Saturday session sets attendance record

Nadal signs for throngs of fans
Saturday's qualifying session at the Western & Southern Open drew an all-time tournament record crowd of 13,204 to the Lindner Family Tennis Center.
 
The previous record of 11,915 had been set during the Tuesday afternoon main draw session of the ATP World Tour men’s tournament in 2006.
 
In addition to a full slate of 38 qualifying matches, Kids Day was held Saturday and many main draw players were practicing on-site, including four-time champion Roger Federer, two-time champion Andy Roddick, 19-time Masters 1000 winner Rafael Nadal, 2008 Cincinnati champion Andy Murray, WTA No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki and 2010 Cincinnati finalist Maria Sharapova.
 
"Setting an attendance record is certainly a great way to start the Western & Southern Open," said Tournament Director Vince Cicero. "Our staff has worked very hard to ensure that all the facility enhancements were completed and ready for play to begin today. Our fans certainly seemed to enjoy an amazing day of tennis and entertainment. Sales are tracking very well, and we're looking forward to welcoming more and more fans throughout the week."
 
Cincinnati has hosted a men’s tournament continuously since 1899, making it the longest-running American tournament to still be held in its original city. A women’s event has been held in Cincinnati off and on over the years, and the WTA returned again in 2004.
 
This is the first year for Cincinnati to be hosting the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 and WTA Premier 5 event concurrently during the same week.
 
To accommodate the larger event, six courts - four match, two practice - were added to the Tennis Center for the 2011 event, bringing the total to 16 courts. Four of the match courts are permanent stadiums, the most for a tennis center in America outside the US Open.
 
Those four new match courts saw their first action with Saturday’s qualifying action.
 
Saturday's session is one of the six of 16 during the tournament for which more than 10,000 tickets have already been sold. 
 
To purchase tickets for the 2011 Western & Southern Open, please visit www.cincytennis.com.
 
 

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