Guide To The 2017 Memphis Open Tennis Tournament
Ed. Note: I’m happy to share this post from new ILM contributor Christoph Ludwig, who has all the info on the Memphis Open pro tennis tournament starting this weekend in East Memphis. You’ve probably been seeing some fresh faces on the I Love Memphis Blog. Be on the lookout for even more this month. – Holly
Attention sports fans: it’s time to cast your gaze towards the Racquet Club of Memphis where the Memphis Open tennis tournament will take place from February 11-19. The annual event features top-ranked athletes from around the world competing over nine fun, exciting days.
The qualifying rounds of the tournament begin at 11 a.m. on Saturday, February 11, and first and second round action will continue through Thursday, February 16.
The quarterfinals will begin at 3 p.m. on Friday, February 17, the semifinals will begin on Saturday, February 18 at 2 p.m.. Finals will be held at 1 p.m. on Sunday, February 19.
You can buy tickets for the full tournament or individual matches, and see a seating chart at memphisopen.com/tickets. There is also a package available for finals weekend. You can also order tickets by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 901-765-4427.
The field is loaded this year. John Isner, who finished 2016 as the top-ranked American player for the sixth year in a row and is currently ranked no. 19, is considered one of the favorites. He was a finalist at this event in 2010, and he’s won 10 singles titles in his career. At one point, he was ranked no. 9 in the world.
Isner is most famous for winning the longest match in tennis history, defeating Frenchman Nicolas Mahut at Wimbledon in 2010 in a match that took 11 hours and five minutes and was played over three days.
Another favorite this year is 37-year-old Croatian Ivo Karlovic, who possesses a powerful serve (up to 156 mph). He was a finalist at this tournament in 2014, and has won eight ATP titles and reached the Wimbledon quarterfinals in 2009. He’s currently ranked no. 21 in the world.
Returning to Memphis this year is one of last year’s darlings, Taylor Fritz. Last year, when he was just 18 years old, Fritz defeated no. 2 seed Steve Johnson on his way to the finals before falling to Japan’s Kei Nishikori. Fritz will be looking to defend his spot in the finals.
Click here if you want to see the full list of players.
Other Events at the Open
On Saturday, February 11, the Open will have a Kids Fun Day, beginning at 5 p.m. It is free to children under the age of five.
Starting Tuesday, February 14, the Open will hold a ping pong tournament featuring a 64-player draw. It is open to everyone, both pro and amateur. If you’re interested, you can get more details and sign up here.
Music on The MO stage will be a nightly attraction, and it will feature artists from a wide range of musical genres with the following local and regional acts performing live:
Monday, Feb. 13, 5:30 – 7pm: Brennan Villines
This classically trained pianist is now respected for his unique blend of Jazz, Pop, R&B and Funk.
Tuesday, Feb. 14, 5:30 – 7pm: Blind Mississippi Morris
Blind since the age of four, Morris Cummings is one of the most heralded blues performers in the world.
Wednesday, Feb. 15, 5:30 – 7pm: Terry “Big T” Williams
Terry “Big T” Williams is a Blues Guitarist & Vocalist originally from Clarksdale, Mississippi.
Thursday, Feb. 16, 5:30 – 7pm: Dueling Pianos
Direct from Silky O’Sullivan’s on Beale Street, this is one of Memphis’ most entertaining and popular musical acts.
Friday, Feb. 17, 5:30 – 7pm: Loveland Duren
Loveland Duren is the genre-bending collaboration between Vicki Loveland and Van Duren.
Saturday, Feb. 18, 5:30 – 7pm: John Paul Keith
This singer-songwriter and blistering guitarist offers a combination of rockabilly and power pop like no other.
Saturday, Feb. 18, 9-11pm: Bluff City Soul Collective
This 12-member band will bring down the MO on Saturday night.
Sunday, Feb. 19, 11:30am – 12:45pm and 2:30pm – 3:30pm: Brian “Breeze” Cayolle Trio
Led by saxophonist/clarinet master/singer/songwriter Brian “Breeze” Cayolle, this group offers a soulful sound that blends jazz, blues, R&B, and rock ‘n roll.
Grab a bite in East Memphis…
A few places I like within decent walking distance of the Racquet Club:
– Napa Café, which is a great spot to grab lunch between matches.
– Muddy’s Bake Shop – their original location!
– The Sear Shack Burgers and Fries (read more here)
Christoph Ludwig is a recent graduate of the University of Mississippi, where he earned his B.A. in recreation administration and covered sports for the school newspaper, The Daily Mississippian. He has written about soccer, tennis, football, softball, and baseball for various online publications, and is a current contributor to Red Cup Rebellion, Baseball Essential, Bruno Boys Fantasy Football, Memphis Travel, and I Love Memphis.