The "Roger Federer effect" played a bit factor in 2018's Cincinnati Western & Southern Open. The Swiss played five matches in front of a packed crowd on Central Court, that this year featured 147 seats more than the past: from 11,467 to 11,614, thanks to a $25 million, 41,000-square-foot building.
The rain didn't definitely help the event, though, as many matches were delayed on Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday. Still, for the first time in tournament history on Monday, the night session featuring Serena Williams and Novak Djokovic was sold out.
In total, there were 14 sold out sessions. The tournament director Andre Silva thinks the new development helped. 'We feel like the new building creates different types of experiences for different people', Silva said.
'We’ve definitely had a very strong first three days.' In total, 194,035 fans attended the 2018 edition, which is slighter lower than 2017 when 194,373 (just 338 more fans), and lower than 2015 when the tournament attendance was set on 199,000.
'I thought last year would be very difficult to beat', Silva added. 'To come 300 short, we kind of beat last year.' About rain delays, Silva said: 'Weather is always a factor. But we were pretty lucky. There was only one session (Thursday night) we lost almost completely.' The event also revealed some funny numbers: 1,331 rackets were strung, 4,098 balls used and 4,823 games played.
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