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SBD/July 16, 2012/Events and Attractions
Mercury Insurance Open On An Upswing With New Managament, Renovations To Host Site
Published July 16, 2012
SLEEPING GIANT: In California, Leighton Ginn wrote Simon always saw the Mercury Insurance Open “as a sleeping giant” on the WTA Tour. It had “similar elements that turned Simon's main tournament, the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, into one of the world's five biggest tournaments.” Simon and the rest of his BNP Paribas exec team took over managing the Mercury Insurance Open earlier this year. Simon said, “It's a great tennis market that plays it and consumes it. ... It draws from Orange County, the Inland Empire and they're all within driving distance.” Octagon was “persistent about having Simon run the tournament and he weighed the options.” He said, “It's good for any organization to challenge itself and it will only help what we're doing at Indian Wells.” Ginn noted in the future, the tournament “will continue to have challenges with the field because of where it sits on the calendar.” This year, the Mercury Insurance Open “begins two weeks after the Wimbledon finals.” As "nice" as La Costa is, it is “a small venue that won't allow for much growth.” Simon does not see the tournament “growing from a 28-player draw to 56 because of it” (Palm Springs DESERT SUN, 7/15).