by ROBIN LINDNER, Marketing & Communications Director, Winston-Salem Open
It won an award for “tournament of the year,” has a global audience of nearly 5 million, is broadcast in more than 120 countries around the world, and is in your backyard.
In a few short weeks the world’s tennis community will focus its eyes on the Twin Cities as it prepares for another installment of the Winston-Salem Open, an Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) men’s event that serves as the last stop on the calendar before the final Grand Slam of the year – the U.S. Open in New York.
“Winston-Salem has a long, rich tennis history,” says Tournament Director Jeff Ryan. “People from around the world enjoy the Winston-Salem Open, whether they come visit us or enjoy watching the event on television. It’s a unique opportunity to have such a community and family-friendly setting for this kind of high-profile event. Fans have the chance to see the stars in action in one of the most intimate settings on the ATP Tour,” he added.
The tennis is only one facet of the event. Nearly each day of the week-long tournament, visitors can enjoy multiple special events, including a free kids’ day sponsored by Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist, a clinic to raise funds for early detection of breast cancer through Earlier.org, or free on-court instruction for students during middle school and high school play days.
Tiffany Noel, a Winston-Salem native who grew up playing tennis, is a member of the East Forsyth High School Hall of Fame and played for Howard University on a scholarship, now serves on the tournament’s board of directors and hopes to bring more people to the event and to the game.
“We are continuing to look for new fans. It’s hard to explain how much atmosphere the Winston-Salem Open has if you haven’t experienced it,” Noel says. “In the bigger picture, though, we are devoted to our community and value our partnerships with local businesses, nonprofits like Big Brothers Big Sisters and the Crosby Scholars, and our huge network of volunteers who are gracious with their time and talents,” she continued.
The Winston-Salem Open does more than support the city and county in words. Since resuming after COVID-19 canceled the 2020 event, the Winston-Salem Open has donated more than $50,000 to Winston-Salem Forsyth County Schools middle school athletics, funding programs and activities for young people in the community.
The tournament also supports community tennis programs through the Kimberley Park Tennis Association and Winston-Salem Tennis, Inc. This type of financial support helps public tennis grow in Winston-Salem, especially in areas where low and no-cost programming is vital.
Throughout August, the tournament will host different special events around the county, including one in partnership with Forsyth Woman and Tucker’s Tap Yard on August 3 for a special Girls’ Night Out. The perfect match – a cocktail for you and a ticket that gives back to the community.
Tickets are on sale now at winstonsalemopen.com and begin as low as $11.