ATP Winston Salem Open preview: The last tune-up before the U.S. Open has Paire, Shapovalov, Rublev, Tiafoe, Evans, Murray, Kecmanovic, more
France’s Benoit Paire is the No. 1 seed at the ATP Winston Salem Open. (AP Photo/Kamran Jebreili)Associated Press

ATP Winston Salem Open preview: The last tune-up before the U.S. Open has Paire, Shapovalov, Rublev, Tiafoe, Evans, Murray, Kecmanovic, more

Matches start Monday. Daniil Medvedev will not be defending his 2018 title.

Winston Salem Open

Winston Salem, NC

Sunday, August 18, 2019

Men’s Preview

The last Men’s ATP tournament before the U.S.Open is the Winston Salem Open, a Masters 250 event held on the Wake Forest University campus. Although most of the top players will be taking this week off in preparation for next week’s tennis extravaganza to be played in Flushing Meadows, Queens, there are still a bunch of players who view this tournament in North Carolina as a great way to warm up for the last Grand Slam event of the year. The Winston Salem Open boasts a 64 man draw with 48 players in the draw itself. There are also 32 more players competing in the qualifying, so there will be an awful lot of good tennis this week at Wake Forest.

The players are playing for real money. The winner this week collects $96,505, while the runner up takes home $56,000. Those who lose in the first round get $3950 to help heal their wounds, while a first round winner will receive $6500 for his efforts. Those vying for those dollars will be top-seeded Benoit Paire, second seed Denis Shapovalov, along with Hubert Hurkacz, Joao Sousa, Dan Evans, and Sam Querrey. Other seeded players include Frances Tiafoe, Miomir Kecmanovic and John Millman. Floaters in the draw include Andrey Rublev, Thomas Fabbiano, Andy Murray, Nicolas Jarry, Stevie Johnson, and Marco Cecchinato. All of these guys want to win the title, but more importantly, they’d like to come out of this tournament injury-free, and ready for the demands of the three-out-of-five set format of the U.S. Open.

Interestingly, the doubles draw is far more stacked than the singles draw. As there are only 16 teams, the 80 players here in North Carolina to play singles all had to scramble to be included. Of those 32 lucky players, the top teams include Lukasz Kubot/Marcelo Melo, Ivan Dodig/Filip Polasek, Jamie Murray/Neal Skupski, Jeremy Chardy/Fabrice Martin, Kevin Krawietz/Andreas Mies, and Rajeev Ram/Joe Salisbury. The doubles teams are playing for a top prize of $40,600, and the considerable momentum that a win will give them as they travel up north to play in New York City.

This event may not have the panache of next week's tournament, but it’s got a lot of good players, and there will be some great tennis played. Head down to ACC Country, check out the wonderful facilities of Wake Forest, and watch a bunch of guys this week, who will be making headlines next week.

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