The Abierto Tennis Classic in Acapulco, Mexico is the hippest tournament on tour right now. Broadening its appeal with a switch from clay to hard courts, the event drew a top ATP player in Andy Murray for the first time this year. Add in a water-tennis ATP/WTA Tour publicity event, and the stop has become something of a model for other smaller events on how to maximize engagement from players, fans, and the media.
Acapulco: The Hippest Tournament on Tour
The coverage by both tours of the Grigor Dimitrov – Eugenie Bouchard “tennis on water” stunt in particular, was really something to watch. Check it out here and here if you haven’t seen it.
It is almost like another intro to players on both tours about to step into the limelight in a more substantial way. Though casual tennis fans likely wouldn’t recognize their names or faces, it won’t be long until that Nike deals and their international appeal have them at full tennis-crossover star levels. Dimitrov’s highly publicized relationship with Maria Sharapova won headlines frequently last year, and his game has long been compared to that of Roger Federer. Genie’s semifinal run to the Australian Open this year semis of the Australian Open this year showed she can produce results to back up her cover girl look. Dimitrov made his first Slam quarterfinal in Oz as well.
With tennis’ top guns playing fewer non-Premiere level tournaments, it’s nice to see Murray at the event. He’s on the injury comeback trail looking for matches, and his form this week will grab lots of attention. This tour stop is reportedly a player favorite as well, and it’s likely this will aid in the development of tennis in Mexico and Latin America. In fact, Mexican wildcard Tigre Hank showed some good form Monday taking Sam Querrey to three close sets Monday night and firing up a home crowd.
All matches are scheduled for 4pm and later, which bodes well for crowd numbers, too.
A young, fresh feel to attract the games up-and-comers will keep the event sustainable over the years, and it’s got a great spot on the calendar with the proximity to Indian Wells.
LWOS is proud to have Brian Healey as a contributor. He is the Program and Social Media Coordinator for Athlete Ally, a non-profit organization working to end homophobia and transphobia in sports. He played college tennis for Saint Michael’s College in Colchester, Vermont. Follow them @AthleteAlly.
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