John Isner called the Western & Southern Financial Masters new facility “amazing” and said it’s one of the best on the tour. He and the rest of the men can thank the women for that.
This year has brought a new addition to the facility at the tournament, which includes a new players’ lounge, locker rooms, players’ dining, interview rooms and a whole floor for media.
So why should the men thank the women? Well, obviously the men benefit from the facility too, but it’s next year’s change in tournament schedule that inspired the addition. Next summer, the men’s and women’s tournaments will merge into one tournament in August. The tournament’s new status will draw the biggest names of tennis to Cincinnati. Without all these top women coming to the W&S Open, I’m not sure that the new addition would have been built.
Cincinnati has drawn the top men in the sport for years now. And while Serena and Venus Williams have both played here in summer’s past, 2010 is the first year Maria Sharapova attended. She may not be the top-ranked player, but her fame has outgrown her ranking. There was a lot of excitement about her arrival here in Cincinnati, with many people considering her the sign that the tournament has made it big.
In a press conference the other day, the specific plans for expanding the grounds of the tournament for next year were announced. The expansion will include:
- Six new courts
- One court with a seating capacity of 4,000 that will serve as a third television court for the 2011 combined event
- One court with a capacity of 2,500
- Four additional courts
- A 2,750-square-foot enclosed ticket office
- A 10,000-square-foot entry plaza with a 30-foot by 60-foot canopy and 9 gates
The new footprint of the Tennis Center will span 19.0 acres, up from 13.6 acres in 2010. The expansion will stretch to the North and East of the current grounds.
Also it was announced, the 52,000-square-foot structure will officially be named the “Paul Flory Player Center,” in honor of the tournament chairman, Paul Flory. Flory joined the event in 1975 as tournament director and guided the event from a small tournament held at Coney Island to one of the largest in the world.
“Paul truly is a ‘players’ tournament director, and it is only fitting this world-class facility now bears his name,” said USTA President and Chairman of the Board, Lucy Garvin. “This building will forever honor the man who laid the foundation for this tournament’s great success.”