TAG: U.S. Open

Apr/10

29

Game, Set, Profit

Despite the economy, the U.S. Open may set attendance and revenue records again this year. What’s so great about tennis anyway?
While the economy has hurt many sports events, the annual U.S. Open tennis tournament, which begins today, is proving to be nearly recession-proof. During its two-week run, revenue for the New York City tournament will come close to last year’s total of $208 million, says Pierce O’Neil, chief business officer for the U.S. Tennis Association (USTA), which owns the event. “If all the stars continue to align, this could be one of the best years we’ve ever had,” he says.
These days, such optimism is hard to come by in other sports. The Arena Football League, which just a couple of years ago was touted as a major success story, suspended play in December and will probably liquidate. The LPGA women’s pro golf tour has lost seven tournaments, costing Commissioner Carolyn Bivens her job.
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Apr/10

29

Post-Tour, Patrick Rafter’s Life Is ‘Like Groundhog Day’

Two-time U.S. Open champion Patrick Rafter, who plays a few weeks of senior-tour tennis every year, has lately been putting more emphasis on his spiritual side than on his game.
Last month in Delray Beach, Fla., Rafter defeated John McEnroe, 7-6, 7-6, in a scintillating final, to win an ATP Champions Tour event.
Like most of his senior-tour brethren, Rafter finds playing these events more fun than regular ATP matches once were. “Here you feel a little pressure, because you’re competing to win. But if you don’t win, it doesn’t matter,” the 1997 and 1998 U.S. Open champion, now 37, says.
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