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ATP Tennis • Andy Murray Gets Wild Card For “Cincinnati,” (New York) Djokovic And Nadal On U.S. Open Entry Lists

By Ricky Dimon

While the Mutua Madrid Open is the next professional tournament to be cancelled, all systems are still go for will be an abbreviated United States hard-court swing. The Western & Southern Open and the U.S. Open–both taking place at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in New York–are still on the schedule.

It looks like they will actually happen, which would mark the ATP Tour’s official comeback from a five-month hiatus due to the coronavirus pandemic that dates back to early March.

The Western & Southern Open, previously played in Cincinnati, took the next step by issuing wild cards on Monday. Among the recipients are Andy Murray, Tommy Paul, and Frances Tiafoe.

Murray is a two-time Cincinnati champion, having triumphed in 2008 and 2011. Paul, 23, kicked off his 2020 campaign by reaching his first career ATP semifinal in Adelaide. He also advanced to the Acapulco quarters. Tiafoe, who was a quarterfinalist at the 2019 Australian Open, tested positive for the coronavirus one month ago at an exhibition event in Atlanta, but he is ready to go now.

Forty of the top 43 players in the ATP Rankings were on the initial entry list for the Western & Southern Open, including Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal. Both have been hesitant to commit to the U.S. swing, but Madrid’s cancellation may result in the two hard-court tournaments landing better playing fields than they otherwise would have. With European clay now in doubt, Nadal, Djokovic, and others may be more inclined to take their talents to the other side of the pond.

On the women’s side, Kim Clijsters, Naomi Osaka, Sloane Stephens, Venus Williams, and Caty McNally were awarded wild cards for the Western & Southern Open. World No. 1 Ashleigh Barty, meanwhile, recently announced that she is opting out of American hard courts this summer.

Ricky contributes to 10sballs.com and also maintains his own tennis website, The Grandstand. You can follow him on twitter at @Dimonator.

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