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Josh Ripple optimistic about New York Open’s tennis future

Bob Bryan and Mike Bryan play against Jeremy

Bob Bryan and Mike Bryan play against Jeremy Chardy and Fabrice Martin during a doubles match at the New York Open at NYCB Live's Nassau Coliseum on Thursday, Feb. 15, 2018. Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

For a first-year event, the tournament director of the New York Open looks at it as a qualified success and sees better things for the future.

“It’s progressing exactly as we thought,” Josh Ripple said on Saturday. “It was something that was going to snowball and thankfully our efforts have come to reality. As soon as there was word of mouth, as soon as the press got out, then people would start to come. I’m very optimistic as we go forward.

Although the crowds for the day matches during the week were quite meager, the last few night session matches were drawing in excess of 2,000 by Ripple’s estimation, and the Tuesday night match with local Noah Rubin against Kei Nishikori also drew well.

Sam Querrey, who as the No. 2 seed gets a suite as a changing room that is used by star entertainers at the Coliseum, finds the New York Open appealing.

“It’s one of the most unique venues all year, a great crowd today, the locker room set up is awesome,” said Querrey. “It’s great, not only for a first-year tournament but for any tournament. It can match up against a lot of them.”

“I think we’ve put on a good show,” said Ripple. “The building has been a huge help to us. The [players] sense this is big time and it’s spread through the locker room and hopefully they will want to come back.”

BOLLETTIERI ON HAND

The legendary tennis coach Nick Bollettieri has been on hand this week, helping out with clinics for children, posing for pictures and promoting the game of tennis like only he can.

The 86-year-old, whose academy in Bradenton, Florida has turned out multiple Grand Slam winners and hordes of ATP and WTA tour level players, is impressed with the inaugural New York Open.

“The venue here is fantastic and in the next year or two it should be a very successful tournament,” Bollettieri said Saturday as he wrapped up another round of kids clinics.

“Next year I’m planning to come back and invite all the high schools and the junior high schools, coaches and their students to come,” said Bolletierri.

He says he remains fully active in his academy. “Twenty four hours a day,” he said. “This year I’m traveling 225,000 miles giving speeches and clinics throughout the world.”

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