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The Western & Southern Open has a new name

tennis ball sits on a tennis racket
Ben Hershey

The annual ATP/WTA tennis tournament in Mason will have a new name this year and it's one you may have heard before. The Western & Southern Open is returning to its original name, the Cincinnati Open.

"Returning to Cincinnati Open as the tournament's name is an opportunity for us to celebrate its rich history at a time when we are also focused on a bold future and taking every possible step to grow and enhance the event," says Bob Moran, president of Beemok Sports & Entertainment, in a release.

Beemok Capital purchased the tournament in 2022 and there were ongoing discussions about the possibility of relocating it to Charlotte, N.C. Moran announced in October the tournament would be staying in Ohio. At the same time, Beemok said it was finalizing plans to renovate the Lindner Family Tennis Center where the tournament will remain.

RELATED: Western & Southern Open is staying in Cincinnati

Founded in 1899, the tournament is entering its 125th year, making it one of the longest-tenured tennis tournaments. It turned professional in 1969 in Cincinnati, and has been in Mason since 1979.

The renovation plan calls for $260 million in upgrades. Among them, all the seats in the center court will be removed and upgraded ahead of next year's tournament, Moran said in December. The new seats will include armrests and cup holders, and all lower bowl seats will get padded seat bottoms. The bleachers will be removed and replaced with seats. Premium box seating is also being added, along with 50 on-court seats. The renovations are slated to be completed by August.

tennis ball/world globe with Cincinnati Open since 1899 written around it
The new Cincinnati Open logo

"This tournament is known for its unparalleled access to the world's best tennis players, Midwestern hospitality and passionate and loyal fans. The tournament is distinctive in that regard, and we're proud to call it the Cincinnati Open," says Moran.

As WVXU previously reported, the city of Mason and Warren County worked together with state officials to offer a package attractive to Beemok, which had a generous tax incentive offer from the city of Charlotte. Beemok has said it will keep the tournament at the Mason site for the next 25 years.

According to the release, "When the tournament began in 1899, it was called Cincinnati Open for its first two editions, which were held at the Avondale Athletic Club where Xavier University sits today. Since 2002, the tournament had been called the Western & Southern Open.

"Among combined tennis tournaments in the United States, only the U.S. Open is older (founded in 1881). The Cincinnati Open was founded before several other major American sporting events, including the Rose Bowl (1902), Indianapolis 500 (1911) and the Masters (1934)."

Senior Editor and reporter at WVXU with more than 20 years experience in public radio; formerly news and public affairs producer with WMUB. Would really like to meet your dog.