Officials announced Thursday, July 16, 2020, that 23-time Grand Slam singles champions Serena Williams will make her return Lexington, the first city in Kentucky to stage a Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) level event.
Originally set to be held in Washington, D.C., Octagon and the WTA selected to move the tournament after failing to reach an agreement with the Citi Open, which has hosted both men and women for the past 10 years.
Williams hasn’t played since representing the United States in the Fed Cup in February, before the WTA tour along with most of the global sport shut down amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Currently ranked No. 9, Serena will be the only Top 10 player entered. According to the WTA rule book, “International tournaments are allowed one Top 10 player to play singles and/or doubles.”
The American will be joined by compatriot and 37th-ranked Sloane Stephens. The 2017 US Open champion is seeking her first title since capturing Miami in 2018.
In June, the American announced she will play the 2020 US Open. A six-time champion in New York, the 38-year-old has reached the past two finals at Flushing Meadows losing to first-time major finalists Naomi Osaka in 2018 and Bianca Andreescu in 2019, respectively.
In January, Serena ended her trophy drought by claiming Auckland, her first title since winning 2017 Australian Open over her sister Venus Williams.