Western & Southern Open: Rafael Nadal, Victoria Azarenka to defend titles

Field includes top 43 men, top 39 women

MASON, Ohio -  Men's No. 2 Rafael Nadal and women's No. 10 Victoria Azarenka will defend their 2013 titles in the Western & Southern Open next month.

The field, announced Monday, will include the top 43 men and the top 39 women in the current ATP and WTA rankings. 

The tournament will be held Aug. 9-17 at the Lindner Family Tennis Center. New fan features include free WiFi in the Food Court and a Michelob Ultra bar.

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Wimbledon champion and world's No. 1 Novak Djokovic will be out to win his first W&S title, while No. 3 Roger Federer and No. 10 Andy Murray return as past champions.

Tennis Channel commentator Jimmy Arias called Djokovic the one to beat.

Djokovic, who regained the No. 1 ranking at Wimbledon, would become the first player to complete the Career Golden Masters (at least one title at each of the nine ATP Masters 1000 events) with a win here.

Besides Azarenka, there are three former women's champs in the field: No. 1 Serena Williams (last year's runner-up), No. 2 Li Na and 6. Maria Sharapova.

But ESPN's Sam Gore picks No. 7 Eugenie Bouchard, runner-up at Wimbledon.

Bouchard, 20, is among the new wave of rising young women's stars. Also coming to Mason are No. 3 Simona Halep, the 22-year-old French Open finalist, as well as two American up-and-comers, No. 22  Sloane Stephens and No. 27 Madison Keys.

Both the men's and women's tournaments will consist of 56-player fields. A two-round qualifying tournament will be held Aug. 9-10 to fill out the fields.
 
The Western & Southern Open is one of only five tennis events in the world (outside of the grand slams) that features the best men and women playing during the same week at the same venue.
 

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