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Fans enjoy Delray Beach Open, despite reduced capacity

Smaller crowds flock to Delray Beach Tennis Center, but season ticket holder says 'world-class talent' still on display
Posted at 8:16 AM, Jan 11, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-11 08:19:22-05

DELRAY BEACH, Fla. — A limited number of fans are attending this year's Delray Beach Open because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Capacity has been cut to just under 25% -- about 2,000 people.

"It's been great," season ticket holder John Westine said. "Great play. (The) Delray Beach Open brings some world-class talent to our little beachside community, so we love to come."

Westine added that the employees at the Delray Beach Tennis Center are doing an excellent job at keeping the area clean.

"This is a fraction of the number of folks that normally come out to enjoy the tennis," Westine said. "We've all got our masks, got our own little bottles of alcohol and hand sanitizer."

He said even though some players dropped out to head to an Australian tournament early, he's glad that the event was still able to be happen.

"The quality of the players is great," Westine said. "We lost a few. Andy Murray was supposed to come but he dropped out. I think we had (Milos) Raonic that was supposed to come."

Jay Lewandowski, stringing tennis racquet at Delray Beach Open
Jay Lewandowski has been stringing tennis racquets for players at the Delray Beach Open for more than 15 years.

Jay Lewandowski, an official racquet stringer, said he sees "a lot of the same faces every single year."

Lewandowski said he's strung racquets at the tournament for more than 15 years and that it's great to be a part of this year's tournament, although different.

"Even though we're in this pandemic, you know, everybody's keeping their distance," he said. "We got a fence here so that people can stay 6 feet away from us and we're outside and the fresh air, so we feel pretty safe."

Westine said even with the smaller crowds, "we're still spirited and making some noise to cheer on our favorite players."