Where: Wake Forest Tennis Complex, Winston-Salem, N.C.
When: Aug. 18-24, 2019
Defending champions: Daniil Medvedev (singles); Jean-Julien Rojer and Horia Tecau (doubles)
Tournament website: http://www.winstonsalemopen.com
The last stop before the US Open, the Winston-Salem Open sees some of the top men’s players in the game make a final tune-up on the road to New York City.
The ATP World Tour 250 event is being held in Winston-Salem for the ninth consecutive year. Its past champions are John Isner (2011, 2012), Jurgen Melzer (2013), Lukas Rosol (2014), Kevin Anderson (2015), Pablo Carreno Busta (2016), Roberto Bautista Agut (2017) and Daniil Medvedev (2018).
The tournament was previously held in Long Island, N.Y. (1990-2004) and New Haven, Conn. (2005-10), in conjunction with the New Haven women's event, the Connecticut Open. Past champions in those locations include Long Island winners Stefan Edberg, Lleyton Hewitt, Ivan Lendl and Patrick Rafter, and New Haven titlists James Blake and Marin Cilic.
Twenty-two-year-old Russian Medvedev picked up his second title of the year and career, with a 6-4, 6-4 win over American Steve Johnson (pictured) in the singles final.
"It feels amazing,” said Medvedev, who became the first Russian champion in the tournament's history. “At the beginning of the week, I didn’t think it was going to go so well. I was playing quite good, but I didn’t feel I was at the right form to win a title. I started quite slow. I could have lost the first match. So to win the title is incredible.”
Medvedev did not drop a set en route to the title, defeating Mirza Basic in the first round, No. 15 seed Alex de Minaur in Round 2, Guido Andreozzi in Round 3, Ryan Harrison in the quarterfinals and Taro Daniel in the semifinals, before his win over Johnson in the final.
The Moscow native moved up to a career-high ranking of No. 36 following the tournament and improved his head-to-head record against California native Johnson to 4-1.
In doubles, No. 2 seeds Rojer and Tecau won their second straight title in Winston-Salem, defeating wild cards Jamie Cerretani and Leander Paes, 6-4, 6-2, in the championship match. The duo did not drop a set in the tournament.
Two top Americans—2018 finalist Johnson and three-time semifinalist Sam Querrey—will return to Winston-Salem in 2019. Top-20 players Borna Coric and Nikoloz Basilashvili are also in the player field, as is former world No. 4 Tomas Berdych, who is recovering from a back injury and received a wild card into the tournament. Late additions to the draw include two-time Grand Slam champion Andy Murray and rising stars Denis Shapovalov and Frances Tiafoe, who received wild cards to compete in the event.
Medvedev is the second consecutive Winston-Salem champion to win the title without dropping a set. Roberto Bautista Agut claimed all 10 of his sets in 2017.