WTA Cincinnati: 2016 finalists Karolina Pliskova, Angelique Kerber headline entry list

2016 champion Karolina Pliskova and runner-up Angelique Kerber are amongst the notable WTA players that will be in action at the Western and Southern Open, held in Cincinnati, next month.

Pliskova, who has just taken the world number one ranking from Kerber, will be looking to defend her title at the tournament, held two weeks before the US Open, though faces a tough draw, with all of the top ten in action and with all the direct entrants into the tournament being ranked inside the top 50.

The tournament, as always will be extremely crucial, with the results being the final ones which will determine the seedings at Flushing Meadows.

All of the top ten in action

With 900 ranking points available for the winner, the field is ultimately stacked, with the world’s top ten vying to get the best seeding possible for the US Open.

Garbine Muguruza after winning the Wimbledon title last weekend (Getty/Pool)
Garbine Muguruza after winning the Wimbledon title last weekend (Getty/Pool)

With the points from last year set to drop off beforehand, the pressure will be on the likes of Pliskova and Kerber to regain points, whilst the likes of Wimbledon finalists Garbine Muguruza and Venus Williams, and Wimbledon semifinalist Johanna Konta will be looking to keep building their recent momentum.

Simona Halep, who could well be in the hunt for the world number over the hard court summer, will also be in action, as will Elina Svitolina and Caroline Wozniacki, who have both risen up the rankings into the top ten this year. Two-time Grand Slam champion Svetlana Kuznetsova, who has been having a solid season, and the struggling Agnieszka Radwanska round off the top ten stars in action.

Other notable names in action

The strength and depth on the WTA Tour shows in the entry list, with several notable names outside the top ten in action.

Jelena Ostapenko in action at Wimbledon (Getty/David Ramos)
Jelena Ostapenko in action at Wimbledon (Getty/David Ramos)

Perhaps the most notable is French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko, who has been one of the biggest stories of the year; the Latvian is aiming for her first title since her win in Paris. Also in action will be two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova, continuing her comeback from a knife attack, as well as American Madison Keys, who is looking to find form after a year troubled by injury.

Furthermore, Kristina Mladenovic, another of the breakthrough stars of 2017, will be in contention for the title, as will the likes of Indian Wells champion Elena Vesnina, and American stars Coco Vandeweghe and Lauren Davis. Former US Open champion Samantha Stosur and 2015 French Open finalist Lucie Safarova will also be in action.

The full entry list can be seen below.

The full entry list for the Western and Southern Open (Courtesy of the Western and Southern Open's official website)
(Courtesy of the Western and Southern Open's official website)