Sarasota Open looks to continue building on its success

Print
Font Size:
Default font size
Larger font size

Posted: Wednesday, February 12, 2014 9:00 pm | Updated: 9:36 am, Thu Feb 13, 2014.

SARASOTA, Fla. - With the tennis season under way, the Sarasota Open is gearing up for its 7th season. This year more will be happening on the fringe, but the tennis is always the big draw.

The tennis has gotten better and better at the Sarasota Open each year, and fans have been noticing, and coming out.

And more players are coming out to play. "We're a great place on the calendar. I think 80% of our players were main draw French Open. About 90% U.S. Open main draw. We have the top players in the world here. It’s amazing for the local atmosphere to be able to enjoy that," says tournament director Tony Driscoll.

The tie-in with one of the Grand Slam events is huge for the popularity amongst players, which in turn is great for the fan’s enjoyment. “The winner of this tournament most likely gets a wildcard into the main draw into the French Open. We have a reciprocal agreement with the French Federation. So, we are always going to get the top Americans to come," says Driscoll.

Tennis, as always, is the hook to get you there; but Driscoll plans on keeping you out at the Longboat Key Club with other events during the tournament. “We are always trying to make it more of an event for the community. We are having the Paragon Arts Festival on finals weekend. On the north side of the stadium we are having the ultimate V.I.P. experience to really escalate the level of the tournament. We will have bands in between the day and night session, every single night."

Also, there will be a preview tennis tournament to honor the late Joey Gratton and his foundation.

Joey was a huge tennis enthusiast. "The winner of the doubles, and we will have every level of doubles there, which benefits the charity, The Joey Gratton Foundation. But the winner of the open doubles will get a qualifying bid into the tour doubles as well. So, it's a great chance for a local doubles team to see world class tennis."

Rules of Conduct

  • 1 Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
  • 2 Don't Threaten or Abuse. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated. AND PLEASE TURN OFF CAPS LOCK.
  • 3 Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
  • 4 Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
  • 5 Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
  • 6 Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.

Welcome to the discussion.

Right Now

weather

Today

weather
80°
Details

Tomorrow

weather
78°
Details

Today

weather
75°
Details

Today

weather
62°
Details

SUBMIT PHOTOS & VIDEOS | VIEW ALL PHOTOS & VIDEOS

Send your photos & videos to Pix@MySuncoast.com and you could be featured on ABC 7 & our website.