Top tennis stars to play in Delray Beach Open

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Delray tennis star Coco Gauff to make appearance at tournament

Staff report

The world’s top tennis players will converge at the Delray Beach Tennis Center when the 28th annual Delray Beach Open returns this month.

ATP Tour tennis stars Nick Kyrgios, Milos Raonic, Kei Nishikori and Bob and Mike Bryan are all on board to hit the courts during the 2020 Delray Beach Open by VITACOST.COM

The 28th annual event will take place from Feb. 14-23. The 10-day tennis schedule kicks off with the ATP Champions Tour team event. The Team World vs. Team Europe match-up will showcase tennis greats including David Ferrer, James Blake, Tommy Haas and Marcos Baghdatis.

“Our 2020 event has quickly become something special for everyone, literally,” Mark Baron, Delray Beach Open Tournament Director said. “The teams vying for the ATP Champions Tour trophy are comprised of Grand Slam-winning legends and guys who were just competing for the game’s biggest titles earlier this year. The team format and camaraderie is unique to Delray and the players and fans have really embraced it.”

In between team event matches will be the first ever women’s exhibition match featuring hometown favorite Coco Gauff on Feb. 15.

Local Delray tennis sensation Gauff will perform in front of her hometown fans during a night session at 7 p.m. The best of a three set match, the third set is a tie-breaker if needed, will take place between he ATP Champions Tour matches played at 5:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m.

Gauff will play 2019 NCAA Division I Singles Champion Estela Perez-Somarriba.

Perez-Somarriba is coming off of one of the best seasons in her collegiate career boasting a 43-5 win/loss record in singles during the 2018-2019 season and claiming the second NCAA Division I Singles Championship title in the program’s history. She is the third player in program history to reach the Sweet 16 three times, and the second to do so in back-to-back years, Perez-Somarriba received the Honda Sport Award for Tennis, was named ACC Player of the Year, ACC Scholar-Athlete of the Year, ITA All-American (singles), ITA Collegiate All-Star Team, First Team All-ACC, All-ACC Academic Team, and received the ITA Southeast Region Arthur Ashe Sportsmanship & Leadership Award amongst other awards.

Local favorite Gauff received a wild card into the single qualifying tournament at Wimbledon where she won consecutive straight-set matches before defeating Venus Williams in the first round and advancing to the second week. Following that, Gauff went on to capture her first WTA doubles title in Washington D.C. followed by her first WTA singles title in Linz, Austria. The former No. 1 junior in the world has risen from No. 686 in the WTA singles rankings prior to Wimbledon to her current ranking, No. 68.

“This will be a test, for both players. Not just their tennis, as both are obviously playing fantastic right now, but their minds as well, playing in front of a lot of fans with Coco growing up here and Estela playing her college tennis in South Florida,” Baron said. “It’s going to be a spirited match and a loud crowd.”

Tickets for the match start at $30. Following their match, Gauff and Perez-Somarriba will head to the VITACOST.com sponsor booth for a special autograph signing open to fans.

To accommodate the number of all-star level players, the tournament is scheduling a Super Tuesday of tennis with Milos Raonic – the 2017 singles finalist in Delray Beach – getting things underway on Feb. 18 at 12:30 p.m. (session 7) followed by Kei Nishikori (world No. 13) who was the 2008 Delray Beach singles champion. In a blockbuster night, starting at 6:00 p.m. (session 8), Nick Kyrgios will make his second appearance in Delray Beach.

“With our Super Tuesday line-up set, now kids can come out and see Nick at night and be home at an early hour,” Baron said. “And, in our day matches, Canadian and other out-of-town friends can book tickets now to see Milos and Nishikori under our winter sunshine.”

On Wednesday, the winningest doubles team of all-time, Bob and Mike Bryan (the “Bryan Brothers”) will take center stage in the night session at 8 p.m. (session 10) in their 13th appearance in Delray Beach, beginning their quest to defend their 2019 title and capture their sixth doubles title in Delray.

Tennis isn’t all that is being served up. The official drink of the event, the DBO Smash, created by Sipsmith Gin, will be offered on site all week long. Complimentary samples of the DBO Smash will also be provided to event attendees as part of a special English Garden “mockgarden” experience from Feb. 21-23.

Other experiences include the Raeburn Winery and Champagne Lounge, featuring Raeburn Winery’s top-pick wines, including the official wine of the Delray Beach Open. The Raeburn wine will also be served at all on-site Delray Beach Open parties, including the VIP Sponsor Reception,  Ladies Day Luncheons, and the special Galentine’s Party on Feb. 13.

Beer fans can check out the Shipyard Beer Garden by Shipyard. The space will be ideal for those casual attendees looking to lounge, play Jenga and corn hole with friends and drink beers.

There will also be the Hungbloodies Craft Bloody Mary Bar, serving craft beers and the Official Bloody Mary of the DBO featuring Ice Pik Vodka.

And to eat, the menu will feature Mark’s Bistro: Deli dining with a flair; That’s Amore Pizzeria Brick oven pizza by the slice or made to order, plus their house-favorite cup of meatballs; Bit-o-Gelato gelato stand: Flavors include Lemon Dropshot made with Limoncello, Thai Breaker Thai tea gelato and Nuts 4 Coco made with vegan vanilla coconut milk; Guaca Go: Create your own guacamole bowl to go, including tortilla chips; and Subculture coffee.

Returning this year is the second annual Game Set and Pour, from 6:15-8:15 p.m. on Feb. 21 at the Hospitality Pavilion. Enjoy beer, wine and food samples from local favorite breweries and restaurants.  A portion of the proceeds will go to Love Serving Autism, a local nonprofit organization with the mission to expand life skills, especially communication, through specialized therapeutic tennis instruction in order to increase community inclusion and independence of individuals with autism. General Admission for the Game Set and Pour event is $60 per ticket ($70 at the door).

Individual tickets for all sessions are on sale now and start as low as $30. A complete schedule and ticket information is posted at YellowTennisBall.com.