Western & Southern Open Wild Cards Awarded
CINCINNATI – Wild cards for the 2018 Western & Southern Open have been awarded to the WTA’s Bethanie Mattek-Sands, Svetlana Kuznetsova, Marketa Vondrousova and Amanda Animisova, and to Mackenzie McDonald of the ATP World Tour.
These wild card entrants will join the fields for the 56-player tournaments that will take place August 11-19 at the Lindner Family Tennis Center in Mason, Ohio.
Mattek-Sands returns to Cincinnati as she continues her comeback from a 2017 knee injury. The Minnesota-native suffered a ruptured tendon and dislocated kneecap at last summer's Wimbledon, but returned to competitive tennis in March. A four-time singles finalist on the WTA, she is also a former No. 1 ranked doubles player with 26 titles, including five Majors. Mattek-Sands won the 2007 W&S Open doubles title, and reached the singles semifinal in 2005 in one of her five previous appearances here.
Kuznetsova returns to the Western & Southern Open fresh off her 18th title, which came last week in Washington, D. C. Kuznetsova counts two Majors among her titles, having won the 2004 US Open and the 2009 French Open. The Russian has been ranked as high as No. 2 in her singles career, and has reached the No. 1 ranking in doubles while winning 16 titles, including two Majors. Kuznetsova will be playing the W&S Open for the eighth time.
Vondrousova, who is 19-years-old, will be making her main draw debut at the Western & Southern Open. In 2017, as a 17-year-old qualifier, Vondrousova won her first WTA title in just her second tour-level event at Biel. The Czech teenager comes to Cincinnati following a semifinal run in Gstaad last month.
Animisova, a 16-year-old American, will also be playing this event for the first time. Born in New Jersey, Animisova’s family moved to Florida when she was 3. She recorded her first career Top 10 win in March, defeating No. 9 Petra Kvitova to reach the Round of 16 at Indian Wells. In 2017, Animisova reached four ITF finals, claiming one title.
McDonald joins the men’s field for the second time. A former NCAA singles and doubles champion from UCLA, the 23-year-old reached the Round of 16 at Wimbledon last month. In January, McDonald pushed W&S Open defending champion Grigor Dimitrov to a fifth set at the Australian Open before falling 8-6. This year he has also reached two Challenger finals, winning one title. In 2013, as an unranked 18-year-old, an amateur McDonald qualified into the W&S Open main draw to make his ATP debut.
McDonald is replacing 2017 quarterfinalist Jared Donaldson, who returned his wild card due to injury. “Unfortunately, the tendonitis in my right knee has worsened during the last week and, upon medical consultation, I have made a decision to decline the singles wild card that I was granted for the Western & Southern Open,” Donaldson said. “I plan to spend the balance of this week and next rehabbing at home in Irvine so that I can hopefully play Winston-Salem and be ready for the U. S. Open. I want to thank Andre Silva and the Cincinnati tournament for their continued support of my career.