-- The Western & Southern Open announced that it has the strongest lineup in the tournament's 114-year history, as the top 44 ranked men and 35 of the top 36 ranked women in the world will compete for more than $6 million in prize money.
Between the men's and women's fields, 11 players who have been ranked No. 1 in the world and 15 Grand Slam champions will be among the tennis stars to assemble at the Lindner Family Tennis Center, located 20 miles north of Cincinnati, August 10-18, 2013.
"It's clear that the world's top players view Cincinnati as a must-stop on their annual calendars," said Tournament Director and COO Vince Cicero. "The combination of prestige, history and the world-class facilities make the event a draw for players and fans alike."
Leading the men will be world No. 1, Novak Djokovic, who will attempt to be the first man in history to win the singles title at all nine ATP World Tour Masters 1000 events. A four-time finalist in Cincinnati but never a champion, Djokovic has captured each of the following Masters 1000 titles: Indian Wells, Madrid, Miami, Monte Carlo, Montreal/Toronto, Paris, Rome and Shanghai.
For Djokovic, making history will be no easy task. Reigning champion and record five-time Cincinnati winner Roger Federer has the best winning percentage in Cincinnati of any active player at .811 (30-7). Two-time champion Andy Murray is fresh off his Wimbledon triumph, and Rafael Nadal seeks his first title in the Queen City.
Since 2008, 12 different women have won at least one Grand Slam title, and 10 of those champions are entered in the 2013 Western & Southern Open. No. 1 Serena Williams, a 16-time Grand Slam champion, won this year's French Open, but a Cincinnati title has remained elusive. World No. 2 Maria Sharapova, a two-time winner on tour in 2013, will return and looks to add a second Cincinnati crown.
Defending champion Li Na of China, who claimed the 2011 French Open title, leads a list of other WTA contenders. Two-time Grand Slam champion Victoria Azarenka, whose most recent major triumph came at the Australian Open, rising American Sloane Stephens, perennial threat Caroline Wozniacki and recently crowned Wimbledon champion Marion Bartoli are among a host of women who have a chance to claim the title this year.
The Western & Southern Open hosted 176,000 fans last year, recording a record 10 sellouts over the 16 total sessions spanning nine days. The event drew fans from all 50 states and 19 countries. Cincinnati is one of the last stops on the Emirates Airline US Open Series leading up to the US Open, and often critical points and bonus money are on the line adding drama to the week.
Both the men's and women's tournaments will feature a 56-player field, with the top eight seeds in each receiving opening-round byes. Three women and four men will join the fields as wild cards. In addition, 12 women and seven men will earn a spot in the main draw during the qualifying tournament, which will be held August 10-11.
For the complete player entry list and more info, visit www.cincytennis.com
About the Western Southern Open
The Western & Southern Open will be held August 10-18, 2013, at the Lindner Family Tennis Center, 20 miles north of Cincinnati in Mason, Ohio. It is the nation's oldest professional tennis tournament still held in its original city. The tournament is one of the prestigious ATP Masters 1000 events on the men's tour and a Premier 5 event for the WTA, making it one of only five events in the world outside of the Grand Slams with events of that caliber occurring during the same week at the same venue. A recent study conducted by the University of Cincinnati concluded that the event generated $62.5 million in economic impact. The event is seen by more than 60 million people in 170 countries worldwide and is broadcast domestically on Tennis Channel, ESPN2 and CBS. The tournament is also one of the last stops on the Emirates Airline US Open Series prior to the US Open in New York. Since 1974, the tournament has contributed more than $8.7 million to beneficiaries Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, Barrett Cancer Center and Tennis for City Youth.