The 2023 Tel Aviv Watergen Open has regretfully been postponed due to the ongoing Middle East crisis. The competition made its professional tennis circuit debut in 1978 as an ATP 250 event.
It endured a hiatus from 2000 through 2021, only to make a remarkable return in 2022, with Novak Djokovic emerging as the champion.
To compensate for the absence of the Tel Aviv Open, the ATP has granted a one-year hosting license to the Sofia Open. It is located in the capital city of Sofia, Bulgaria.
The Sofia Open is an indoor hard-court competition played on acrylic laid upon wood. The prestigious tournament is hosted within the confines of the Sofia Arena. While not originally included in the 2023 schedule, the event was a recurring feature from 2016 to 2022.
The Sofia Open’s roster of past champions is indeed impressive. Bulgarian tennis star Grigor Dimitrov clinched victory on home soil in 2017, while Daniil Medvedev triumphed in 2019. Jannik Sinner showcased his prowess by securing consecutive titles in 2020 and 2021. In 2022, Marc-Andrea Husler claimed victory by defeating Holger Rune in an exciting final showdown.
Tel Aviv Open is replaced by Sofia Open on the 2023 schedule.
According to Bulgarian Tennis Federation President Stefan Tzvetkov, “We’re excited to host ATP Tour tennis back in the historic city of Sofia again. It goes without saying that we wish the circumstances were different, and our thoughts remain with all those affected by the terrible conflict. Our appreciation goes to ATP, the Bulgarian Government, the Municipality, and our team.”
He also said, “Few people want what is happening in Palestine and Israel to be happening. I definitely wish for a speedy end – relative end, unfortunately, as there have been on-and-off issues in the area for decades. to the current problems. A tennis tournament is not anywhere nearly as important as people’s lives. Obviously, hopefully, a tennis tournament will be held in Israel soon as that would be an indication that the issues in the area have returned to a more normal level.“
The Nitto ATP Finals will take place after the Sofia Open. November 4 to November 11 will be the dates. The tournament’s draw will take place closer to November 4th.