MASON, OH (FOX19) - Two-time defending champion Serena Williams announced on Thursday she will return to the Mason to defend her title and maintain her No. 1 ranking in the world.
Serena, who had been undecided on her return, accepted a wild card spot to play in the Western & Southern Open.
"We are thrilled Serena is returning," said tournament director Andre Silva. "She is a fan favorite wherever she goes, especially here in Cincinnati as the reigning champion."
Top-seeded Williams has made three straight finals in Mason, winning the title in 2014 and 2015. She owns a 21-6 record over eight years of competing at the W&S Open.
Plays begins on Saturday with the opening round of qualifying.