Western & Southern tennis: Nine former champs headline loaded field

The best tennis players in the world will be in Mason next month.

The top 40 players in both the men’s ATP and women’s WTA rankings have entered the Western & Southern Open. The combined tournament is Aug. 10-18 at the Lindner Family Tennis Center in Mason.

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The entry list includes nine past W&S Open championship, 12 players who have been ranked No. 1 in the world and 17 major champions.

“Receiving the entry lists from the Tours signifies we are just six weeks away from the tournament. When those lists include so many great players, it generates a great deal of anticipation for the event,” said tournament director Andre Silva. “It is an incredible time in tennis with so many accomplished champions still playing at a very high level, and we are eager to welcome them back to the Western & Southern Open in August.”

Two of the game’s greatest players —Serena Williams and Roger Federer— headline the field. They are joined by a youth movement — 29 of the 77 initial entrants are 23 or young, including the top two WTA players, Ashleigh Barty (23) and Naomi Osaka (21).

Two of the greatest players in the game, Serena Williams and Roger Federer, are the oldest players in the field at 37 years old. Williams has won 23 majors, while Federer has 20.

Twenty-nine of the 77 initial entrants are aged 23 or younger, including the top two WTA players: Ashleigh Barty (23) and Naomi Osaka (21).

The nine former champs have won a combined 16 titles, including seven-time winner Federer and two-time champ Williams. Other past women’s champs are Victoria Azarenka, Kiki Bertens, Garbine Muguruza and Karolina Pliskova. Former men’s champs Marin Cilic, Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal also are in the field.

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