WTA Major Tournament #6: Cincinnati, USA

Creative Commons Licensephoto credit:bourgol

The Women’s Tour event in Cincinnati, Ohio, USA is now one of the major tournaments on the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour after being upgraded since 2008. In 2009 the total prize money is 2 million US dollars up from 175,000 US dollars.

Cincinnati is now a major tournament because it is 1 of the top 9 WTA Tour Premier events and accordingly will showcase the strongest field of players in the event’s history.

Cincinnati’s title sponsor is the Western and Southern Financial Group. Therefore, the 2009 edition of this event is called the Western and Southern Financial Group Women’s Open.

The Western & Southern Financial Group Women’s Open has had many names over the years after it was 1st played on 18 September 1899. Each year this event is played on hard courts and is part of the US Open Series of tournaments.

Cincinnati will be held from Saturday August 8 through to the final on Sunday August 16. This event is run by a non-profit organisation called Tennis for Charity, Incorporated.

Since 2004 the Women’s Open benefits the Charles M. Barrett Cancer Centre charity at the University Hospital in Cincinnati.

In a Grand Slam tournament there is a 128 player draw. Cincinnati has a 56 player draw. This means that the top 8 seeds have a BYE in the first round and play their 1st match in the 2nd round. The top 16 players are seeded whereas in a Grand Slam event the top 32 are seeded.

Last year former world No.3 Nadia Petrova won Cincinnati by defeating Nathalie Dechy in the final 6-2 6-1. Petrova is pictured above extending right up in an effort to use her full height advantage in her service action.

In the semi-finals Dechy defeated French compatriot Amelie Mauresmo whilst Petrova defeated fellow Russian Maria Kirilenko.

The quarter finalists were Vania King, Aleksandra Wozniak, Sabine Lisicki and Lilia Osterloh.

This year former world No.1 and US Open Champion Kim Clijsters is making her comeback to the WTA Tour at Cincinnati. Clijsters retired on 6 May 2007 just 1 month before her 24th birthday.

The Belgian cited her reason for retiring at such a young age as wanting to start a family. Clijsters had a baby girl on 27 February, 2008 named Jada Ellie. Returning at just 26 years old Kim has a realistic chance to become only the 3rd mum to win a Grand Slam singles title.

In case you were wondering the Australian duo of Margaret Court and Evonne Goolagong were the only 2 mums to achieve this honour thus far.

18 of the top 20 women will be playing this year so all of the super stars, former world No.1’s and Grand Slam champions will be battling it out in the 1st major hard court event of the American summer.

Stay tuned as we cover this tournament, the next 3 major Premier events, the final Grand Slam of 2009 – the US Open and the end of year championships.

Please comment if any of the above is unclear. The aim is to make it easy for everybody to understand the tournaments!

Today’s POST is dedicated to Andres Gimeno. Gimeno was born on 3 August in 1937 and won the French Open in 1972. The Spaniard was runner-up in another Grand Slam singles final, the 1969 Australian Open to Rod Laver. Gimeno’s highest ranking of No.49 was achieved on 23 August, 1973.

© OnCourtAdvantage.com 2009

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