Murray, Azarenka Given Cincy Wild Cards
CINCINNATI – The first wild cards for the 2018 Western & Southern Open have been awarded to a pair of former tournament champions – Victoria Azarenka and Andy Murray.
These former World No. 1s will join the previously announced initial entrants in the 56-player ATP World Tour and WTA fields for the W&S Open which will take place August 11-19 at the Lindner Family Tennis Center in Mason, Ohio.
Azarenka was ranked No. 2 when she won the 2013 W&S Open, defeating No. 1 Serena Williams for the title in what was the first WTA match in tournament history to pit No. 1 vs No. 2. She counts two Majors among her 20 career titles. A former World No. 1, Azarenka will return to Cincinnati for the first time since giving birth to her son, Leo, in 2016. This season Azarenka has reached the Miami semifinals and was the mixed doubles runner-up at Wimbledon where she played with Murray’s older brother Jamie.
Murray is a two-time W&S Open winner, having claimed the title in 2008 and 2011, and has compiled a 31-10 record at the event. In his career, Murray has won 45 titles, including three Majors and 14 ATP Masters 1000s. A former World No. 1, Murray last played the W&S Open in 2016 when he reached the final. He was sidelined after Wimbledon in 2017 due to a hip injury, and just returned to the tour during the June grass court season.
“The resumes for Vika and Andy really speak for themselves,” said Tournament Director Andre Silva. “I think many tennis fans are eager to see each of them back on the court, and we are pleased to offer them both wild cards to play the Western & Southern Open.”
An additional three men and up to four women will be awarded wild cards into the ATP Masters 1000 and WTA Premier 5 events that run concurrently.
Seven men and 12 women will join the fields through a two-round qualifying tournament that will be held August 11-12 at the tournament venue.
Off the court, the 2018 Western & Southern Open will be highlighted by the debut of the 40,000 square foot South Building that was constructed between the Center and Grandstand Courts. This new, $25 million dollar facility includes an All-Inclusive level where food and drink is included in the ticket price as well as the First Financial 1899 Room which is fully enclosed and air-conditioned. The general public is invited to see the South Building during an Open House on Thursday, July 26.
Tickets for all sessions are on sale now, including for premium seating areas in the new South Building. More information on tickets can be found at shop. cincytennis. com.