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The ATP Rotterdam Open, currently also known as the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament, is the first ATP World Tour 500 Series event in the tennis season, and it often attracts a field containing at least a handful of top ten players. The event has been run annually at the Ahoy Rotterdam since 1972, with the exception of 1973. The prize money for the competition totals just over 1.1 million Euros overall.
The tournament is played indoors on hard courts, and often brings out the best in players with reliable technique and powerful serves. The Ahoy Rotterdam as a building stands out for its remarkable design and steel structures, for which it has won several awards. At full capacity, the arena can seat 15,000 spectators.
The inaugural ATP Rotterdam Open was won by Arthur Ashe. Ashe won the tournament a total of three times between 1972 and 1976, making him the most successful singles competitor in the event’s history. Jimmy Connors, Stefan Edberg, Richard Krajicek, Nicolas Escude and Robin Soderling are all tied on two titles apiece. Connors could have had three, but his 1984 final against Ivan Lendl was interrupted and never finished.
Roger Federer has also won this event, along with Andy Murray, Goran Ivanisevic, Boris Becker, Lleyton Hewitt, Michael Stich and Bjorn Borg. Several tennis stars came close in the ATP Rotterdam Open, only to finish as runner-ups. These include Ilie Nastase, John McEnroe, Tim Henman, Juan Carlos Ferrero and Rafael Nadal.
The men’s doubles draw has also been the scene of some fascinating bouts. Roy Emerson and John Newcombe overcame the formidable team of Arthur Ashe and Robert Lutz in the men’s doubles final in the ATP Rotterdam Open’s maiden year. Emerson and Newcombe were just the first of a number of great teams to win the competition. Rod Laver and Frew McMillan, John McEnroe and Peter Fleming, Roger Federer and Jonas Bjorkman, Daniel Nestor and Nenad Zimonjic, and Jurgen Melzer and Philipp Petzschner make up just part of the illustrious list of former doubles victors.
The ATP Rotterdam Open boasts a huge amount of history for an event that has been going for less than half a century. The future for this event is bright, and many of the world’s best insist on returning here every season. With 500 ranking points on offer for the winner, it only makes sense that the top ten will be keen to compete. Clay court specialists may opt for the ‘Golden Swing’ instead, but the ATP Rotterdam Open is a must for the biggest players and fans of hard court tennis.
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