At 2:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Caty McNally obtained a textual content.It was a message from her agent asking if she needed to simply accept a wild card invitation to the Western & Southern Open, the event she’d been attending since she was a bit of lady rising up in Madeira. McNally grinned pondering again to the afternoon.”After all,” she replied.“I wasn’t anticipating it however you by no means know. I performed it the previous two years,” McNally instructed the Enquirer. “I hoped to get a one other alternative to play right here and simply grateful that they’re giving me the wild card.”Extra: Caty McNally awarded wild card to Western & Southern Open McNally’s wild card was introduced to the general public in the course of the Western & Southern Open’s “First Look” occasion Wednesday night on the rooftop of the Lytle Park Lodge. The evening previewed the Aug. 14-22 event which can happen on the Lindner Household Tennis Middle in Mason.Tennis character Blair Henley began the evening off with an anecdote of the place she was only one yr in the past.“A yr in the past I used to be in New York within the bubble on the Western & Southern Open and with all due respect to Flushing Meadows, I can’t say how completely happy I’m to be right here in Cincinnati seeing all of you within the flesh, not over Zoom, to have fun the truth that we’re about to welcome the perfect gamers on the earth, to play in entrance of the perfect followers on the earth,” Henley stated, prompting a cheers.The participant discipline does actually function each No. 1 ranked gamers on the earth in Ashleigh Barty and Novak Djokovic. Rounding out the sphere are 11 different earlier Western & Southern Open champions. Considered one of these contains two-time champion Serena Williams who Western & Southern chairman, president and CEO John Barrett stated he was excited to see.Extra: Western & Southern Open tennis: Participant discipline contains Serena Williams “We in all probability have all three of the three biggest gamers which have ever performed, right here…and perhaps the final time, who is aware of,” Barrett stated. “When somebody writes the historical past of tennis they’ll have the large three on the boys’s aspect and Serena on the ladies’s aspect, eternally. All the time among the many finest.”Additionally within the discipline is 17-year-old Cori “Coco” Gauff who McNally stated she is happy to indicate round her residence metropolis.”She’s one among my finest pals and he or she’s by no means been to Cincinnati earlier than so I can’t wait to offer her all the nice spots. Personally I’m an enormous fan of Skyline Chili, Graeter’s, not the healthiest locations however I believe when you come to Cincinnati you must go to these locations. It is what we’re recognized for,” McNally stated. “It’s such an excellent metropolis. It has a extremely nice homey really feel to it and any questions that anyone has I’m prepared to reply.”The event plans on welcoming a full capability crowd this yr. Western & Southern COO Katie Haas spoke to the COVID-19 protocols that will probably be enforced on the occasion.“For most people and a fan it’s just about going to be fairly near 2019 after they come. Simply as enjoyable, simply as participating,” Haas stated. “By way of the gamers they’re nonetheless going to be in a segregated setting that doesn’t enable quite a lot of fan interplay and that’s due to the tour protocols and necessities that we have now to do.”Haas stated gamers will probably be examined frequently no matter vaccination standing. Interactions between followers and athletes will probably be restricted. Nonetheless, the theme of the evening was centered round how Henley began it – with a gratefulness to be again residence.“I’m so completely happy for all of larger Cincinnati that this world class occasion is coming again and these gamers from everywhere in the world, these enormous stars…are coming again to Cincinnati,” Haas stated.