After a five-month enforced hiatus due to COVID-19 the ATP and WTA looks set to resume on Saturday 15 August with a host of top 10 players set to feature.
The organisers of the Masters in Cincinnati have announced the potential participants in a recent announcement. This years’ Masters 1000 tournament, the third highest tier of annual tennis tournament after the four Grand Slam tournaments and the ATP Finals, will look very different inthis itineration.
For starters the tournament will be played at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Centerin New York, the fifth time since the tournament began in 1899 that the tournament has not been held in the Cincinnati area. The thinking behind this decision was that it would decrease the need for players to travel excessively as the US Open in New York is so soon after.
The overall prize fund will be reduced by about 1.8 million dollars due to coronavirus. However, this will not affect players who will be playing in thequalifiers and opening rounds but only those that get to the latter stages. The champion will receive 285,000 dollars, a 1.1 million reduction on last year. Qualifiers for the first round will receive 2,515 dollars more than last year, whilst entrants into the second round will be rewarded with 4,330 dollars more than last year. Through this system, the organisers are hoping to help lower ranked players who will have been impacted financially more than the stars over the course of the last few months. Conversely the top players will see this as an important step in getting back to playing competitive tennis in eye of the first Grand Slam of the season.
It is important to note that the entry list only names the potential players that could play and the players themselves must confirm their entry. Someof the big names on the mens list include world number 1 Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal. World number 3 Dominic Thiem and last years’ champion Daniil Medvedev are also expected to feature.
There were major doubts over Nadals attendance in this tournament as hehas been training exclusively on clay over the past few weeks, however it does seem that he will be on court in New York.The injured Roger Federer and Gael Monfils are the only top 10 players absent from the entry list.On the womens side, Two-time champion Serena Williams (2014-15) will join Madison Keys (2019), Kiki Bertens (2018), Garbiñe Muguruza (2017) and Karolina Pliskova (2016) as past WTA champions in the Premier 5 field.
The tournament is set to start on Saturday 15 August with both mens and womens singles finals concluding on Sunday 23 August.