The 51ste edition of the ABN AMRO Open

The 51st edition of the ABN AMRO Open, set to be held from February 10th to 18th, 2024, is shaping up to be a thrilling event for tennis enthusiasts and casual fans alike. Located in the heart of Rotterdam at the Ahoy Arena, this prestigious ATP 500 tournament has been a stage for tennis legends since 1974. The tournament promises not just top-tier tennis action but also an immersive experience encompassing various aspects of entertainment and social interaction.

From the start of the tournament in 1974, the best tennis players in the world have participated and the ABN AMRO Open has had big winners. Over the past four decades, nearly all tennis legends have taken part, from former stars like Ashe, Borg, McEnroe, Connors, Lendl and Sampras to contemporary tennis top players like Federer, Djokovic, Murray and Nadal.

This year, the ABN AMRO Open will showcase a stellar line-up of top tennis players. With top names such as Grigor Dimitrov, Daniil Medvedev, Alex de Minaur, Gaël Monfils and Jannik Sinner, the tournament is guaranteed to offer some of the highest quality tennis. In 2024, the tournament will also feature prominent Dutch players such as Tallon Griekspoor and Botic van de Zandschulp. Griekspoor, a rising star in Dutch tennis, and van de Zandschulp, known for his impressive gameplay, are expected to bring local flair to the event, heightening the excitement for the home crowd.

The field for the mens tournament is assembled by tournament director Richard Krajicek. For the uninitiated, Krajicek is a notable former professional tennis player from the Netherlands. Born on December 6, 1971, in Rotterdam, Krajicek made a significant impact in the world of tennis. His most remarkable achievement was winning the men’s singles title at Wimbledon in 1996, making him the only Dutch male player to have won a major singles title. Krajicek’s career-high singles ranking was world No. 4, achieved in March 1999.

As impressive as the bona fides of Richard Krajicek are, the palmares of the director of the wheelchair tournament are chart-topping. Esther Vergeer is a renowned former professional wheelchair tennis player from the Netherlands, born on July 18, 1981. Her extraordinary career is highlighted by an impressive record of 42 major titles, including 21 in singles and 21 in doubles, as well as 23 year-end championships. She also earned seven Paralympic gold medals. Vergeer was the world No. 1 in women’s wheelchair singles from 1999 until her retirement in February 2013. Her dominance in the sport is further underscored by an unprecedented winning streak of 470 matches, lasting for ten straight years. Vergeer’s career statistics are remarkable, with 700 wins in singles and 441 in doubles. She has been an influential figure in the sport, both for her unparalleled success and her inspiring journey as an athlete.

The inclusion of wheelchair tennis since 2009, featuring prominent players like Houdet, Fernandez, and Reid, further highlights the tournament’s commitment to inclusivity and excellence in sports. The 2024 edition will also see the participation of Dutch pride Diede de Groot in the women’s wheelchair tennis tournament as well as the comeback of Jiske Griffioen. In the mens competition, some of the biggest international names in the sport will visit the harbor city including Alfie Hewett, Casey Ratzlaff, Gordon Reid and Ruben Spaargaren.  The wheelchair tournament features a final at center court and serves as a model for other international events. The integration of the the tourney and the surrounding activities have attracted the interest of organizers from Paris, Rome and Queens (New York).

The ABN AMRO Open is not just about top-level tennis; it’s an experience that goes beyond the sport. The event is built on four pillars: Connect, Taste, Experience, and Impact, each offering unique attractions.

 Connect: The tournament serves as a prime networking platform, attracting over 50,000 international businesspeople annually. It has long been a fixture of the sports hospitality landscape in the Netherlands. It offers a rich program including interactive seminars and panel discussions, making it an ideal venue for expanding professional networks.

 Taste: The event promises a culinary journey for its attendees. From haute cuisine to street food, local restaurants and chefs will offer a diverse range of international dishes, allowing visitors to savor the flavors of Rotterdam amidst exciting tennis matches. Tournament director and Dutch tennis legend Richard Krajicek revealed that his personal favorite were the pancakes.

Experience: The tournament is a paradise for tennis fans and youngsters alike. It offers tennis clinics, meet-and-greet opportunities with top players, autograph sessions, and a variety of interactive activities. Special emphasis is placed on youth engagement, with Sunday Funday dedicated to younger fans.

 Impact: Sustainability and social responsibility are key focuses of the ABN AMRO Open. Initiatives like the ‘Renewaballs’ project, which recycles used tennis balls, and collaborations with foundations like the Esther Vergeer Foundation, Krajicek Foundation, and ABN AMRO Foundation, demonstrate the tournament’s commitment to environmental and social sustainability.

The ABN AMRO Open also features theme days throughout the tournament week, offering diverse programs that cater to different interests, including a special Kids Day and #NextGen Day. The ABN AMRO Open is more than just a tennis tournament; it’s an event that blends top-tier sports action with social, culinary, and sustainable experiences, making it a must-visit event for anyone interested in tennis and beyond. For more information:

Written by John Mahnen