MASON, Ohio, July 24 /PRNewswire-HISPANIC PR WIRE/ — How strong is the field for Cincinnati’s 2008 Western & Southern Financial Group Masters? Only 44 men are given direct acceptance into the singles draw, and the last man on the preliminary list is ranked No. 44, the tournament announced today.
“The field will be as strong as any in professional tennis,” said tournament director Bruce Flory. “The players understand how important this tournament is to their ranking and their careers.”
Two of the men expected to compete are the winningest players in the men’s game of late — two-time and defending champion Roger Federer and world No. 2 Rafael Nadal. The man chasing those two for a spot at the top of men’s tennis, Novak Djokovic, also will play, as will two-time Cincinnati champ Andy Roddick.
The top Latinos will also be competing and they will include David Ferrer, David Nalbandian, Fernando Gonzalez, Juan Monaco and Nicolas Lapentti among others.
These and other players will be competing for a piece of the $2.75 million total purse in a 56-man draw with the top eight seeds receiving a first-round bye. Cincinnati’s tournament is the oldest in the nation played in its original city, and it is now one of the most prestigious in the world.
The list includes players from 18 different countries, two players who will be making their first appearance in Cincinnati, three former champions, and five players who either are or have been ranked No. 1 in the world (Federer, Roddick, Ferrero, Moya and Hewitt).
In addition to the 44 players that have already been accepted into the tournament, the 56-man main draw field also will include:
— 4 Wild Cards: These are four spots in the main draw filled at the tournament’s discretion. The four players will be determined between now and the draw ceremony on Friday, July 25.
— 7 Qualifiers: Seven players who win two matches in the 28-man qualifier on July 26 & 27 are placed into the main draw.
— 1 Special Exempt: A spot left open for a player who would have had to go through qualifying, but who’s in the semis in AMS Canada, which are played at the same time as qualifying here. (If this doesn’t happen, the spot is used by the next player in line for direct acceptance.)
A preliminary qualifying field will be announced in early July, and the wild card entrants will be announced as they are determined.
The 2008 Western & Southern Financial MASTERS will be held July 25-August 3 in Mason, Ohio. The Western & Southern Financial Group WOMEN’S OPEN will be held August 9-17. For tickets or information visit www.cincytennis.com or call the tournament 513-651-0303. Tickets also are available via TicketMaster at 513-562-4949, or www.ticketmaster.com .