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Venus Williams, Sloane Stephens Awarded Cincinnati Wild Cards

Venus Williams and Sloane Stephens have been awarded wild cards for the 2021 Western & Southern Open. EPA-EFE/MIGUEL SIERRA

Cincinnati is welcoming a pair of US Open champions to the field.

Seven-time Grand Slam champion Venus Williams and 2017 US Open champion Sloane Stephens have been awarded wild cards for the 2021 Western & Southern Open. 

Stephens and Williams join a field that includes the Top 20 players in the WTA Rankings. The full WTA field, which was announced July 21, includes five former Western & Southern Open winners and the addition of Williams and Stephens raises the number of Major champions in the field to 15. 

A former No. 1 in both singles and doubles, the 41-year-old Williams owns 49 career singles titles. She extended her record as the all-time leader, male or female, in Majors played with 90 when she competed at the Wimbledon, where she is a five-time singles champion. Williams will be making her eighth appearance at the Western & Southern Open, having reached the 2012 semifinals. 

Stephens won the US Open in 2017 just months after seeing her ranking fall to No. 957 following an 11-month absence due to a right foot injury. For her efforts, Stephens earned the WTA Comeback Player of the Year honors in that same season. Collecting six singles titles on the WTA Tour, Stephens has finished as a finalist at the French Open and the WTA Finals. Stephens owns a 14-9 record at the Western & Southern Open, with her best result coming from a run to the semifinals in 2017. 

Both players join Cincinnati native Caty McNally as wild card entrants for the Western & Southern Open. The 19-year-old was awarded her wild card last week shortly after the initial entry list was released. 

Tournament action will take place August 14-22nd, where first serve will take place at 10 a.m. on August 14th for the qualifying tournament. The men’s and women’s singles finals will take place on Sunday, August 22nd. The schedule is available here.