MASON, Ohio -- The draw for the Western & Southern Open has been revealed and reigning US Open champion Emma Raducanu will face Serena Williams in the first round. The Western & Southern Open is the second WTA 1000 tournament of the summer hard-court season and the last major stop before the final Slam of the season at the US Open.
World No.1 Iga Swiatek tops the 56-player singles draw, where the top eight seeds will receive byes into the second round. Joining Swiatek in the top half of the draw are No.3 Paula Badosa, No.5 Ons Jabeur and No.8 Garbińe Muguruza. Simona Halep, Coco Gauff, Belinda Bencic and Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina have also landed in the loaded top half.
No.2 Anett Kontaveit anchors the bottom half of the draw, along with No.4 Maria Sakkari, No.6 Aryna Sabalenka and No.7 Jessica Pegula. But the news in the bottom half comes from four unseeded stars.
Playing in her last Hologic WTA Tour tournament before her final goodbye at the US Open, Williams will open her tournament against Raducanu. It will be the first meeting between the two. Serena heads to Cincinnati coming off her first win of the season, at the National Bank Open before losing to Bencic in the second round. Raducanu fell to Camila Giorgi in her opening hurdle in Toronto. The winner will face either Victoria Azarenka or Kaia Kanepi.
Venus Williams, a wild-card entry, will face No.14 Karolina Pliskova in the first round. A champion in 2016, Pliskova holds a 2-1 record against Venus and is coming off a strong week in Toronto.
Meanwhile, two former US Open champions look to get more matches under their belt ahead of New York. Naomi Osaka, who was forced to retire in Toronto due to a back injury, will open her tournament against Zhang Shuai. Bianca Andreescu faces Giorgi in the first round.
Update: Andreescu withdrew from the tournament after the draw was made due to a change in schedule.
Main-draw play begins on Monday, Aug. 15 at the Lindner Family Tennis Center.