. 2 Simona Halep and fellow Top 10 standouts Elina Svitolina, Johanna Konta and Caroline Wozniacki. U.S. players set for the main draw include Venus Williams, Madison Keys, CoCo Vandeweghe, Lauren Davis and CiCi Bellis.
Net Generation Events
Kids' Day: Saturday, Aug. 12
High School Day: Sunday, Aug. 13
The Lindner Family Tennis Center is the only tennis site in the U.S. besides the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center to have four permanent stadiums, each of which has lights for night play.
– Sally Milano