The ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament is an event for professional male tennis players held for the first time in 1972. Every year the event takes place in the Ahoy stadium in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. This tournament is commonly known as the Rotterdam Open. Players from all over the world are welcomed at the courts, after qualifying for the games. There are 32 participants in the single rounds and 16 participants in the round for doubles.
The Association of Tennis Professionals guards the quality of the tournament. The ATP was founded in 1972 and had been looking out for professionals in the tennis field ever since. The Rotterdam Open is part of the 500 series of world tours that the ATP organizes yearly. The competitions are played on indoor hard courts. From 1972 to 1999, the games took place indoors on carpet.
Many greats from the tennis world have competed in and won the ABN AMRO tennis tournament. The first tournament was won by Dutchman Tom Okker. Other winners include Björn Borg, Stefan Edberg and in more recent years Llyton Hewitt, Andy Murray, Yevgeny Kafelnikov, Roger Federer and lastly Gaël Monfils. Players get to participate in the tournament via direct entry, which happens when they are one of the best players at the moment, or via Wildcard entry. This means that they have been selected by the organization. Players can also enter via qualification. They will need to have played at least one match in a qualifying tournament to win a spot and get drawn for the games. After two winning sets, one single is played. Tiebreaks are played when sets end in 6-6 in games. If both parties win one set after two sets, a super tiebreak is played instead of a third set. Some winners have multiple championships to their names. Arthur Ashe and Roger Federer have won it three times each while Jimmy Connors and Stefan Edberg have each won the title twice.
The latest winner, Gaël Monfils, reached the peak of his career when he was the ATP’s world No 6 ranked singles player in 2016. In 2005 he had been named the ATP Newcomer of the Year. The now 32-year old tennis star has won eight singles tournaments in the ATP World Tour and was the runner-up in at least twenty tournaments of the same series in other cities that are part of the world tour. These cities include London and Milan among others.
The ABN AMRO is the sponsor of the Rotterdam Open, and as a result, the event has been named after the organization. At first, the games were part of World Championship Tennis. However, in 1978 they became an event under the Grand Prix Tennis Circuit’s license. Since 1990 the event has been a part of the ATP Tour, which is an A-list tour for men. In 2019 ABN AMRO extended its the sponsorship contract for another three years. The Dutch bank has sponsored the event since 1974 when the second edition of the tournament was held. The ABN AMRO Tennis Tournament is among the world’s top tennis tournaments.
The first director of the event was Peter Bonthuis. He fulfilled this role until 1983. His successor, Wim Buitendijk was temporarily replaced by Stanley Franker and then permanently by Richard Krajicek, after Buitendijk fell ill and passed away in December of 2002. Stanley Franker temporarily held the position of the director during the 2003 tournament after the passing of Buitendijk. The management of the Ahoy Sports venue where the event is held had decided beforehand that Krajicek would fill the director’s post starting in 2004. Krajicek is a former champion of the top tennis tournament in the Netherlands and one of its Dutch winners. He started his professional career in 1989 and his biggest win was Wimbledon in 1996.
The competition attracted a record number of fans in 2010 and 2018, as Roger Federer was added to the event after years of absence. Before there were 115.894 attendees but in 2018 120.000 people came to watch the tournament. In 1974 more than 40.000 spectators were at the event, compared to 2012 when 115.894 people went. Ticket prices vary, depending on the type of games and the seating. There are also packages available for purchase. Fans can buy tickets for day sessions or evening sessions and these tickets are available via Ahoy online. For the final games of the tournament, the ticket prices go up. The increase depends on the seating. Tickets for there games can cost as much as about 500 Euro. Because this is a huge event, people are advised to secure their tickets on time. Tickets go on sale months before the event starts.
The Rotterdam Open also hosts the Wheelchair Tournament. In this tournament, the world’s best male tennis players in wheelchairs compete against each other. This part of the tournament is led by director Esther Vergeer, a 7-time Paralympic tennis champion. The twelfth edition of the Wheelchair Tournament will be held in 2020.
In 2019 the tournament prize was 1.961.160 euro. The 2020e edition will be held from Saturday, February 8th to Sunday, February 16th.