Delray Beach Open: The Gem of the ATP Tour
As one of the lower-leveled tournaments on the men's professional tour, it certainly does not feel like one though. As soon as I stepped off the plane, I felt like I was already in paradise. Even though it is not that hard to feel like you are in paradise when you travel from 30-degree weather in Connecticut to 80 degrees and sunny, Florida.
For an ATP 250 event, the depth of the field that this tournament has is just incredible that it could be considered worth much more with these kinds of players. Del Potro, John Isner, Steve Johnson, Tiafoe and so many other players that are very capable of playing on a bigger stage than this level of a tournament. So when I came to the tournament I really didn't expect much out of it. I didn't expect that great of a field for its size. I would expect the mid 50-100 players be playing in the tournament, not the Top 20. So when I came to the tournament, I had one of the greatest experience so I could have.
Just the atmosphere alone, you already feel like you are on the beach and the deep blue courts are your ocean. Compared to other events, this tournament is very interactive. More people than usual show up every day for both sessions. Even during the qualifiers, there were a lot more people showing up. With crowds like these, it allows the sport to grow and allows it to become better and better. I think a tournament like this really brings in the better crowds and really brings in a community. Delpotro's army, for example. Brings a whole other atmosphere to a tennis tournament and I absolutely love it. It brings in the soccer fan mentality really. Delpo is the team they are rooting for and they will be as loud as they can to support him. This kind of atmosphere they created just for tennis made it even better because I allow tennis fans to enjoy it even give you goosebumps (just like myself).
I think tennis needs more of that. I called Delray Beach the golden gem of the ATP because I think a lot more people need to realize that this tournament is worth-while. While in Florida still provides probably one of the most hidden and most exciting tournaments that are on the men's professional tour, it promotes a more interactive and fun feel for everyone to enjoy!