Two former Western & Southern Open champions – and former World No. 1s – are among four women’s wild card recipients announced today by the tournament.
Victoria Azarenka, the 2013 champion, and Maria Sharapova, the 2011 winner, will be joined by American Sloane Stephens and 18-year-old Marketa Vondrousova in the field for the August 12-20 tournament at the Lindner Family Tennis Center in Mason, Ohio.
“The addition of these players add to our already strong player field,” said Tournament Director Andre Silva. “We anticipate the WTA’s No. 1 ranking to be on the line during the Western & Southern Open, and adding players of this caliber will make the battle for the top spot even more compelling.”
Azarenka has won 20 titles in her career, including two at the Australian Open. She has spent 51 weeks ranked No. 1 in the world. Azarenka won three titles early in 2016 before stepping away from the game and giving birth to her son, Leo, in December. She returned in June for the grass court season, and advanced to the Round of 16 at Wimbledon. At the Western & Southern Open, Azarenka owns a 9-3 record.
Sharapova is one of just 10 women to have won a career Grand Slam. In total, she counts five Majors among her 35 career titles. She has spent 21 weeks as the WTA’s No. 1 player. She will return to Cincinnati where she has a 13-3 lifetime record, including the 2011 title and a run to the final in 2010.
Stephens owns four career titles, all of which were won in a nine-month period between 2015-16 before she was sidelined by a foot injury. Her 2016 season ended at the Rio Olympics, and her comeback was stalled after surgery for a stress fracture in January. She first returned to action earlier this month at Wimbledon.
Stephens is 8-5 in her career in Cincinnati, have reached the Round of 16 in her last four appearances.
Vondrousova turned 18 in June. In April, as a qualifier in Biel, she won the title in just her second career WTA tournament. Vondrousova has also won three ITF titles while playing in five finals this season. The left-hander from the Czech Republic has improved her ranking by over 300 positions already in 2017. She will be making her debut in Cincinnati.
These four wild cards join a previously announced WTA field that included 39 of the top 43 players at the time of the entry deadline. The ATP World Tour field includes the Top 44 players from the rankings at the time of the entry deadline.
For full player entry list, click here.
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Tickets also are available by calling the W&S offices at (513) 651-0303