In recent decades, Los Cabos’ original tourist lure–fishing–has gradually been overtaken by more luxury driven pursuits. The large seaside luxury resorts now pride themselves on the quality of their onsite restaurants and pampering spas, and world-class golf courses have been opening with regularity since Jack Nicklaus set the standard in the early 1990s. Golf’s historic country club partner, tennis, has largely been absent, save a few hotel courts set aside for scenic volleying.
The appearance of big-time tournament tennis in Los Cabos, however, may change that perception. The inaugural Abierto Los Cabos (or Los Cabos Open), an ATP 250 series event, will be held at newly built facilities on the grounds of the Delmar International School from August 8 – 13, 2016, and will feature 28 men’s professionals competing for nearly $800,000 in prize money.
The tournament’s spot on the summer schedule had previously belonged to an event in Bogotá, Colombia, but México’s Grupo Pegasus reached an agreement with the ATP (the Association of Tennis Professionals) last November to bring a second professional tournament to the country (the first was the Abierto Mexicano, an ATP 500 series event which premiered in Mexico City in 1993, and has been based in Acapulco since 2001).
Although the 250 series is one of the lower rungs of the ATP ladder, and the first Abierto Los Cabos lacks the star power brought by the sport’s brightest lights–Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray and Serena Williams, most notably–the tournament will showcase some of the best players on the planet. Six of the top 25 ranked men in the world will be competing in Los Cabos; 13 of the top 50; and 19 of the top 75. The remaining slots in the 28 man singles draw will largely be filled by the highest ranked Mexican professionals. Sixteen players will also compete in doubles.
Dominic Thiem, a 22 year old Austrian currently ranked 9th in the world, will be the odds-on favorite to win the tournament. Sam Querrey, however, will likely be the most familiar name for American fans. The San Francisco native and 29th ranked player shocked the tennis world earlier this month when he upset world no. 1 Novak Djokovic in the third round at Wimbledon. Djokovic had not lost in a major event since the 2015 French Open, and was attempting to become the first man since Rod Laver to win a calendar-year grand slam. So Querrey should arrive in Los Cabos with plenty of confidence.
Feliciano López will also be a familiar name for tennis fans. The 34 year old Spaniard has long been an ATP fixture: in fact, he has participated in more consecutive major championships than anyone on the men’s tour. He was part of a duo that won the French Open doubles championship this year, and in 2005 he became the first Spanish player since 1972 to reach the quarterfinals at Wimbledon.
The prize money is exceptionally large for a 250 series event, and will be the largest payout for any 250 series event in the Americas this year. The sponsorship list also attests to the newly minted event’s prestige: international business titans like ESPN, Pepsi, Adidas, Michelob Ultra and Mazda are all on board, as are local and regional standard bearers like Cinemex, Transcabo and Solaz Resorts.
Facilities have been built specifically for the event, including a 3,500 seat stadium and four additional hard courts at the Delmar International School, a bilingual educational institution for children K – 12. The venue will also feature a grandstand with a 1,000 person capacity, a hospitality area, a player’s zone, a media center, food and beverage options, and shops.
Players and officials will be headquartered at Sheraton Hacienda del Mar, a luxury resort located near Punta Ballena in the tourist corridor that connects cape cities Cabo San Lucas and San José del Cabo. Sheraton Hacienda del Mar also plays host to the annual Los Cabos Pro-Am, the region’s premier golf tournament. The 2017 edition will take place in January on the Ocean and Desert Courses at nearby Cabo del Sol.
For more on the Abierto Los Cabos, visit www.abiertoloscabos.com. For tickets or ticket information, click here. For directions, call (624) 131-5002 or email email@example.com.