Houston Tournament Director Bronwyn Greer thinks that the well-known American ATP 250 clay-court event is a great tennis place for both players and fans. The players get to open their clay season in a laid-back environment, while the fans get a chance to enjoy watching world class players fighting on the dirt at River Oaks Country Club.
The Houston event isn't lacking good names in its player field this year despite the withdrawals of top-ranked American John Isner and 2017 Paris Masters champion Jack Sock respectively. The four top-seeded players in Houston this year are defending champion Steve Johnson, French Jeremy Chardy, rising British star Cameron Norrie and this year's New York champion Reilly Opelka.
"As much as anything, it's the sense of tradition and community that make this event unique. This is our 85th year, and so many of our patrons have had their tickets in their family for decades. Take that and add playing in a historic stadium during the peak of springtime in Houston, and it's really a perfect atmosphere to watch world-class tennis," Greer said, per CultureMap Houston.
"For the players, we offer a very relaxed week. Many stay in private housing very near the club, so the opportunity to get out of the hotel room grind is very welcome. Many play here year after year, and they get to know our fans. They love this atmosphere, and it's a great transition week to get onto clay after the hard-court season."