Where: Lindner Family Tennis Center, Mason, Ohio
When: Aug. 10-18
Defending champions: Novak Djokovic (men's singles), Kiki Bertens (women's singles); Jamie Murray-Bruno Soares (men’s doubles), Lucie Hradecka-Ekaterina Makarova (women’s doubles)
Tournament website: www.wsopen.com
The Western & Southern Open is the nation's oldest professional tennis tournament played in its city of origin. The event was first played in 1899 at the Avondale Athletic Club, on the site of the current-day Xavier University, and has since grown into the grand-scale event that is now held at the Lindner Family Tennis Center.
The Cincinnati champion's list reads like a who's who of tennis greats, with more than 100 International Tennis Hall of Famers having competed in the tournament over the years. Past champions include Margaret Court, Chris Evert, Virginia Wade, Rosie Casals, Lindsay Davenport, Kim Clijsters and Serena Williams among the women, and Andre Agassi, Michael Chang, Pete Sampras, Ivan Lendl, Roger Federer, Andy Roddick, Boris Becker and Rafael Nadal among the men.
Fresh off of his Wimbledon win last year, Novak Djokovic captured his first career title in Cincinnati, after five championship defeats, and handed Roger Federer his first career loss in the Western & Southern Open final, 6-4, 6-4.
Out of the nine Masters 1000 events on the ATP World Tour, Djokovic had won the other eight, and became the first man to complete the 'Career Golden Masters' with the win.
Kiki Bertens, who came into the event unseeded and ranked No. 17 in the world, defeated four Top-10 players over the course of the week to lift the biggest title of her career, as she stopped the winning streak of Montreal champion and world No. 1 Simona Halep in the final, 2-6, 7-6 (6), 6-2.
Bertens was already the first Dutch player, male or female, to reach the singles final at the event, but also became the first unseeded player to win in Cincinnati since Vera Zvonareva in 2006.
In doubles, Lucie Hradecka and Ekaterina Makarova won the women's title, defeating Elise Mertens and Demi Schuurs in the final, 6–2, 7–5, while No. 4 seeds Jamie Murray and Bruno Soares won their first Masters 1000 crown together, defeating Colombians Juan Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah in the final, 4–6, 6–3, 10–6.
The Western & Southern Open, the fifth tournament on the US Open Series schedule, consistently attracts the finest players from both the men’s and women’s tours, and 2019 will be no different.
Seven-time winner Roger Federer and defending champion Novak Djokovic are entered in the field, alongside past champion Rafael Nadal. Also slated to play are young stars Dominic Thiem, Stefanos Tsitsipas, Nick Kyrgios and Alexander Zverev, as well as Americans John Isner and Frances Tiafoe.
For the women, reigning US Open champion Naomi Osaka and 2019 French Open winner Ashleigh Barty are among the entrants, as well as defending champion Kiki Bertens, Grand Slam champions Serena Williams, Sloane Stephens and Angelique Kerber, 2018 Western & Southern Open finalist Simona Halep, and U.S. stars Madison Keys, Amanda Anisimova and Danielle Collins.
The Western & Southern Open not only gives first-class tennis to the world, but has also leveraged the event as a means to give back to the local Cincinnati community.
Since its inception in 1899, the tournament has given approximately $10 million directly to local Cincinnati charities, including the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, the Barrett Cancer Center and Tennis for City Youth.