World No. 1 Players Installed as Top Seeds
CINCINNATI–Australia’s Ashleigh Barty and defending champion Novak Djokovic will be the top seeds for the 2019 Western & Southern Open which will be held August 10-18 at the Lindner Family Tennis Center in Mason, Ohio.
Sixteen of the 56 players in each tournament are seeded, with the top eight men and women earning first-round byes
Barty, the French Open champion, became the No. 1 player in the world in June. Her rise from No. 16 seed in 2018 to No. 1 this year is the largest jump to top seed in the Western & Southern Open’s women’s tournament since moving to a 56-player field in 2009. Barty, 23, returned to tennis just over three years ago after stepping away from the sport for nearly two years to play professional cricket in her native Australia.
Djokovic will be playing for the first time since winning Wimbledon, his 16th Major title. In 2018, Djokovic completed the Career Golden Masters, becoming the first player to win the title at each of the nine Masters 1000 tournaments with his win in Cincinnati. It was his first W&S Open title in his sixth final here. Djokovic, who is spending his 262nd week as the No. 1 player in the world, will be the top seed here for the fifth time
Below are the projected seeds for the 2019 Western & Southern Open (bold indicates first round bye):
ATP Seed • Name (Country) Age
16) Nikoloz Basilashvili (Georgia) 27
While the top eight seeds will advance to the second round with byes, a number of familiar names will not have that luxury and will be in action during the first round.
On the women’s side, two-time W&S Open winner and 23-time Major champion Serena Williams headlines the players who will be in opening round action. She is joined by three other former champions – Garbiñe Muguruza (2018), Victoria Azarenka (2013) and Maria Sharapova (2011) – and former World No. 1s Angelique Kerber and Caroline Wozniacki. The women’s first round will be held on Monday and Tuesday.
On the men’s side, players without byes include three-time Major champion Stan Wawrinka, former W&S Open finalists Nick Kyrgios and John Isner, and number of the ATP’s Next Generation stars including Felix Auger-Aliassime (18), Denis Shapovalov (20), Alex de Minaur (20), Taylor Fritz (21) and Frances Tiafoe (21). A limited number of ATP first round matches will be held Sunday, with the bulk of the opening round being contested over Monday and Tuesday.
The women’s seeds are the Top 16 players in the WTA Rankings, while the men’s are comprised of players from the Top 17 following the withdrawal of No. 12 Juan Martin del Potro who has been sidelined since fracturing his right knee cap in June.
In 2018, the Western & Southern Open attracted more than 194,000 spectators. The reigning singles champions are ATP No. 1 Novak Djokovic and WTA No. 5 Kiki Bertens. In addition to world class tennis, the W&S Open features more than 25 musical acts, 16 food vendors, six signature bar areas and a retail plaza for patrons to enjoy between matches.
The Western & Southern Open, a WTA Premier 5 and ATP Masters 1000 tournament, is part of the US Open Series. Started in 1899, the tournament annually supports a number of Cincinnati area charities.
Tickets for all sessions are on sale now at wsopen.com.