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By Chris Oddo | @TheFanChild | Wednesday July 22, 2020

Kentucky is the place to be in August (if you're a player - no fans allowed), and not for the bourbon or the bluegrass.

This year it will be the inaugural Top Seed Open, presented by Bluegrass Orthopaedics in Nicholasville, Kentucky (an Octagon production) that the tennis world will be watching eagerly.

Tournament director Jonathan Sanders has lured in a quality cast to take part in the inaugural event, which was spun out of the Citi Open when that tournament decided it couldn’t feasibly host the women in 2020 (before the whole event cancelled).

Serena and Venus Williams will be in attendance, but that’s not all. The tournament has brought in top notch youth in the form of Coco Gauff and Amanda Anisimova (both announced on Tuesday) as well as Aryna Sabalenka, Victoria Azarenka, and Sloane Stephens.

The tournament will be held from August 10-16 and will be the first WTA event played in the United States since the Oracle Series Challenger at Indian Wells in early March.

Total prize money for the event will be $225,000. The draw will be a 32-player singles field, including 24 qualies and a 16-pair doubles field.

Health and safety is the big priority for the tournament.

Sanders says the tournament is using an entire hotel for the tournament and its staff and putting players in a protected bubble to keep them from the public. There will be no fans in attendance.

The tournament has partnered with a local lab and promises test results in less than 24 hours. They also have isolation rooms set aside if there are positive tests.

“The health and safety of the players is there top priority, as it should be,” Sanders told Alex Grushkin of the Great Shot Podcast.

“They want to make sure that I as a tournament direction and we as a tournament site and the WTA as a tour are putting this procedures in place to protect them and I can tell you that I am beyond impressed with the WTA, with Octagon, with everybody involved in this event – to the extent that they have gone to put in not just the protocols and procedures but backups and backups on backups and contingency plans for X,Y and Z… because I will tell you that the health and safety of the individuals on their tour is their top priority.”


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