Watch List: Final U.S. Open tune-ups in New Haven, Winston-Salem
The Watch List highlights the must-know storylines for the upcoming week in tennis. One week out from the start of the U.S. Open, four of the WTA top ten are in New Haven, Conn., while four of the top 20 ATP players head to the Winston-Salem open for a final tune-up before New York.
Connecticut Open (New Haven, Conn.)
After losing to Serena Williams in the Western and Southern Open final on Sunday, Simona Halep pulled out of New Haven, leaving lucky loser Lesia Tsurenko to take her place in the draw. With Halep's withdrawal, four of the top ten players are in action as No. 2 seed and defending champion Petra Kvitova, No. 3 seed Caroline Wozniacki, No. 4 seed Lucie Safarova and No. 5 seed Karolina Pliskova look to gain some confidence before next week's U.S. Open. Look out for Dominika Cibulkova, who is back in New Haven after a left Achilles injury and surgery sidelined her for more than four months this season. She's already got a win under her belt, beating Tsvetana Pironkova in a three-hour match on Sunday in the first round. Last week Belinda Bencic, Ekaterina Makarova and Sloane Stephens all withdrew from the tournament, but Timea Bacsinszky, Agnieszka Radwanska, Sara Errani, Kristina Mladenovic, Caroline Garcia, Eugenie Bouchard, CoCo Vandeweghe, Alize Cornet and Madison Keys are all in the draw.
Winston-Salem Open (Winston-Salem, N.C.)
There aren't any top ten players in Winston-Salem this week but four players in the top 20 are in action, with Gilles Simon, Kevin Anderson, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Viktor Troicki claiming the top four seeds of the tournament. Defending champion Lukas Rosol opens against Ernests Gulbis and could face Jerzy Janowicz in the second round. Keep an eye on teens Borna Coric, Thanasi Kokkinakis, Hyeon Chung and American Frances Tiafoe. Kokkinakis has a first round match against Alexandr Dolgopolov, who advanced to the semifinals in Cincinnati last week after beating Tomas Berdych. Sam Groth beat Jared Donaldson on Sunday night in the first round and will face another American in Steve Johnson in the second round. American Sam Querrey, Guillermo Garcia-Lopez, Thomaz Bellucci, Benoit Paire, Joao Sousa, Jiri Vesely, Pablo Andujar, Marcos Baghdatis, and Teymuraz Gabashvili are also in the draw.
U.S. Open qualifying and draw ceremony
The qualifying tournament runs from Tuesday to Friday. Keep an eye on Vicky Duval, who received a qualifying wild card and will play for a spot in the main draw. The ceremony for the men's and women's main draw will take place on Thursday. Check back for draw reactions, seed reports and more.