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Why the Western & Southern Open tennis tournament is a big deal for southwest Ohio

Oct. 13—For the last several months, there was a lot of talk about the Western & Southern Open pro tennis tournament in Mason possibly moving to Charlotte.

Beemok Capital was considering moving the tournament to Charlotte after acquiring the rights to it last year.

However, it was announced this week that the Western & Southern Open is staying in Mason, and not just for the short term. A deal was reached to keep the popular event in Mason for the next 25 years.

A great match

Local tennis fans are all breathing a huge sigh of relief.

The tournament showcases the best professional male and female athletes in the sport.

The tournament made a big splash with the announcement, releasing a video featuring tennis legend Novak Djokovic, who won the men's singles championship in 2023, and rising star Coco Gauff, the 2023 women's singles champion, that gave the region a huge lift.

"Your wonderful tournament is staying in Cincinnati," Djokovic said, adding he hopes to win a fourth Rookwood Trophy in 2024.

Gauff said, "It's going to be bigger and better forever."

The tournament dates back to 1899 in Cincinnati and has been in Mason since 1974. It will celebrate its 125th anniversary in 2024.

Why is this such a big deal?

There are a lot of reasons this is good news for fans as well as the region.

Each summer, the event draws 200,000 fans from all over the world. More than 1,200 volunteers from the community and the region help to put on the tournament.

Among the things tennis fans said they love about the Western & Southern Open are its history and tradition and the intimacy of the facility that brings fans and players closer together.

The tournament is one of the 15 most prestigious tennis tournaments in the world, with other events at that level hosted in cities like Shanghai, Paris, Rome and Madrid, one step below the Grand Slam championships.

More than $200 million in upgrades will be invested at the Lindner Family Tennis Center, where the event is held.

It's still growing. In 2025, the tournament will expand from nine to 12 days and growing the single player draw from 56 to 96 players

In 2025, when the tournament expands, Warren County Commissioner David Young said the event will provide a $150 million economic impact for the region and bring an estimated 400,000 visitors.