Western & Southern Open Wild Cards Awarded to Americans Following Summer Success

August 8, 2022 04:50 PM

Four American singles players and one all-American doubles team have been awarded Western & Southern Open wild cards on the heels of successful starts to their summer.

Shelby Rogers, a finalist last week in San Jose, has been added to the WTA main draw, joining Venus Williams, Sofia Kenin and Sloane Stephens as wild card entrants.

Sebastian Korda and Brandon Nakashima, who both reached quarterfinals last week, will join Washington, D.C. champion Nick Kyrgios as wild card entrants in the ATP field.

Additionally, Will Blumberg, a doubles winner last week in Los Cabos, will team up with 2021 Western & Southern Open finalist Steve Johnson as wild card entrants in doubles while NCAA singles champion Ben Shelton will join the men’s qualifying field.

Rogers, 29, did not drop a set in making the San Jose final, including a win over top seed and No. 3-ranked Maria Sakkari. It was the first WTA final for Rogers since 2016 and the third of her career. Rogers has twice reached the quarterfinals at a Grand Slam event, including in 2020 at the US Open. The South Carolina native made her Western & Southern Open main draw debut last year and reached the second round.

Korda, 22, reached his third quarterfinal of the season last week in Washington, D.C., with three wins over top 50 players including No. 19 and former Western & Southern Open champion Grigor Dimitrov. Earlier this year he reached the third round at two ATP Masters 1000 events in Miami and Monte Carlo, including a win over Carlos Alcaraz, and fell to Rafael Nadal in the Indian Wells ATP Masters 1000 in a third set tie-break. Ranked No. 52, Korda is returning from foot and shin splint injuries that forced him to miss Wimbledon.

His father, former Australian Open champion Petr Korda, played the Western & Southern Open nine times and twice reached the quarterfinals, both times losing to the eventual champion. When Sebastian won the title in Parma last year, the Kordas became the third father-son duo to win tour-level titles in the Open Era.

Nakashima, who turned 21 last week, reached back-to-back quarterfinals this summer in Atlanta and Los Cabos. Earlier this year, he reached the fourth round at Wimbledon including a win over No. 16 Denis Shapavalov and pushed eventual finalist Nick Kyrgios to five sets. In 2021, Nakashima became the youngest American to reach multiple ATP finals since Andy Roddick in 2001-2002. He will be making his third appearance at the Western & Southern Open.

Blumberg and Johnson won the title at Newport this year, a successful defense for Blumberg who won it last year with Jack Sock. Blumberg won his third career doubles title last week in Los Cabos to reach his career-high doubles ranking today at No. 85. In 2021 he became the only player to ever be a 10-time All-American, earning the honor in singles and doubles in five seasons at the University of North Carolina when eligibility was extended a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Johnson, a 2016 Olympic bronze medalist in doubles, was one of the greatest college tennis players of all time, sweeping 2009-12 NCAA team titles with the University of Southern California, winning 2011-12 NCAA singles titles and ending his collegiate career with 72 straight singles wins.

Shelton, 19, won the NCAA singles title in May for the University of Florida and in the two months since sliced his pro ranking in half to a career high of No. 254 on Aug. 1. He won his first-ever ATP-level match in his debut two weeks ago in Atlanta before losing a third set tie-break to world No. 25 John Isner.

Another player with a family tennis legacy, Shelton’s father, Bryan, twice played the Western & Southern Open, including a 1993 match against top seed Pete Sampras. He won two singles titles on the ATP Tour.

The singles player fields feature the world’s top-ranked 41 men and 39 women, 11 past champions and 22 Grand Slam major winners including Serena Williams and 2021 U.S. Open champions Daniil Medvedev and Emma Raducanu. The singles qualifying fields feature 11 titlists this year, and the doubles fields include five of this year’s six Grand Slam major winning teams.

Tournament action will take place Aug. 13-21, where first serve will take place at 10 a.m. on Aug. 13 for the qualifying tournament. Individual daily tickets for all sessions are on sale now. Multi-day ticket packages are sold out. Information about available tickets can be found at wsopen.com/tickets.

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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