The ATP Tour continues on with this week’s Western and Southern Open, which has already dipped its toes into the drama pool. The ageless wonder that is Roger Federer moved on from the first round and will eye his seventh title in Cincinnati, while the world’s No. 11 tennis player, Josh Isner, was eliminated during the first round of play. The women’s side also had two stars drop out, as Venus Williams (illness) and Maria Sharapova (leg) both opened this tournament up with their untimely exits.
The 2015 Western and Southern Open serves as a nice warm-up tournament for the season’s final Grand Slam, where Serena Williams will try to make history with a complete Grand Slam at the U.S. Open. There is plenty to see at the Western and Southern Open before we get ahead of ourselves, however, as Williams and Federer both look to defend their titles against fields of elite competition. Williams may have an easier path to another Western and Southern Open title with two quality players bowing out, but Federer should have his work cut out for him as he tries to advance to the final.
With this being the last notable tennis action until the U.S. Open, fans might want to partake in the tournament to get them properly amped up the Open. Fortunately, Hipmunk.com makes it easy to put together the perfect tennis vacation. For this instance, they have lots of cheap Cincinnati flights for fans to get to the courts, and for those wanting to turn it into an extensive getaway, Hipmunk also features a Cincinnati hotel guide, with rooms starting at $84.
Luckily, only the early stages have taken place so fans can still take in the action live for another four days. The competition heats up on August 19, while Western and Southern Open tickets remain a reasonable $104.58 on average ($58 to get in) for Session 8, and $137.86 on average ($67 for the cheap seats) for Session 9. The price of tickets only climbs from there, as tickets are up to $241.54 on average for Thursday’s matches, and up to $220.30 on average for Friday’s slate. August 22 might carry the best pure value for die hard tennis fans, however, as they’ll get to take in the finals for $258.67 on average, or simply hit the cheap seats for just $88.67.
While the value is clear to see, the big question is who is going to take this thing from both sides. With how Serena Williams has been playing all year, it’s tough to see her falling before the U.S. Open. Williams actually won in Cincinnati for the first time ever in this tourney last year, so she’ll be looking for her second piece of Western and Southern Open hardware, and she’ll be trying to make it happen in back-to-back years. She edged out Ana Ivanovic in 2014, but her main competition this time around could be Petra Kvitova.
On the men’s side, Federer is a slight favorite thanks to winning in 2014, as well as his great history at the event. Andy Murray and Rafael Nadal are in the picture to try and take him down at the Western and Southern Open, though, while top-ranked Novak Djokovic will naturally be a real threat as the tournament advances. Overall, fans have already been exposed to some drama and stellar play in the opening round and it should only get more intense from here.