By Erwin Ong
CINCINNATI -- The women’s doubles draw for the 2013 Western & Southern Open was released today. The field includes three reigning Grand Slam champions and one experienced wildcard team making their first appearance at this WTA Premier-level tournament. The Western & Southern Open, a part of the Emirates U.S. Open Series, runs August 12-18 in Mason, Ohio.
Italians Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci, the top seeds, come into the event as winners of the 2013 Australian Open and the 2012 U.S. Open. Their victory in New York cemented their place at the top of the rankings, a spot they currently hold.
2013 French Open champions Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina, Russians, are seeded second, followed by reigning Wimbledon Champions Su-Wei Hsieh of Taiwan and Peng Shuai of China.
Also entered in the doubles draw is the wildcard team of Martina Hingis and Slovakian Daniela Hantuchova. Hingis, a former top-ranked player in singles and doubles, is making her first career appearance in Cincinnati. Hingis announced her return to tennis earlier this year, unveiling a plan to play with Hantuchova in Emirates U.S. Open Series events in Carlsbad, Toronto, and at the Western & Southern Open before heading to the U.S. Open later this month.
Hingis earned 43 titles in her singles career (including 5 Grand Slam trophies), and in doubles she won 9 titles, including a calendar-year Slam in 1998. Hantuchova was Hingis’ most recent doubles partner before the Swiss player decided to retire from professional tennis for the second time, in 2007.
Hingis and Hantuchova, could face Errani and Vinci in the second round.
The remaining of the eight seeded teams (in order of seeding) are Andrea Hlavackova of the Czech Republic and American Lisa Raymond; Americans Abigail Spears and Raquel Kops-Jones; Anna-Lena Groenefeld and Kveta Peschke; Hao-Ching Chan and Katarina Srebotnik, and Sania Mirza playing with Zheng Jie.
The top four seeded teams are awarded byes in the first round.
View the draw here: