Serena Williams, Rafael Nadal among big names in initial entry lists for Cincinnati; top-ranked Ashleigh Barty excluded
However, just because a player is on Wednesday’s lists does not mean she or he necessarily will compete at the New York-hosted Cincinnati event.
New York: Serena Williams, Coco Gauff, Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal were on Wednesday’s initial entry lists — but No. 1 woman Ashleigh Barty, two-time Grand Slam champion Naomi Osaka and 2019 US Open champion Bianca Andreescu were not — for the tournament moved from Cincinnati to Flushing Meadows next month because of the coronavirus pandemic.
The Western & Southern Open is scheduled for 20-28 August on the same hard courts at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center that are slated to host the US Open from 31 August to 13 September.
The US Tennis Association is planning to stage the two tournaments back-to-back in New York while the coronavirus outbreak worsens in other parts of the country and there are lingering questions about international travel.
Both defending champions at the Cincinnati event are entered this year: Daniil Medvedev, who lost to Nadal in last year’s US Open final, and Madison Keys.
Just because a player is on Wednesday’s lists does not mean she or he necessarily will compete at the tournament.
No sanctioned professional tennis events have been played since March because of the coronavirus . Both the women's and men's tours plan to return in August, but the tentative calendars drawn up for the rest of 2020 already have seen cancellations.
That includes what was supposed to be the first men's tournament back, in Washington in August.
The women's tour still aims to return next week at Palermo, Italy.
Djokovic seeks his 21st career Slam trophy, which would give him the men's record total he currently shares with Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer.
World number one Djokovic will try to complete the first calendar Slam since Rod Laver in 1969 and only the fourth ever after Laver in 1962 and Don Budge in 1938.
Nadal has not played since losing to Novak Djokovic in the French Open semi-finals due to a foot injury and now sits sixth in the rankings.