Everything you need to know about this year's Western & Southern Open

·3 min read

Cincinnati's annual tennis tournament returns to the courts in Mason this weekend.

The Western & Southern Open has a habit of attracting the biggest names in the sport, and this year is no different. Superstar players like Serena and Venus Williams, Naomi Osaka, Coco Gauff, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic are scheduled to compete in the event.

Whether you've attended the W&S Open for years, or if this is your first time, here's everything you need to know about the tournament.

Where is the Western & Southern Open?

The W&S Open, which hosts both ATP Masters 1000 and WTA 1000 tournaments in the same week, is an annual hardcourt tennis event at the Lindner Family Tennis Center in Mason.

This year's tournament runs from Aug. 13-21.

Who's playing in the Western & Southern Open?

The world's top 41 men and 39 women are entered, led by No. 1 players Daniil Medvedev and Iga Swiatek.

Two-time champion Serena Williams (2014, 2015) is also expected to return in what could be one of her last tournaments before she retires from tennis. Rafael Nadal, the ATP's No. 3 ranked player, is also set to compete.

Western & Southern Open:Tournament will be one of Serena Williams' last tennis competitions

Besides Williams, four other former W&S Open champions are on the entry list: Karolina Pliskova (2016), Garbiñe Muguruza (2017), Madison Keys (2019), and Victoria Azarenka (2013, 2020).

What's the history of the Western & Southern Open?

The tournament began in 1899 as the Cincinnati Open, played on clay courts at the Avondale Athletic Club on property that now belongs to Xavier University. Nat Emerson, a local who later ranked in the top 10 of tennis players in the U.S. in 1908, won the first tourney.

The event changed names and locations several times throughout the years, including the Tri-State Tennis Tournament in 1901, a name it would keep until 1969.

By 1979, it switched to hardcourts, when the tournament moved to Mason, where it remains to this day. The Western & Southern Financial Group began sponsoring it in 2002, and the name changed from the Western & Southern Financial Group Masters and Women's Open to its current name, the Western & Southern Open, in 2011.

How to get tickets

There are a few different ticket options for the W&S Open. You can choose a session and seat at Center Court, and tickets range from a single session to a full series package. Multi-day ticket packages are sold out, according to the tournament's website.

The cheapest starting priced ticket is $18 for the qualifying match at 10 a.m. Aug. 13, with the gates opening at 9 a.m. The most expensive starting priced tickets are either the second round at 11 a.m. Aug. 17, or the Men's and Women's Singles Finals and Double's Finals at noon, Aug. 21. Both events have a starting price of $85.

There are also premium ticket options available, including:

  • All-Inclusive Club: Prices vary by day but begin at $125 for Aug. 14.

  • 1899 Room: Prices vary by day and session but begin at $128 for Aug. 13-14.

  • Porsche Sideline Suites: Prices vary by day and session but begin at $84 for 6 p.m. Aug. 14.

  • Luxury Suites: Including the Champions Suites, Crosscourt Suites, Grandview Suites and Baseline Suites. Contact the tournament for pricing options.

Parking at the Western & Southern Open

Free parking is included with every ticket. The tournament's website promises "many highway and street signs" once you're close to the center that will lead drivers to the appropriate parking lot.

The Linder Family Tennis Center is located on 5460 Courseview Dr. in Mason.

Jeff Suess helped contribute to this story.

This article originally appeared on Cincinnati Enquirer: Here's everything to know about the Western & Southern Open