Aug 18, 2023 - Sports

Tennis in the Land returns for third year

Tennis player Sloane Stephens gestures to the crowd with her racket.

Sloane Stephens will make quite a racket in Cleveland. Photo: Emmanuel Dunand/AFP via Getty Images

Cleveland becomes the epicenter of the tennis world this weekend.

Driving the news: The third annual Tennis in the Land women's tournament kicks off Saturday and runs through Aug. 26 in the Nautica Waterfront District in the Flats West Bank.

Why it matters: This year's event features big additions, including a new 2,000-seat temporary stadium and a free pickleball area.

  • The setup could serve as the blueprint for a permanent tennis facility in downtown Cleveland.

By the numbers: The tournament will feature 32 of the top Women's Tennis Association singles players, including Venus Williams and 2017 U.S. Open winner Sloane Stephens.

State of play: The previous two years featured a main stadium court at Jacobs Pavilion at Nautica with other courts in the parking lot at the other end of Nautica Entertainment Complex.

  • The new setup places all the action — six courts and a free Fan Fest area — in the parking lot.

What they're saying: "A tennis tournament needs all the courts together in one place," tournament director Kyle Ross tells Axios.

  • "It's about having that energy and noise for fans to feed off."

What's next: Ross says the ultimate goal is for his company Topnotch Management to build a permanent, large-scale tennis and pickleball facility in downtown Cleveland — an amenity the city currently lacks.

  • "We're committed to being a long-term event in the city of Cleveland," Ross says. "We've had early talks with the city and landowners. We're pushing to have a permanent home in 2025."

If you go: Individual tickets to Tennis in the Land events range from $7 to $150.

  • For a full schedule, visit the tournament's website.

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