The Memphis Open, the only indoor ATP tournament in the U.S., is leaving after 41 years and relocating to The Nassau Coliseum next February.
Remember when pro tennis was scheduled to come to Long Island last year at Hempstead Lake State Park? That "event" folded before it got started, but this is the real deal, led by GF Sports and BSE, two major players in the sports event world.
This will be a first-class event, and I'm enthusiastic because this is real tennis, not WWE-like "sports entertainment" in the form of a tennis exhibition. Years ago, Long Island hosted The Hamlet Cup, an ATP event which was not well attended. Alas, it was played right before the U.S. Open, so maybe attendance was diluted.
February, however, is a prime time for tennis-starved New Yorkers, so I'm hoping this tournament will bring excitement to the local area and be a big hit.
Steve Kaplan is the Owner and Managing Director of Bethpage Park Tennis Center, as well as the Director of Lacoste Academy for New York City Parks Foundation and Executive Director and Founder of Serve & Return, Inc., a not-for-profit organization that provides free tennis programs to individuals experiencing adversity and struggle. Over the last 35 years, Steve has coached more than 1,000 nationally-ranked junior players, 16 state high school champions, and 2 NCAA Division 1 Singles Champions.He may be reached by e-mail at StevenJKaplan@aol.com.