Normally, in the days leading up to the US Open, it's pretty clear how the season of almost every player in the field is looking, with three Grand Slams and seven months of competition in the books.
Now, as we head into what maybe the most unusual and unpredictable US Open ever, the Western & Southern Open—normally played in Cincinnati, but this week in New York—provides not only the long-awaited return to big-tournament tennis, but also a glimpse into whose game is championship-ready after the several-month layover.
Here are a few players to keep tabs on during this week's Masters 1000/Premier 5 event:
Kenin went from promising tournament winner to Slam champion at this year's Australian Open, but she wasn't done there. Shortly before the shutdown, she scored another title this season, winning the International-level event in Lyon, France. Consider her three additional WTA singles crowns in 2019 (plus one final and two doubles titles), and it's clear that Kenin is beyond ready to carry the mantle of being a leading American star.
The obvious next major test, though, is her home Slam, where she's made the third round three years in a row, but never further. This coming tournament presents a chance for Kenin to build on her Cincinnati semifinal result from last year, as well as get some wins in in preparation for what will be a highly anticipated US Open campaign.