NEW YORK — Serena Williams, Coco Gauff, Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal were on Wednesday’s initial entry lists – but No. 1 woman Ash Barty, two-time Grand Slam champion Naomi Osaka and 2019 U.S. Open champion Bianca Andreescu were not – for the tournament moved from Cincinnati to Flushing Meadows next month because of the coronavirus pandemic.
The Western & Southern Open is scheduled for Aug. 20-28 on the same hard courts at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center that are slated to host the U.S. Open from Aug. 31 to Sept. 13.
The U.S. Tennis Association is planning to stage the two tournaments back-to-back in New York while the coronavirus outbreak worsens in other parts of the country and there are lingering questions about international travel.
Both defending champions at the Cincinnati event are entered this year: Daniil Medvedev, who lost to Nadal in last year’s U.S. Open final, and Madison Keys.
Just because a player is on Wednesday’s lists does not mean she or he necessarily will compete at the tournament.
No sanctioned professional tennis events have been played since March because of the coronavirus. Both the women’s and men’s tours plan to return in August, but the tentative calendars drawn up for the rest of 2020 already have seen cancellations.
That includes what was supposed to be the first men’s tournament back, in Washington in August.
The women’s tour still aims to return next week at Palermo, Italy.