- Cincinnati Masters
Infobox joint Tennis Tournament
Name = Western & Southern Financial Group Masters & Women's Open
Logo_size = 100px
Country = USA
Lindner Family Tennis Center
Surface = Hard / Outdoors
Web_site = http://www.cincytennis.com/1/en/home/default.asp
ATP_Category = Masters Series
ATP_Draw = 56S / 32Q / 24D
WTA_Tier = Tier III
WTA_Draw = 32M / 16Q / 16D
WTA_Prize_Money = US$175,000The Cincinnati Masters is an annual
tennisevent held in the Cincinnati suburb of Mason, Ohio, USA. The event started on September 18, 1899and is today the oldest tennis tournament in the United States played in its original city.
The men's event is one of nine
ATP Masters Seriestournaments on the Association of Tennis Professionals(ATP) tour. The women's event is the only Sony Ericsson WTA Tour event held in the American Midwest. Currently it is a Tier III event on the WTA Tour but it will soon be a Tier I event. The men's and women's events are currently played in separate weeks during the July-August period. The competition is played on outdoor hardcourts. Because of its sponsorship by the Western & Southern Financial Group, the official names of the men's and women's tournament are the Western & Southern Financial Group Masters and the Western & Southern Financial Group Women's Open.
The tournament was started in 1899 as the Cincinnati Open (it would be later known by several other names, including the Tri-State Tennis Tournament), and would eventually grow into the tournament now held in Mason. [ [http://citybeat.com/2001-08-02/events.shtml Follow the Bouncing Ball] , citybeat.com, August 2nd 2001] The original tournament was held at the Avondale Athletic Club, which sat on property that is now
Xavier University, and would later be moved to several various locations due to changes in tournament management and surfaces. The first tournament in 1899 was played on clay courts, and the event was mostly played on clay until 1979 when it switched permanently to hardcourts.
In 1903, the tournament was moved to the
Cincinnati Tennis Club, where it was primarily held until 1972, when it moved to the Queen City Racquet Club in the Cincinnati suburb of Sharonville, Ohio. In 1974, the tournament was nearly dropped completely from the tennis calendar but moved at the last moment to the Cincinnati Convention Center, where it was played indoors and, for the first time since 1919, without a women's draw. In 1975, the tournament moved to the Old Coney amusement park on the Ohio River, and the tournament began to gain momentum again.
In 1979 the tournament moved to Mason where a permanent stadium was to be built and the surface was changed from Har-Tru clay to hardcourt (DecoTurf II.). Later two other permanent stadiums were constructed, making the Cincinnati Masters the only tennis tournament outside the four Grand Slam events with three stadium courts – Center Court, Grandstand Court and Court 3. The women's competition was reinstated in 1988 for one year, and then again in 2004 when the organizers, with the help of the Octagon sports agency, bought a tour tournament previously held in
Croatiaand moved it to Cincinnati.
Since 1975, the tournament has been guided by Paul M. Flory, current tournament chairman and former executive with the
Procter & GambleCompany. During his tenure, the tournament has enriched its considerable heritage, while donating millions of dollars to charity. (Its three charities are Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, The Charles M. Barrett Cancer Center at University Hospital, and the Cincinnati chapter of the National Junior Tennis League.)
Among his many accolades, Flory has been honored with the ATP's
Arthur AsheHumanitarian Award and enshrinement in the USTA/Midwest Hall of Fame and the Cincinnati Tennis Hall of Fame. Flory began his involvement with the tournament in the late 1960s, and to this day he remains a volunteer: he's never accepted a salary or other compensation.
In August, 2008, the men's tournament was sold to the
United States Tennis Association, the owners of the U.S. Open.
The tournament is played at the
Lindner Family Tennis Center, located at 5460 Courseview Drive in Mason, Ohio. It features three tennis stadiums, and is the only venue outside of the Grand Slams with more than two permanent stadiums. Center Court, first built in 1981 and expanded over the years, has a capacity of 10,500. Grandstand Court (Stadium 2), built in 1995, has a capacity of 5,000. Court #3 (Stadium 3), built in 1997, has a capacity of 2,000. The venue has a total of 10 courts.
Men's Singles finals
Open Era Women's Doubles champions
1 The 1979 men's competition was a non-Grand Prix event not bringing any ATP ranking points although named "ATP Championships", run as a rival event to US Pro Championships in Boston.
* [http://www.cincytennis.com Official tournament website]
* [http://www.atpmastersseries.tv/page/Live/0,,11444,00.html?WT.mc_id=cincywiki Watch LIVE Online at ATP Masters Series TV]
* [http://www.enquirer.com/atp/100/index.html The Cincinnati Enquirer's Special Section on the Tournament's 100th Anniversary (1999)]
* [http://www.enquirer.com/editions/1999/08/01/spt_ace_of_atp.html Cincinnati Enquirer Article on Paul Flory (1999)]
* [http://www.enquirer.com/editions/1999/08/01/spt_the_paul_flory_file.html Facts on Paul Flory from Cincinnati Enquirer Article (1999)]
* [http://www.enquirer.com/editions/2004/08/06/spt_sptten1ab.html Cincinnati Enquirer Article on The 25 Best Matches Of The Tournament's First 25 Years in Mason (August 6, 2004)]
* [http://www.citybeat.com/2001-08-02/events.shtml Article in Cincinnati's City Beat newspaper (2001)]
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