Opening Day Enjoys Local Flavor, Upset Wins
The Western & Southern Open returned to Cincinnati for the first time since 2019 Saturday, where several players put themselves one step closer to the main draw.
Wins that highlighted the day from the WTA Tour included France’s Fionna Ferro’s victory over 2021 Wimbledon quarterfinalist and No. 1 seed in the qualifying tournament Viktorija Golubic. Ferro will battle fellow countrywoman Caroline Garcia for a spot in the women’s main draw Sunday on Stadium 3 at 10 a.m.
Mason native and 2021 NCAA National Champion from the University of Texas Peyton Stearns gave her local fans a show against 2021 Wimbledon Doubles champion Su-Wei Hsieh. Hseih, however, clawed her way to the win and advanced in the qualifying tournament.
After attending Western & Southern Open matches growing up in Mason, Stearns fulfilled a dream with the opportunity to compete in front of her hometown fans Saturday.
“It was awesome. There were definitely a lot of emotions out there as you could tell at the beginning (of the match) and at the end and during the match,” Stearns said. “Some nerves kicked in, but being out there was so much fun.”
Four Americans defended their country’s home turf in Saturday’s qualifying round, where Tommy Paul, Steve Johnson, Tennys Sandgren and Marcos Giron all inched closer to main draw spots. Paul defeated South Korea’s Soonwoo Kwon and Sandgren knocked off France’s Jeremy Chardy, where the two Americans will duel for a spot in the main draw Sunday. Johnson collected the three-set win over Finland’s Emil Ruusuvuori while Giron was victorious over Cincinnati native and former Ohio State Buckeye JJ Wolf.
Wolf, a four-time winner on the ATP Challenger tour, competed in the Western & Southern Open qualifying draw for the fourth straight year.
“Coming home is the best feeling for me, having so much family and also friends in the standards,” Wolf said. “I can't even explain the feeling even on a day like today where I didn't feel my best. I was still having so much fun out there.”
The main draw action begins Sunday for the ATP with a full slate of main draw play on tap from Monday, Aug. 16. The schedule for the week is available here.
All tickets, including full series, mini-plans, single session and hospitality packages, are now on sale and information about available tickets can be found here.
The Western & Southern Open, an ATP Masters 1000 and a WTA 1000, is part of the US Open Series and is held at the Lindner Family Tennis Center in Mason, Ohio.
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