The field for the Western & Southern Open has been announced and it’s a surprisingly loaded one. Here’s a breakdown of the event and the current landscape of tennis.
The field for tennis’ first tournament upon return in two weeks is shocking. Only 4 of the top 20 players in the ATP will not compete and only 5 of 20 in the WTA will sit out. It was speculated that many of the game’s top players, including Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal, would sit out in favor of the European clay swing but as of now, that isn’t the case.
Reports had come out over the last few days that saw Djokovic practicing on hard courts with official US Open balls. This hammered home the fact that he’d be traveling to the United States in order to play the hard-court swing. Nadal, on the other hand, has been seen exclusively on clay with no known plans to play anywhere but in Europe. With 20 days until first ball at the Western & Southern Open, however, things can certainly change.
What does this mean for Roland Garros?
With the news that the majority of players will travel to the US for the beginning of the restart, it puts Roland Garros in a tense situation. It’s expected that, if this field holds, they’ll all stay in New York for two more weeks for the US Open.
That being said, all players that are looking to return to Europe for the clay swing (beginning September 13th in Madrid) will have to quarantine for two weeks upon arrival. This puts the players in a tough spot. They’ll either have to skip Roland Garros entirely or play the event without any tournament tuneup.
It might not be a problem for some but many players could decide to skip the event if they aren’t felling100% prepared to play.
US Open set to have projected full field
With the W&S Open field full of stars from both the ATP and WTA, the US Open is projected to headline the same groups. This is a drastic change from what it was made out to be. Many players had previously expressed their doubts about traveling and playing the hard-court swing. This put the seed in the general public that the US Open would be a field filled with holes.
It’s turning to be the opposite. Roland Garros had long been criticized for its decision to not cancel the event altogether and instead reschedule until September; it’s now coming into fruition. As time goes on, we’ll see if the fields change in favor of the Euro swing, but for now, it’s a surprising turn of events.
Projected winners – W&S Open
Back onto the topic of the upcoming event, Novak Djokovic is likely the clear favorite on the ATP side. He’s one of the best hard court players of all-time and hasn’t lost a match in 2020 yet. A dark horse pick to make a run at the title would be Matteo Berrettini. He’s been playing fantastic tennis over the last month during his UTS victory over Stefanos Tsitsipas and a finals appearance in a grass-court exhibition against Dominic Thiem.
For the WTA, Sofia Kenin is the pick. She played well in Charleston during the Team Peace-Team Kindness exhibition battle and is coming off of a 2020 Australian Open title.
The Western & Southern Open begins August 20th in Flushing Meadows, NY. Originally supposed to be held in Cincinnati, COVID-19 has moved the event to New York in order to create an effective bubble for players.