Cincinnati Open Celebrates 125 Years

Jun 20, 2024
125 logo

This summer, the Cincinnati Open is not just hosting a tournament; we’re celebrating 125 years of tennis history. From Sunday, Aug. 11, to Monday, Aug. 19, 2024, the tournament will honor its rich legacy with a series of special events and activities. 

“You only turn 125 once, and we absolutely intend to make the most of it,” said Bob Moran, President of Beemok Sports & Entertainment. “Over 125 years, you develop deep roots, and we’re proud of having that both here in Cincinnati and within the sport of tennis. The longevity of this tournament is a testament to our communities and will continue to be a tremendous asset as the Cincinnati Open enters a new era.” 

To mark this milestone, we’ve unveiled a special logo, commemorative poster and limited-edition merchandise available exclusively at the tournament. We’ll honor the tournament’s history on-site and will host various current and former tennis legends, along with other dignitaries, to join in our celebrations.  

Cincinnati Open 125 Year Logo
125 year poster

A Glimpse Into History 

Our journey began in 1899 at the Avondale Athletic Club, on what is now Xavier University’s campus. Pittsburgh’s Myrtle McAteer and Cincinnati’s Nat Emerson won the singles titles, and both were also the doubles champions. McAteer teamed with Tennis Hall of Famer Juliette Atkinson, while Emerson partnered with Burton Hollister. That year also marked the inaugural mixed doubles event, with Winona Closterman and Robert Mitchell clinching the title. 

Instead of trophies, the 1899 winners received prizes from Cincinnati’s Rookwood Pottery. McAteer was awarded a vase, while Emerson received an ale set with a tankard and six mugs. Today’s Cincinnati Open trophy from Rookwood Pottery pays homage to these original awards, blending tradition with contemporary design. 

A Journey Through Time 

The tournament’s early years saw it hosted at various locations around Cincinnati, including the Cincinnati Tennis Club, Hyde Park Tennis Club, Kenwood Country Club, Queen City Racquet Club, the University of Cincinnati, and the Cincinnati Convention Center. In 1979, the Cincinnati Open found its permanent home at the Lindner Family Tennis Center in Mason, moving from Old Coney after four years. 

A Historic Legacy 

The Cincinnati Open is one of only ten active tournaments that started in the 19th century and holds the distinction of being the oldest tournament in the United States still played in its original city. Globally, only Wimbledon (1877), Montreal/Toronto (1881), US Open (1881), London-Queen’s Club (1884), Roland Garros (1891), Hamburg (1892), Kitzbuhel (1895), Stuttgart (1896), and Monte Carlo (1897) are older. 

Our founding in 1899 predates many iconic American sporting events, including the Rose Bowl (1902), World Series (1903), Indianapolis 500 (1911), the Masters (1934), and the Super Bowl (1966). 

Join Us for a Historic Celebration

As we celebrate this remarkable journey, we invite you to join us for an unforgettable experience. Whether you’re a lifelong fan or a newcomer to the sport, the 2024 Cincinnati Open promises to be a celebration of tennis, community and history. We can’t wait to welcome you to the Cincinnati Open, where every serve, every rally and every moment is a part of our storied legacy. See you there