Nadal to Play in Pre-US Open Event
Posted by: Hilbert Mayer
Spanish claycourt maestro and reigning US Open champion Rafael Nadal has surprised everyone by announcing that he will play in the Western & Southern Open in New York in August. The decision signals Nadal’s intention to defend the Grand Slam event. This also serves as an early warning to his rivals who seek to claim the US Open. Nadal’s entry to the Western & Southern Open will hand more options for tennis fanatics who seek to bet on favored netters in every event.
No one expected Nadal’s entry to the US Open. It was after his coach-uncle Toni expressed doubts about taking part in the event. Days later, a video surfaced in social media showing the 19-time Grand Slam champion training on clay. This led to pundits and tennis fans speculating that the Spaniard is preparing for the French Open in September. Former netter and tennis expert, Rennae Stubbs expected Nadal’s non-entry to the US Open. In her podcast, she thought that the Spaniard would not compete in the US Open due to the viral video.
Adding spice to a depleted field
The decision of Rafael Nadal to take part in the Western & Southern Open is expected to add spice to an already depleted field. He will join world number one Novak Djokovic and top women’s draw Serena Williams in the tournament. It is already missing the likes of women’s number one Ashleigh Barty and second-ranked Simona Halep. Others taking part in the event include defending champions Daniil Medvedev and former men’s winners Marin Cilic and Grigor Dimitrov. On the women’s side, Madison Keys will defend the title. She will face tough opposition with Kiki Bertens, Garbine Muguruza and third-ranked Karolina Pliskova competing.
The men’s field comprises of 40 of the top 43-ranked players in the Association of Tennis Professionals rankings. These include young stars Stefanos Tsitsipas, Alexander Zverev, Matteo Berrettini and Felix Auger Aliassime. Meanwhile, the women’s competition will feature 39 of the top 53 tennis stars in the Women’s Tennis Association rankings. This includes 16-year-old phenom Coco Gauff. The notable absences in the men’s side are 20-time Grand Slam winner Roger Federer, ninth-ranked French netter Gael Monfils and number 17 Stan Wawrinka.
The main draw for the Western & Southern Open will kick off on August 22 and the finals of both men’s and women’s singles will be held on August 28.
The decision of Nadal to compete in the pre-US Open tournament would mean a big push for online tennis betting sites amid the pandemic. The sudden decision of some top-caliber women’s players gives the men’s side an enormous advantage. This comes in terms of excitement and unpredictability. Placing a bet in one of the contenders this early would still be tough. Bettors would need to consider the field of competitors taking part in the event.