Professional Tennis Comes to Austin

From champs to fan faves, eight players to watch at the ATX Open

2021 US Open Champion Emma Raducanu (Courtesy of ATX Open)

In another sign of Austin's growth, the city is hosting its first professional tennis tournament. The ATX Open, a Women's Tennis Association 250 event, takes place next week at the Westwood Country Club. With over $250,000 in prize money, it has attracted some of the world's best players, including a slew of Americans. Here's eight to watch:

Magda Linette - Poland
We might as well start with the highest-ranked player in the field. Coming in a #21 in the world, Linette has yet to win a title this year, but she did make it to the semis of this year's Australian Open as well as the finals of three other events last year. Maybe this will be her moment.

Emma Raducanu - Great Britain
Raducanu burst on the scene in 2021, and I mean exploded. At that year's US Open, she not only made it through qualifiers to the main draw, but she blew through the entire field to win her first title, a grand slam. It was even more impressive in that she didn't drop a set over ten straight matches. Things have been rough since then, but the tennis world is waiting for her next big move.

Danielle Collins - USA
As the first player to commit to the ATX Open last year, Collins was an important piece in gathering such a strong field. She is known for her success in the college game as well as her intense on-court demeanor. An appearance in the 2022 Australian Open finals showed how talented she is, so it would be no surprise for her to do well next week.

Sloane Stephens - USA
Stephens has been an absolute mainstay in the world of tennis over the past decade. Winner of three singles titles, including the 2016 US Open, she has been a consistent presence in the top 50, most years in the top 10. This familiar face of American tennis is a welcome addition to the field.

Lauren Davis - USA
The diminutive Davis has already won a title this year, taking the prize in Hobart, Australia last month. The feat was even more impressive because she came through qualifiers to do it. Can she make it two?

Alycia Parks - USA
Another 2023 tournament champion. Just three weeks ago she took the title in Lyon, France. At over six feet tall, she plays big and hits big. She'll be a fun one to watch in person.

Taylor Townsend - USA
Townsend is an absolute crowd favorite. She plays an old-school style that sees her constantly charging the net like Navratilova or McEnroe. It's very out of character with today's baseline game, but she's been known to flummox superior opponents. Every player at the ATX Open will keep an eye out for her name on the draw.

Peyton Stearns - USA
Sterns is sure to have plenty of burnt orange fans in the building as she recently wrapped up a fantastic college career just a few miles away from the tournament site. As she gets her professional career rolling, she'll be looking to make her mark close to home.

The ATX Open takes place February 27-March 5, 2023. For more information and tickets, visit atxopen.com.

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KEYWORDS FOR THIS POST

ATX Open, Tennis, Women's Tennis Association

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