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Wednesday, July 29, 2009

"Indy's biggest problem is Cincinnati"

Robby Ginepri defeated Sam Querrey this past Sunday at the Indianapolis Tennis Championships. The Indy tournament is the first tournament of the Olympus US Open Series that leads up to, you guessed it, the US Open on August 31 through September 13.

What was noticeable about the Indy championship match was the non-sold out center court that seats 10,000. I have annually made the trip up to Mason to attend Cincinnati's premier tennis tournament now know as the Western & Southern Financial Group Masters, and have grown accustomed to its vibrant feel and capacity crowds. ESPN's Peter Bodo notes that:

"Indy's big problem is Cincinnati, which is exactly 103 miles away. Cincinnati is the home of the hugely successful Western and Southern Financial Group Masters (an ungainly title for a great hard-court tournament that is perfectly positioned as the key warm-up event for the U.S. Open). Cincy's prestige and consistently top-drawer field helps define Indianapolis, but not in a good way. Which tournament would you attend, Terre Haute, Ind.?"

One thing I have been predicting for some time now, is that the tennis powers-at-be have big plans for the Cincinnati tournament. The long-time men's only draw has been joined by a complimentary women's tournament that either precedes or follows the main men's tournament. Just shortly after being around, ATP officials upgraded the women's tournament to a status near that of the men's. Facility upgrades including increased seating capacities, box seats and more are on the way for the Linder Tennis Center.

This all seems to be setting the stage for a combined two-week long event that would have both women and men competing at the same time. The end result would make the Cincinnati tournament (whatever it is called at that time) one of the biggest in the world. You would have the four Grand Slam events (New York, London, Paris, Melbourne). The Cincinnati tournament would then be in the next elite tier of tennis tournaments in the world.

If you haven't been up to Mason to check out the competition of the world's best tennis players in a fantastic facility and fan-friendly environment, then I suggest looking into getting tickets to this year's tournament from August 8 through August 23. Check out CincyTennis for all the information on the event, getting tickets and much more.


Bryon Martin said...

Haven't been for the tennis, but I went to see the AVP (both Men's and Women's gold medalists were there for their 1st post Olympic tourney). The atmosphere was unbelievable. Highly recommended.

UCstudent said...

Cincinnatians fail to realize the prestige of the ATP tourney we have here. It was a part of the "Super 9" though they now changed it to the "Masters Series". This is basically a step down from a Grand Slam, of which there are four. I believe there are 10 "Masters Series" tournaments that puts Cincinnati as one of the top 14 tennis tournaments in the world. If they can get the men and women combined like the Lipton (or whatever they call it now), Cincinnati's tournament would be a top 6 or 7 tournament in the world.

Unknown said...

amazing facility. Went there last year to see Rafael Nadal. Lousy seats, but a great vibe nonetheless.

Randy Simes said...

I agree with you UCStudent about the Cincy tournament becoming one of the top two or three tournaments outside of the grand slams. ESPN's Peter Bodo noted in his article that there are really only two Masters events that matter with Cincinnati being one of them - and that's just as a men's only draw currently.

Jake Mecklenborg said...

The ATP facility is looking shabby and I would suggest that a new facility be reconstructed somewhere within city limits, however loss of the tournament at some future date leave a new place empty 365 days per year instead of 340.

Randy Simes said...

Well they do hold the AVP (sand volleyball) tournament there, and operate it as a typical tennis facility throughout the year just with empty stands. So it's not totally useless. I even played on those courts in my Junior year of high school when I qualified for the state tournament.

Unknown said...

It already is in the second tier behind the 4 gramd slam sights.

These cities include:

Indian Wells

By makeing it a 2 week tournament like Indian will be great exposure for Cincinnati.

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