The Australian Open starts in a couple of weeks, but most of us will be following the tournament from our television sets instead of heading down under to watch the first grand slam of 2015. Luckily for American tennis fans, there’s 13 pro tournaments that will take place around the country this year, not including the U.S. Open. So mark your 2015 calendar for the pro tournament near you; MyTennisLessons will give you the scoop on what to expect from each of these events.
Walking in Memphis
Elvis Presley’s former estate, Graceland, is a top attraction in Memphis. Stop by if you’re heading to the Open in February.
Those residing in Tennessee, Arkansas and Mississippi are but a short drive away from the country’s first pro tournament of the season, the Memphis Open, which is the only indoor ATP event in the United States. The playing field for this year includes American favorite John Isner, top American Sam Querrey and U.S. Open Finalist Kei Nishikori. Get ready to enjoy some great BBQ, blues and tennis if you check out this tournament next month.
King of the Beach
Delray Beach Open (Florida)
Southern Florida’s Delray Beach is home to the nation’s only ATP Champions Tour Event, set in the format of Team USA versus Team International. If you want to head down south to catch some rays in mid-winter and watch top former and current players compete, this is the event for you. This year Michael Chang will play for the American champions team while Marin Cilic will compete on the International tour team.
BNP Paribas Open (Indian Wells)
The Indian Wells Golf Resort has a breathtaking view. Why not play some golf in addition to watching tennis at the BNP Paribas Open this year?
The list of 2015 participants won’t be finalized for a few more weeks, but you can expect to see some big names at Southern California’s BNP Paribas Open. Tournament champions in recent years include Djokovic, Federer and Nadal on the men’s side, and Sharapova, Wozniacki and Ivanovic on the women’s side. Indian Wells is just a few hours by car for those who live in the Phoenix area, the Los Angeles area or the San Diego area. Take the whole family for a weekend, or check it out during the week if your kids have an early spring break.
Here Comes the Sun
The Miami Open isn’t just one of the top pro tournaments in the United States, it’s also one of the best in the world, and had an attendance of more than 300,000 last year. Novak Djokovic and Serena Williams will likely vie for a repeat of the titles they earned last year, while Andy Murray and Aga Radwanska may try to reclaim the trophy they won in years past. It’s always a party in Miami, so whether you live in the area or are headed that way for a week on the beach, be sure to purchase at least a one-day pass to the show.
Deep in the Heart of Texas
U.S. Men’s Clay Court Championship (Houston)
There’s plenty of bars and restaurants to explore in Texas’ largest city. Take advantage of all Houston has to offer while visiting for the Men’s Clay Court Championships.
Texans can get their share of tennis this spring at the River Oaks Country Club, where top-ranked ATP players will compete on clay. Last year’s entrants included young American Jack Sock and Spanish superstar Feliciano Lopez, so expect high-profile players at 2015’s tournament as well. The week of the tournament, Houston will also host its 28th annual Art Car Parade, so head to the Main Street Drag to see some 250 elaborately decorated vehicles and meet the artists who created them.
Family Circle Cup (South Carolina)
South Carolinians should head to the coast in April for the Family Circle Cup, a WTA event that has crowned champions like Andrea Petkovic and Sabine Lisicki in past years. This family-friendly event includes fun activities like games for kids, demo courts, happy hours with live music, and shopping. Sounds like a ball!
Road to Rhode Island
Hall of Fame Tennis Championships (Newport)
The United States’ only pro tournament played on grass has been in Newport since the late 1800’s and those who journey to the Rhode Island shore for the Hall of Fame Tennis Championships will find sights as romantic as the tournament venue itself. From Gilded Age mansions, to shoreline walks, to cozy bed and breakfasts, visitors will delight in everything Newport has to offer. Despite the city’s quiet charm, the competition gets intense on the tennis lawn where great players like Lleyton Hewitt and Mardy Fish have claimed victory in recent years.
BB&T Atlanta Open
Perhaps the amatuer tennis capital of the nation, Atlanta is home to an abundance of enthusiastic tennis players who welcome the pros to their city in mid-July for a tournament that draws even those who can’t handle the Georgia heat out of their homes. John Isner has been a dominant force in the ATP event’s first five years, making it to the finals twice and clinching the title the past two years. Besides the tournament, fans will have a blast in Atlanta, as the city serves as a tourist hotspot during the summer with activities like walking around the green space of the 22-mile Beltline or sipping on some sweet drinks at the Coca-Cola factory and museum.
Living for the City
Citi Open (Washington, D.C.)
You can’t forget to take a tour of the U.S. capital in addition to catching the action at the Citi Open!
Right before the U.S. Open, another major city hosts a tournament that has many of the same high-profile players who compete in New York, as last year Milos Raonic and Svetlana Kuznetsova took home the men’s and women’s titles, respectively. The tournament has activities for all ages such as a junior team tennis day, a ladies clinic and a happy hour. Sounds like a great trip to make this summer, especially for inhabitants of the D.C. metropolitan area and those in nearby cities cities like Baltimore and Richmond.
Bank of the West Classic (Palo Alto)
Northern California hosts a WTA event in early August that is sure to thrill tennis fans in the area. Dominika Cibulkova and Victoria Azarenka have claimed victory in Palo Alto before at the longest-running women’s only tournament in the nation. Visitors to the area can explore Stanford University, Silicon Valley and Filoli Gardens in between matches.
The Great Midwest
Western & Southern Open (Cincinnati)
The facilities are fantastic at the Western & Southern Open, the only professional tennis tournament in the Midwest.
When you think about sports in Cincinnati, the Bengals and Reds might come to mind, but the city is also home to some of the best tennis in the world each summer. If you live in Ohio, Indiana and Kentucky, you’re not too far from the hard courts where top-10 players compete every year. It’s worth a trip with the whole family before the kids head back to school.
Cold Day in the Sun
Connecticut Open (New Haven)
New England hosts a prominent women’s tournament in mid-August; players like Simona Halep, Petra Kvitova and Eugenie Bouchard entered the draw last year. The tournament takes place in historical New Haven, home to prestigious Yale University, so bring along your teen who’s a college tennis hopeful for a visit to the campus and to get some inspiration from the WTA’s best.
Carolina in My Mind
Winston Salem Open
The sun sets over the Winston-Salem Open, the last tournament that will be played on American soil in 2015.
The American pro-tennis season culminates in North Carolina, an ATP event that crowned Lukas Rosol as it’s champion in 2014. The venue is within driving distance of cities Charlotte, Greensboro and Raleigh, so even if you can’t watch the entirety of the tournament, it’s an easy commute to make for a one-day pass. Even those in Eastern Tennessee, South Carolina and Virginia should mark their calendar for a last chance to see top tennis in the United States in 2015!