Western & Southern Open tennis moved from Mason to New York City

The Western & Southern Open will go on as scheduled this year, but not in Mason.

The 2020 WTA Premier 5 and ATP Masters 1000 tournament — originally set to take place Aug. 15-23 at the Lindner Family Tennis Center in Mason — will be staged instead at the USTA’s Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in New York.

The event serves as a tune-up for the U.S. Open and is moving to that site in order to create a bubble for competitors amid safety concerns during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We recognize the tremendous responsibility of hosting one of the first global sporting events in these challenging times, and we will do so in the safest manner possible, mitigating all potential risks,” USTA Executive Officer and Executive Director Mike Dowse said in a statement Tuesday.

The Western & Southern Open is the nation’s oldest professional tennis tournament played in its city of origin. First played in 1899 on the site of current day Xavier University and eventually moving to Mason in 1979, the W&S Open has been a fixture in the Queen City for more than a century, as the 2019 tournament was the 118th men’s edition and the 91st women’s edition. This will be the first year the event will not be played in Cincinnati.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the State of New York accepted the plans to host the U.S. Open on Tuesday, paving the way for the W & S Open to temporarily move to Flushing.

Many of the world’s top players have participated in the W&S Open over the years, including Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer and Andy Murray last year in the men’s tournament and usually Serena Williams highlights the women’s competition. Daniil Medvedev and Madison Keys won the men’s and women’s singles titles last year.

More details on the Western & Southern Open, including refund policies for ticket holders, are expected to be announced Wednesday. Pre-sale tickets were sold starting in December and tickets went on sale to the general public in February.

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