The stage is set for the second straight WTA 1000 hardcourt event of the summer, as the main draw for the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati, Ohio was made and released on Friday evening. Main-draw play begins on Monday, August 14.
An enticing first-round clash was set when Caroline Wozniacki and Elina Svitolina, both making comebacks in 2023 after maternity leave, were drawn against each other in the opening round.
UPDATE: Svitolina withdrew from the tournament due to a right foot injury. Wozniacki will now open her tournament against lucky loser Varvara Gracheva.
The Top 8 seeds all have first-round byes in the 56-player draw. The full draw can be found here.
World No.1 Iga Swiatek tops the draw, and she could possibly have a quick rematch with Danielle Collins in the second round, if Collins can get past Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in the first round. Swiatek just scored a tough three-set win over Collins in the Montreal quarterfinals on Friday night.
Seven-time Grand Slam champion Venus Williams is in the same section, where she will meet No.16 seed Veronika Kudermetova in the first round.
Also in the first quarter is defending champion Caroline Garcia. No.6 Garcia's title defense will start against either 2017 US Open champion Sloane Stephens or Elisabetta Cocciaretto in the second round, and she could meet No.10 Marketa Vondrousova, the Wimbledon champion, in the third round.
No.4 seed Elena Rybakina heads up the second quarter, where she will face either Jelena Ostapenko or Karolina Pliskova in the second round. Rybakina could potentially meet No.13 seed Belinda Bencic in the Round of 16.
Also in this quarter are No.7 seed Coco Gauff and No.9 seed Petra Kvitova, who would face off in the Round of 16 if seedings hold. Last year's runner-up Kvitova might face Montreal quarterfinalist Liudmila Samsonova in the second round, if they each win their opening matches.
The third quarter is led by No.3 seed Jessica Pegula, who just made her third straight Omnium Banque Nationale semifinal on Friday. No.8 Maria Sakkari, No.12 Beatriz Haddad Maia and No.15 Madison Keys are among the potential opponents for the top-ranked American en route to another semifinal.
3 years, 8 Months, 2 kids later! We are back baby!! Feels good to get the W today! 💪🏻— Caroline Wozniacki (@CaroWozniacki) August 8, 2023
The fourth quarter is anchored by No.2 seed Aryna Sabalenka, who will play Magda Linette or a qualifier in the second round. No.5 seed Ons Jabeur and No.11 seed Barbora Krejcikova are in the bottom quarter as well, along with Jennifer Brady, who is on the comeback trail after injuries.
Former World No.1 Wozniacki ended her three-and-a-half-year hiatus just last week, when she made her return in Montreal. Wozniacki won her comeback opener against Kimberly Birrell before losing her second-round match to Vondrousova.