The Palm Beach County Sports Commission partnered with Match Point Inc. to support Palm Beach County’s premier professional tennis event, the Delray Beach Open by VITACOST.com. The long-running Delray Beach Open has called Palm Beach County home since 1999 and acted as this year’s season-opening fixture on the ATP Tour. The 2021 Delray Beach Open, the only ATP Tour event to feature both ATP 250 and ATP Champions Tour matches, took place January 4-13 at the Delray Beach Tennis Center.
Hubert Hurkacz, the No. 4 seed, claimed his second ATP Tour title by defeating 20-year-old American Sebastian Korda 6-3, 6-3. In doubles play, Ariel Behar and Gonzalo Escobar won their first ATP title with a 6-7(5) 7-6(4) 10-4 victory over the Harrison brothers, Christian and Ryan.
In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Delray Beach Open made significant changes to ensure that the tournament happened safely and responsibly. Attendance was capped at 2,000, just under 25 percent of the Delray Beach Tennis Center’s capacity, to accommodate for proper social distancing. All attendees were required to wear masks throughout the event.
Each year, the Delray Beach Open not only brings a strong economic impact through visiting spectators but also puts The Palm Beaches in front of a worldwide television audience. The event aired live to viewers across the globe with the Tennis Channel’s broadcast being shown in over 150 nations.
“The City of Delray Beach along with our tournament staff worked very quickly to take advantage of this chance to play host to a season-opening event,” said Mark Baron, tournament director, before the event. “The players are eager to get back to playing in tournaments and we are happy to provide that opportunity.”
Originally scheduled for February, the 2021 Delray Beach Open by VITACOST.com featured the ATP Champions Tour legends event January 4-6, which ran concurrently with the ATP 250 qualifying matches on January 5-6. The main draw for the ATP 250 tournament, which featured 28 players in singles and 16 teams in doubles, began Thursday, January 7 with two sessions each day until the finals were contested during a single session on Wednesday, January 13.
“These are unprecedented times and I would like to thank the tournament organizers for their willingness to adapt by moving into week one of the ATP Tour calendar at such short notice,” said Andrea Gaudenzi, ATP chairman. “Providing playing opportunities for our players and ensuring our sport is delivered to fans worldwide in a safe and secure environment is our number one priority. It’s only with an entrepreneurial mindset that we can achieve our goals, and full credit goes to Mark Baron and his team for taking on this opportunity to launch the 2021 ATP Tour season.”
The host site for the tournament was the world-class Delray Beach Tennis Center, an idyllic facility that contains 14 clay courts, six hard courts, and an 8,200-seat stadium. In addition to hosting the best professional players, the venue also plays host to a number of elite and charity tournaments including the USTA Clay Court Championships, the Chris Evert Pro-Celebrity Tennis Classic, and the Delray Beach Pickleball Classic. The Delray Beach Tennis Center offers “soup to nuts” services for tournament play, including an upstairs pavilion and conference room and a pro shop with locker rooms, racquet stringing, and merchandise. Their second location, the Delray Swim & Tennis Club is just two miles away, houses an additional 18 courts.
Click below to take a quick look into last year’s historic Delray Beach Open which included the event’s first-ever women’s match featuring breakout tennis star and Palm Beach County native Coco Gauff: