CINCINNATI, OH, USA - Two former Western & Southern Open champions and World No.1s lead the list of four wildcards for this year's event, announced on Thursday by the Western & Southern Open.
Victoria Azarenka, the 2013 champion, and Maria Sharapova, who raised the trophy in 2011, have accepted wildcards into the main draw, along with the returning Sloane Stephens and rising star Marketa Vondrousova.
The tournament is set to take place Aug. 12-20 at the Lindner Family Tennis Center, and is a Premier 5 stop on the US Open Series.
Three of the four players have had success historically in their trips to the event. In addition to two titles between Azarenka and Sharapova, while Stephens has reached the round of 16 in each of her last four appearances. The 18-year-old Vondrousova, a breakout player on the WTA this season, will be making her debut at the event.
“The addition of these players add to our already strong player field,” said Tournament Director Andre Silva. “We anticipate the WTA’s No. 1 ranking to be on the line during the Western & Southern Open, and adding players of this caliber will make the battle for the top spot even more compelling.”
These four wild cards join a previously announced WTA field that included 39 of the top 43 players at the time of the entry deadline.