By Benjamin Snyder
The 2011 Cincinnati doubles titlists Vania King and Yaroslava Shvedova will be back in 2012 to try and defend their title, while three-time champions Bob and Mike Bryan will attempt to follow up their gold medal for the United States at the Olympics with a win at the Lindner Family Tennis Center.
The duo of King and Shvedova, the No. 3 seeds, have been successful together in the past, claiming major titles at Wimbledon and the US Open in 2010. With a first round bye, the pair will face the winner of the match between Nathalie Grandin and Vladimira Uhlirova, who they faced in the Cincinnati final last year, versus Irina-Camelia Begu and Anabel Medina-Garrigues.
The top seeds Liezel Huber and Lisa Raymond recently claimed the bronze medal in doubles for the United States at the London Olympics and are also entered into the mix. They have taken titles in Paris, Doha, Dubai, and Indian Wells this year.
Seeded second are the Italians Sara Errani, the Roland Garros runner-up in singles, and Roberta Vinci, who have collected wins at the French Open, Monterrey, Acapulco, Barcelona, Madrid, Rome, and 's-Hertogenbosch this year.
For the men, the Bryan brothers have enjoyed success at Cincinnati in the past nine years, claiming titles at the Lindner Family Tennis Center in 2003, 2008, and 2010. Additionally, they finished as runners-up in 2006, 2007, and 2009. At the majors this year, the Bryan brothers advanced to the finals at the Australian Open and French Open.
Another pair of runners-up at majors this year are the No. 4 seeds Robert Lindstedt and Horia Tecau, who have fallen in the championship round at Wimbledon for the past three consecutive years, including to the Bryans back in 2011.
The defending victors at the All England Club, Jonathan Marray of Great Britain and Frederik Nielsen of Denmark, will also be present in an attempt to rekindle their championship-winning form following their maiden title together.
Meanwhile, the tournament’s top seeds are Max Mirnyi of Belarus, a gold medalist in mixed doubles with women’s World No. 1 Victoria Azarenka, and Daniel Nestor of Canada. They won the French Open earlier this year over the Bryan brothers, along with taking titles in London, Memphis, and Brisbane.
Other notable pairings to play in the tournament for the men and women are the following wild card teams representing the United States: James Blake and Sam Querrey, Brian Baker and Rajeev Ram, Sloane Stephens and Varvara Lepchenko, and Melanie Oudin and Alexa Glatch.