For the first time in more than three decades, major tennis is back in North Texas.
the Dallas ATP Open is underway all week at SMU’s Styslinger/Altec Tennis Complex, where tennis pros gather for a week-long indoor hard-court tournament.
The tournament is presented and organized by Dallas resident and tennis star John Isner.
“It doesn’t get any easier than this,” Isner said. The Dallas Morning News. “I could walk there if I wanted to.
Tennis fans near and far flock to North Texas for the matches. In fact, the last six tournament sessions were all sold out before additional tickets were released earlier this month.
“I am extremely excited to see quality tennis. I know Dallas needs more events on the professional circuit, so I’m happy to be here with my family and my son – we’re big tennis fanatics,” said spectator Anibal Santillan.
It’s so important that one of tennis’ biggest stars was in town to watch it:
Four-time Grand Slam champion Naomi Osaka made a surprise seated visit to the court on the opening day of the tournament this week.
Although she is in Dallas for personal reasons, she told organizers she watches tennis for fun – no doubt bringing extra attention to the event.
“This is the first year of the inaugural season here in Dallas, so we plan to grow this championship year over year,” said Monica Paul, executive director of the Dallas Athletic Commission. “It’s definitely something we want to see continue here in Dallas, so we know we have professional tennis here every year.”
With the Dallas Open, the Association of Tennis Professionals officially brought professional tennis back to North Texas for the first time since 1989. The ATP Tour is also responsible for other major events like Wimbledon, The Open of France and the US Open.
The Dallas Sports Commission said the partnerships were key to bringing professional tennis back to the region.
“It’s an incredible opportunity for Dallas and SMU to once again have top-level professional tennis right here in our Metroplex,” Paul said. “I really have to thank GF Sports & Entertainment for stepping forward, taking the initiative and reaching out to us about this tremendous opportunity. Dallas residents thrive on tennis.”
With over 20,000 fans expected this week and an expected economic impact of $8 million on the local economy, there is more excitement beyond the tennis court.
“It’s definitely a big boost for our hotels, restaurants and stores. Just a lot of excitement around this event,” Paul said.
There is also a significant philanthropic impact from the tournament. The Dallas Open has partnered with the John Isner Family Foundation, which provides financial support to families for meals, clothing, transportation and medical supplies while their child is in the care of Children’s Health.
The Dallas Open is one of only 10 ATP Tour events on US soil this year. Over 60 world-class players hit the courts this week, with matches televised in over 100 countries.
“The most important thing is to help American tennis by providing wildcards to some of the SMU players. The first game of the Dallas Open was a SMU player, Liam Krall, who was playing. We had a packed stadium in qualifying so we know we made it here,” said ATP Dallas Open Tournament Director Peter Lebedevs.
The tournament runs until Sunday, February 13.
After that, the Dallas Sports Commission takes aim at football. There has been a huge push to bring the World Cup to Dallas in 2026, which could once again position the North Texas region as the leader in professional sports in the country.
“I always like to hope that we’re at the top of the list and I really think the Dallas and North Texas area is the number one sports destination,” Paul said. “We want to make our community proud and provide opportunities for the residents of our communities.
Dallas is one of 17 cities vying to host the World Cup. FIFA will choose 10 American cities in addition to three Canadian cities and three Mexican cities to host the 2026 FIFA World Cup.
We’re told an update on the World Cup venues could come in the coming months.
“We have a lot on our list. But this World Cup by 2026 is by far the biggest opportunity we have and we are still having good conversations with FIFA,” he said. said Paul.