With Tsonga against Pouille, the final of the Marseille tournament left no great surprise concerning the nationality of the winner. Beyond the Open 13, many ATP250 tournaments have made of habit of crowning local tennis players.
1/ Atlanta – 23 American wins
Americans are usually pretty at ease on their home soil, and the Atlanta tournament is there to prove it. Since the first edition in 1970, players coming from Uncle Sam’s country have lifted the trophy twenty-three times, with twelve finals opposing two American players, to be sure of winning the tournament. Andre Agassi and John Isner have both won it on three occasions, and apart from American players, no foreign player has ever managed to win the Atlanta Open twice. More than a domination, it’s almost a monopoly, even if the current title-holder is the Australian Nick Kyrgios. Who won in Atlanta last August after defeating…John Isner in the final.
2/ Memphis – 22 American wins
Another exclusive domain for the Americans, 600 km away from Atlanta, is the Memphis tournament, in Tennessee. The American flag has floated 22 times for the winners, and the great Jimmy Connors has won four editions. Alongside him in the list of winners, we find other big names like Andre Agassi, Jim Courier, Pete Sampras or Andy Roddick. This year, the young Ryan Harrison has won it. Putting an end to Kei Nishikori’s great series, as the Japanese had won it four times in a row prior to that. On their side, the Frenchmen have always had a tough time showing their talent at the Memphis tournament, even if Noah and Leconte have both managed to qualify for a final at the start of the 80’s, and that Leconte was close to achieve a major feat against Connors.
3/ Clay Court – 20 American wins
Here again, Jimmy Connors has won the tournament four times. After having seen almost twenty editions being played in Indianapolis, the Clay Court tournament has moved places numerous times, to finally settle in Houston, Texas, since 2002. Not enough to unsettle the American players, who have carried on piling up the titles in this tournament played on clay. Roddick, Mardy Fish, Agassi, Jim Courier, Michael Chang, but also the less known Jay Berger, David Wheaton, MaliVai Washington or Jared Palmer - who won his only title there - have all triumphed at the Clay Court tournament. But since 2010, the Argentines Juan Monaco and Juan Ignacio Chela or the Spaniard Fernando Verdasco have decided to set the record straight, as in having Latin players winning the tournaments played on clay. Will the Americans manage to take their tournament back ? The answer will come in April.
4/ Newport – 20 American wins
The month of July in the North of the East Coast is generally nice and warm, especially when you’re an American tennis player. And for once, the giants Agassi Sampras, Roddick, Connors or Courier have decided to let some other, less known American players take their place. In the end, the tournament has still seen eighteen American wins, with players like Hank Pfister or Dan Goldie. Another one to watch out for in Newport was Bryan Shelton, who only won two tournaments in his career, each time in Newport, in 1991 and 1992. A double which Fabrice Santoro also achieved, in 2007 and 2008.
5/ Sydney – 17 Australian wins
Australians haven’t won the Australian Open in more than forty years. However, they have very often shone at the Sydney tournament, which takes place just before the first Grand Slam tournament of the season and which is usually played to prepare for the big meeting. Lleyton Hewitt is the all-time record winner there with four victories, but Australian performances have been declining for some time now. The last local winner was Bernard Tomic, in 2013. The Australian could have done the double as he reached the final in 2014, but he was demolished by Del Potro.
6/ Buenos Aires – 16 Argentine wins
A clay tournament taking place in Argentina obviously attracts local players. The Argentines have won no less than sixteen titles in their capital, with Guillermo Vilas winning eight editions over a decade. But if the Argentines were still unbeatable at home ten years ago, with the triumphs of Coria, Gaudio, Monaco or Nalbandian, it looks like Buenos Aires has now been conquered by the Spaniards. From Tommy Robredo to Rafa Nadal, with Juan Carlos Ferrero or David Ferrer in between, Spain has won the tournament seven times in a row, from 2009 to 2015.
7/ Bastad – 16 Swedish wins
Båstad is a small town of 5000 inhabitants in the south of Sweden, where nothing much ever happens, except in the summer. Since 1968, a small bunch of tennis stars come there in July to take part in the town’s tournament. Relaxed at home, the Swedes have made the tournament their own, and Björn Borg, Mats Wilander and Magnus Gustafsson - who holds the record of victories there with four titles - have often triumphed. The last viking to have added his name to this prestigious list was Robin Söderling, who’s won it in 2009 and 2011. It’s also the only tournament won by Benoît Paire in the singles, as he defeated Robredo in the final of the 2015 edition.
8/ Moscow – 12 Russian wins
On September 30th, 2002, Paul-Henri Mathieu won the Moscow tournament. Very young - only twenty at the time - the Frenchman hd gone through the qualifying rounds before defeating Tommy Robredo and Maat Safin on his road to the title. An immense feat. But he mainly put an end to Ievgueni Kafelnikov’s monopoly, as the Russian had won the title five times in a row. After him, Davydenko, Andreev, or Youzhny also triumphed in Moscow. In total, the Russians have won their capital’s tournament on twelve occasions, to which we could even add the Soviet Andreï Cherkasov’s two victories in 1990 and 1992.
9/ Munich – 10 German wins
The last time that a German player won Roland-Garros was in the 30’s. However, in May, the Munich tournament played on clay is often won by a local. The current title holder is Philipp Kohlschreiber who defeated his Austrian neighbor Dominic Thiem in the final last year. It was Kohlschreiber’s third triumph in Munich, a record, and the tenth German victory. Deutsche Qualität.
10/ Metz and Marseille – 9 French wins
France is pretty lucky with the ATP250 calendar, as four tournaments of this type are being played in the country each year. However, « les Bleus » are not so successful on their home soil, even if their win ratio is pretty spectacular at the Moselle Open. Born in 2003, this competition has already crowned Frenchmen nine times, with Jo-Wilfried Tsonga winning three editions. Another nice French win ratio can be found at the Montpellier Open, which was created in 2010, and has crowned French tennis players five times, with Gasquet winning three titles. As for the Marseille tournament, just like the Moselle Open, it was won by locals nine times, with six franco-french finals, including the one won this year by Tsonga against Lucas Pouille.