STARNBERG, August 9, 2021 (by Alex Jack)
It’s fair to say that 2021 has been a chaotic year for the players on the ATP and WTA Tour.
The summer months have been particularly testing, with just a two-week gap between the French Open and Wimbledon followed by an August in which the best in the business will try to win an Olympic gold medal and the US Open.
It’s been a manic season for all involved in tennis then, from the players and their coaches to match officials and broadcasters. The sports has experienced plenty of global TV coverage, with the BBC, Amazon Prime, and Eurosport in the UK alone dedicating plenty of hours of screen time to the game due to the majors, as well as the Olympics. Naturally, this has boosted the profile of the sport, which has expanded into other entertainment mediums with recent films including Battle of the Sexes and Borg vs McEnroe.
Video games are another area where there are a variety of options including AO Tennis 2 and Tennis World Tour, as well as the classic Wii Tennis. However, it hasn’t just been this area that has derived inspiration from the sport because there are a range of slot games including Tennis Stars. The popularity of these can be highlighted by the fact that they can be played in a number of US states, so anyone looking for Michigan casino bonus ideas or bonuses in other states will find tennis slots alongside a range of other sports.
It’s clear to see that the tennis franchise has expanded far beyond the basic coverage of live sports and has now permeated even the entertainment streaming industries with Netflix having recently announced their exclusive Naomi Osaka documentary and Amazon Prime hosting an original Andy Murray documentary.
The US Open is, in some respects, the curtain call of the 2021 season, because while the respective tours will continue until the end of the year, this is the last major until the Australian Open in January next year.
No stone will be left unturned in their preparation, and that’s why the warm-up events on the ATP and WTA Tour are sure to be so riveting to watch.
Off to the windy city
It’s not long before the tours head to the Midwest, with the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati kicking off the mini swing. Novak Djokovic will not be there to defend his title – he competed at the Tokyo Olympics – but Victoria Azarenka is the reigning women’s champion in Ohio, and she will be looking to double up after withdrawing from the Olympics to re-focus her efforts on her US Open prep.
Running simultaneously with the Western & Southern Open will be a WTA Chicago 125 event, which was last hosted back in 2018. Back then, Petra Martic defeated Tatjana Maria in straight sets in the final.
The last two tune-up events on the women’s side will also take place in the Midwest. Cleveland will host the ‘Tennis in the Land’ competition from August 22nd onwards, while on the same date in Illinois, the Chicago Women’s Open will get underway.
Both are new events to the schedule this year, and you would expect a high-quality field to meet for either given their proximity to the US Open, which starts on August 30th.