When one normally thinks of tennis, grand slam major competitions like the Australian Open, French Open, Wimbledon Championships, and US Open typically come to mind.
While there’s a roughly six-week layoff between Wimbledon, which concluded last weekend, and the US Open in August and September, that’s not to say the next month and a half will be easygoing for the sport’s top stars.
The Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) takes into account performances in all of their matches throughout the year as they make their world rankings, though, meaning that stars can’t sell out to focus on the majors if they want to hold the title of World No. 1. Holding the current No. 1 spots in the rankings, Carlos Alcaraz Garfia (+125) of Spain and Iga Swiatek (+225) of Poland are the favorites to take home the title at the US Open based on the odds at Ohio’s DraftKings Sportsbook.
They’ve got to get there first, though, and other ATP competitions like Ohio’s Western & Southern Open Tournaments could shake up the standings in a big way if one of the stars takes a breather for as much as a weekend. Get in on the Action with DraftKings Ohio at The Western & Southern Open Tournament’s Thrilling Return, set for the week of August 13 to August 20 in Cincinnati.
That feeling when you win your first @atptour Masters 1000 title 😁 💪 🏆
— Western & Southern Open (@CincyTennis) July 20, 2023
The Cincinnati tournament will be loaded with star power, as both Alcaraz, Swiatek, and Serbian superstar Novak Djokovic have already announced their intentions to take part in the competition.
Tickets for the finals are going for as low as 87 USD, giving Ohio tennis fans an excellent opportunity to see the greatest players in the world face off with a tournament win on the line: compared to the $331 minimum for Wimbledon (not to mention the airfare and lodging in London), a veritable pennies on the dollar deal.
Also known as the Cincinnati Open, it actually takes place at the Lindner Family Tennis Center in Mason, Ohio, half an hour northeast of downtown Cincinnati.
It’s a hardcourt venue, just like the US Open and Australian Open. Alcaraz and Djokovic won those last two events, respectively, so it’s not like one has a big leg up on the other based on the surface. 13 of Djokovic’s 23 career grand slam tournament wins have come on hard courts, though, so he does have an affinity for the surface… but there aren’t really any areas of the sport where he doesn’t excel. Swiatek and Belarusian Aryna Sabalenka won the last US Open and Australian Open on the women’s side, respectively, and they’re projected to go No. 1 and No. 2 in the upcoming hardcourt matches… again, nothing surprising.
Here’s a look at recent movement amongst the top of the field.
Garfia claimed the men’s singles throne from Djokovic on the grassy greens of Wimbledon, preventing the Serbian star from a bid at his first ever Grand Slam sweep, helping him maintain his position at the No. 1 spot in the ATP world rankings.
On the women’s side, Swiatek of Poland had enough of a points cushion to remain atop the ATP rankings as well, despite a disappointing showing in South London that saw her come up short in the quarter-finals.
Czech standout Markéta Vondroušová ended up claiming the title despite beginning as an unseeded competitor, giving her a 32 spot jump in the rankings from No. 42 to No. 10.
Alcaraz (9,675 points) has a healthy lead over Djokovic (8,795 points) in the ATP’s scoring system. The margin is a bit narrower for Swiatek, whose 9,315 points put her a hair above Sabalenka (8845 points).