By E.J. Crawford
The Winston-Salem Open annually anchors the Emirates Airline US Open Series as the last tournament of the summer season. For 2016, the ATP and its players have also selected the event as one its finest.
The ATP World Tour honored the Winston-Salem Open, held in Winston-Salem, N.C., as its Tournament of the Year in the 250 category, meaning 250 ATP ranking points are awarded to the tournament’s champion. Winston-Salem shared the award at the 250 level with the Stockholm Open in Stockholm, Sweden.
“We recognize this award is due to the amazing dedication of not only the tournament staff but because of the many volunteers and those in the Winston-Salem community who work to make our tournament and city a great place for the ATP World Tour players to compete and prepare for the US Open,” said Bill Oakes, the Winston-Salem Open tournament director.
The other tournament winners for 2016 included another American event, the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, Calif., which was honored at the 1000 level, and the Queen’s Club tournament in London at the 500 level.
The Tournament of the Year awards are decided by a vote of the ATP players.
“These tournaments have set the benchmark in their respective categories in 2016 and fully deserve this recognition from the players,” said ATP Executive Chairman and President Chris Kermode. “Our tournaments are continuously striving to reach greater heights, and this is a fitting recognition of the tireless work and effort that has been put in by each tournament’s organizing team.”
The Winston-Salem Open celebrated its sixth year in 2016. Past champions include John Isner, Kevin Anderson and, in 2016, Pablo Carreno Busta, who defeated fellow Spaniard Roberto Bautista Agut in a three-set, three-hour final to capture his first ATP crown.