Ryan Redondo Tennis.com Podcast

Pro tennis takes world-class athletes all over the world, giving them a chance to experience a breadth of cultures few have access to in a lifetime, let alone a calendar year. But for the long list of destination stops on the tour, there is limited flexibility. Additions are tough to come by and prospective opportunities to host the sport's best are rare. So when opportunity knocks, you have to take it and give it your all.

That's where Ryan Redondo comes in, as he prepares to host the second edition of the San Diego Open.

He joined the Tennis.com Podcast with Kamau Murray to explain why this is the challenge he's sought to undertake, and why the tennis hotbed of San Diego is more than ready for the game's elite.


After a stellar playing career at San Diego State University, Redondo had a desire to stay involved in the game. He made the all-too-common transition to coaching, and in his decade guiding the Pacific University men's team, he won three separate Coach of the Year awards. As youth tennis has always been his passion, Redondo took on an additional role as CEO/GM of Youth Tennis San Diego in 2020.

There's no shortage of enthusiasm for the sport in southern California, but with a crowded calendar, the pro tours haven't exactly been accepting applications from new cities. That was until the COVID-19 pandemic, and the decision by WTA chief executive Steve Simon to suspend all events in China after Peng Shuai's disappearance.

Suddenly, both tours were looking for places to hold events, and San Diego was ready.

"The community here in San Diego is so great because they love tennis," Redondo stated. "We're pumped to bring this back for the fans."

The 2021 edition was an ATP event only, but it proved to be a success by several metrics. Crowd support was thorough, the level of play was top-notch, and both finalists went on to new career heights. Tournament runner-up Cameron Norrie won Indian Wells that same month and broke into the Top 10 the following spring, while champion Casper Ruud used his title as an unofficial springboard for a 2022 season that saw him reach two major finals and climb to No. 2 in the world.

The event's success made it a natural fit for the WTA as they filled out their fall schedule. With juggernaut sports agency Octagon behind them, the San Diego Open will now feature a women's event at the 500 level. With 16 of the Top 20-ranked players entered in the tournament, SoCal has become the location for the best tennis in the world this fall.

The topic of running a tournament is right in Murray's wheelhouse, who went through many of the same challenges when putting his series of WTA tournaments on last fall in Chicago. Redondo explains how the event hopes to remain a permanent one on the calendar, and why it's important to tie together the youth game in this talented region of the world. The tournament director also spoke extensively about the importance of having a strong broadcast partner.

"To have platforms like Tennis Channel to really air us and put us out there, to continue on every year, that's what's going to help," Redondo said.

Two tennis lifers chatting about running high-level pro tournaments is just what the doctor ordered on this week's Tennis.com Podcast. Kamau Murray & Ryan Redondo are all about improving and growing the game that they love, and they each want that growth to be felt immensely in their hometowns. The tennis world is coming to San Diego, and as this podcast clearly illuminates, that world is in good hands in SoCal.