General public tickets went on sale this morning for the 2011 Western & Southern Open, which this year hosts the men’s and women’s professional tennis tournaments simultaneously for the first time. The combined tournament is Aug. 13-21 at the Lindner Family Tennis Center in Mason and offers the richest purse in event history, totaling $5.2 million.
The Western & Southern Open will be one of only five professional tennis events (other than the four "majors") hosting men and women simultaneously in 2011. The other combined tournaments are in Rome, Madrid, Miami and Indian Wells, Calif.
To accommodate the larger event, the Lindner Family Tennis Center is currently undergoing a 5.4-acre expansion by adding six new courts, including a new 4,000-seat television court. Other additions include a new entrance and ticket office, retail plaza and family restrooms. The project is the second major expansion at the Mason site in as many years.
“For the first time the entire world of tennis will be focused on Cincinnati for one week,” Western & Southern Open CEO Elaine Bruening said in a news release. “Now fans won’t have to choose between seeing the men one day or the women another, one trip to the event and they can see the best from both tours.”
Last year, Roger Federer earned $443,500 on his way to winning the Cincinnati tournament for a fourth time and Kim Clijsters netted $350,000 for her first victory here. This year, champions’ purses for the men and women will be $496,000 and $360,000, respectively.