Crowds welcome Western and Southern Tennis home to Mason

Big crowds rushed through the gates of Mason’s Lindner Family Tennis Center ready to cheer on the world’s greatest tennis.

Katie Haas, the tournament’s COO said she and her staff were glad to welcome tennis fans and professionals from all over the world.

“After almost 2 years of not having tennis here at the Lindner Family Tennis Center, we are so happy to have such a successful first day. We had some great crowds watching great tennis and look forward to starting the main draw tomorrow night.”

Last year’s match play was held at The Arthur Ashe Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows, New York, the home of the U.S. Open.

Long-time fans like John Norman said the week-long tournament has a different feel returning to its home courts.

“It’s a lot different than it was the first time I was here. I like the atmosphere a lot better, and coming home is always good,” Norman said.

The week-long tournament will crown a champion in front of a capacity crowd at center court. Annett Mahone drove from Chicago for the week of tennis of food and entertainment

“I’m from Chicago. This is my first time at the Western and Southern Open. When I learned it was here, and he was from here, I was like let’s go,” Mahone said.

COVID-19 protocols are in place, limiting player and fan interaction this year. Autographs are restricted and many have chosen to wear masks. But the big serves and volleys are back. Some organizers like Pete Holterman, say it’s better than ever.

“It’s been so energizing for the players. They have spent the last 12 months going through different protocols, staying isolated playing in front of empty stadiums, being back in front of a packed house is so energizing,” Holterman said.

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