Cincinnati Pro Tennis Tournament, Nation’s Oldest Still Played In Original City, Changes Name to Western & Southern Open
2010 Tournament Attracted Nearly A Quarter Million Fans, 4th Largest In The Country
Combined Men’s and Women’s Event Planned for 2011 Will Have Match Play on Eight Courts
CINCINNATI (December 7, 2010) – The oldest U.S. professional tennis tournament still played in its original city has been renamed the Western & Southern Open and will be contested August 13-21, 2011 at the Lindner Family Tennis Center in Mason, OH.
Tournament officials announced today the complete rebranding of the event, which was first played in Cincinnati in 1899. The tournament had been named the Western & Southern Financial Group Masters and Women’s Open since 2004. The Western & Southern Financial Group remains the event’s title sponsor and is closely involved in the creation of the new brand and logo.
A change in tournament format and major facility investments are impetus for the rebranding. It was announced earlier this year that Cincinnati will become a combined event, meaning the men and women will compete during the same week. The new Western & Southern Open is one of only five events in the world where fans can see at least a Masters 1000 event on the men’s ATP World Tour and a Premier level event for the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) occurring simultaneously.
"The combined tournament coming in August 2011 will be the best product we’ve ever put on the courts in our 110-year history," said Paul Flory, tournament chairman. "The new logo and tournament name are necessary to represent the formation of this new event."
The total prize money for the Western & Southern Open will exceed $5 million in 2011. Last year, 233,775 people paid to watch Roger Federer repeat as champion on the men’s side and Kim Clijsters win the Cincinnati women’s title before going on to win her second straight US Open less than three weeks later.
The event is played each year at the Lindner Family Tennis Center in Mason, OH, a Cincinnati area community approximately 20 miles northeast of downtown. To accommodate the new format, the site is currently undergoing a $7.5 million, 5.4 acre expansion.
Highlights of the renovation are: six new courts including a 4000-seat new television court, a new ticket office, grand entry and large retail plaza. The new event will be played on up to eight courts daily, up from a maximum of four in previous years.
Western & Southern Open Facts
· The tournament has assumed many names through the years: the Cincinnati Open, Tri-State Tennis Tournament, and the ATP Championship to name a few
· Cincinnati was the first tournament to help establish and contribute to a pension fund for the players on the ATP Tour
· Past champions read as a who’s who of all-time tennis greats: Bobby Riggs, Margaret Court, Stan Smith, John McEnroe, Jimmy Connors, Pete Sampras, Andre Agassi, Lindsay Davenport and Andy Roddick as examples