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The ATP Acapulco Open is the concluding clay-court event in the four-tournament ‘Golden Swing’ that runs across South America. It is also referred to as the Abierto Mexicano Telcel. The Mexico-based event takes on particular significance in the Swing as it is currently classified as an ATP World Tour 500 Series event. Participants will also be spurred on by the overall prize money of just over 950,000 US dollars. 

The event was based in Mexico City between 1993 and 2000. The tournament was not held in 1999.   Following a relocation in 2001, the ATP Acapulco Open is now played in the Fairmont Acapulco Princess venue, home to eight clay courts. The centre court seats up to 6,000 fans.

Acapulco, a world famous beach resort, is an ideal location for the Abierto Mexicano Telcel. The city of Acapulco became particularly popular in the 1950s, as film stars and millionaires started to take vacations in the sea port city. Although the majority of tourists in Acapulco these days are Mexican nationals, the city remains popular and is still known to for its nightlife.

The winner of the inaugural competition was the ‘King of Clay’, Austria’s Thomas Muster. Muster went on to win the tournament for the following three years in a row. Muster wasn’t the only clay court specialist to lift the trophy at the ATP Acapulco Open. Rafael Nadal, Carlos Moya, Gustavo Kuerten, Juan Ignacio Chela, Nicolas Almagro and David Ferrer are also former champions here.

There is a glaring absence of a Mexican champion from the list of singles winners. That said, Leonardo Levalle won doubles titles in 1993 and 1995, so the tournament has at least witnessed one home grown winner. A number of powerhouse partnerships have also risen above the crowd to win the men’s doubles here, such as, Ferrer and Santiago Ventura, Mark Knowles and Daniel Nestor, Kuerten and Donald Johnson, and the Bryan brothers.

Acapulco also stages a WTA event, which has been attended by some of the best players in women’s tennis. Venus Williams, Flavia Pennetta and Amanda Coetzer are all two time champions here. Pennetta’s history in this tournament is particularly impressive. She’s a four-time runner-up in Acapulco as well.

The ATP Acapulco Open is an award winning tournament that is popular with competitors and fans alike. The event has a lot of prestige associated with it, and usually attracts the majority of the ATP’s most accomplished clay-court players. It provides a fitting finale to the ‘Golden Swing’.

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