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Home Field: Lindner Family Tennis Center, Cincinnati, OH

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The Lindner Family Tennis Center (LFTC) is home to a living piece of tennis history. Located in Mason, OH, just outside of Cincinnati, the venue has been home to the Western & Southern Open, an ATP Masters 1000, and a WTA 1000 tournament that ranks among the biggest tournaments in the world

While the Lindner has hosted the United States Tennis Association (USTA) event since 1974, the Western & Southern has been in the Cincinnati area since 1899, making it the oldest professional tennis tournament in the U.S. to be still held in its city of origin. 

The LFTC certainly reveres its place in sports history; however, it has also been very forward-thinking regarding player performance, fan experiences, and respect for the environment.

Among the improvements made during its last major renovation, which occurred in the early 2010s, were upgrades to the grounds’ planting plan to include more flora better suited for the southern Ohio climate. 

Additionally, there was an expansion of the number of courts, raising LFTC’s attendance capability. Because the tournament donates proceeds to charity, this increase has meant more money going to local organizations. According to a press release, since 1974, the Western & Southern Open’s overall donations have exceeded more than $12 million

Photo Courtesy Western & Southern Open

The tennis center earned its place in history by making the Western & Southern Open the first major tournament with a key court made of recycled tennis balls. This high-tech innovation is significant because a typical major tourney uses around 700,000 tennis balls — most traditionally winding up in landfills. 

For the 2021 Open, the USTA, Wilson Tennis, RecycledBalls, and the court surfacing company Laykold partnered to transform used tennis balls into a world-class playing surface through a process that involved advanced polymer technology.

This effort was not the first time state-of-the-art polymers were incorporated into an LFTC project. 

In 2014, the tennis center enriched the spectators’ experience by opening a champagne bar by Center Court. The bar’s deck floor was constructed from a composite material created by TimberTech, an Ohio-based deck manufacturing company. TimberTech’s Earthwood Evolutions composite decking is coated with a protective polymer cap that makes it a long-lasting alternative to wood that is sustainable and recyclable. 

Photo Courtesy Western & Southern Open

LFTC’s green-minded projects continued with the 2023 Western & Southern Open. The floral exhibition, one of the largest of its kind in the Midwest, doubled its size of flowers and plants by featuring more than 10,000 annuals. The tournament also lowered its carbon footprint by going cashless and having reversible ATMs onsite. 

An even more environmentally important development was repairing and resurfacing all the LFTC’s 17 match and practice courts by the highly respected tennis court makers, GreenSet. The company has done work for many of the world’s top tennis tournaments and received the most advanced certificates from the International Tennis Federation for its surfaces. 

Green is more than just in its name; the company participates in the Zero Carbon Footprint Challenge to reduce its carbon footprint at each tournament. GreenSet plans to achieve carbon neutrality through reforestation programs as part of the environmentally progressive effort. 


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