The inaugural New York Open ATP World Tour tennis tournament, held at NYCB Live’s Nassau Coliseum Feb. 11-18, delivered thrilling finishes in both the singles and doubles brackets to cap an exciting week.
"The seedlings were successfully planted for what is going to quickly become a major professional sports event at NYCB LIVE and a winter tennis tradition," said GF Sports Executive Vice President and Tournament Director Josh Ripple. "Like any first year event, we had the headwinds of people's lack of awareness and wait-and-see mindset about engagement, but as the event took form and reports surfaced we saw an embracing of the property that bodes well for 2019.
"We produced a first-class, high quality tennis event with innovation throughout,” Ripple added. “The New York Open is the first ATP Tour property to play on black colored courts, and we created a unique configuration of two competition courts divided an amazing hospitality structure which allowed attendees the opportunity to watch matches on both courts either through an enclosed lounge environment or an open-air patio deck."
Max Mirnyi and Philipp Oswald defeated Wesley Koolhof and Artem Sitak in a marathon doubles final 4-6, 6-4, 10-6, while top-seeded Kevin Anderson got by Sam Querrey 4-6, 6-3, 7-6 (1) to capture the singles title before a crowd of more than 2,300.
“I have been runner-up quite a few times in my career,” Anderson said after the victory. “One of my big goals that I had for this year was to try to be a bit more successful, and that final stage, I fell a little short earlier in this year in India, and it feels great to come through and get today’s win.”
Anderson was impressed with the New York Open’s debut. “Often, when it’s your first week and the first time you put on an event, it can be quite challenging,” he said. “I must say, not just saying it for the sake of it, but I feel like things went very smoothly. I think from a players’ standpoint, it didn’t feel like a first event at all.”
Querrey had similar thoughts about the tour’s new stop. “I’ve played a handful of tournaments where it’s their inaugural year, and this tournament probably did the best job,” he said. “Everything ran smoothly, as it appeared from the players’ standpoint. It was really convenient with the hotel next door, the locker rooms were great, and the crowds were great. The venue is really neat and really cool.”
Next year’s tournament is set for Feb. 9-17, and Ripple is excited about its growth potential.
"The immediate goal for 2019 is to start engaging the tennis community now throughout the metropolitan area, and we have already started to enlist ambassadors to help us build that groundswell needed to create mass involvement,” Ripple explained. “People are excited over what we created.
We are also quickly re-approaching local, regional and national corporations who either wanted to see the New York Open operate one time before considering major sponsorship or actually attended the tournament to see our work firsthand,” he added. “We are very confident that there will be quick adoption of the New York Open as a marketing platform for many of these interested parties. And thanks to all the top brands like NYCB, IZOD, American Express, Dunlop, USTA Eastern, HSS — all who took the chance to invest first and we think found great value in what we provided."