The Argentina Open, or ATP Buenos Aires, is an ATP World Tour 250 series event held each February at the Buenos Aires Lawn Tennis Club in Buenos Aires, Argentina. I attended the tournament this year for the second time in a row, after having had a fantastic experience in 2019.
I was able to secure VIP tickets and more through Marriott Moments, which allows members of the Marriott Hotels loyalty program to redeem rewards points for once in a lifetime experiences (or, in my case, twice in a lifetime).
For 90,000 Marriott points, I received tickets to all matches during the tournament’s final weekend, a 4-night stay at the Sheraton Buenos Aires Hotel, access to the VIP refreshment tent, private car transfers between the hotel and tennis club and an opportunity to toss the coin at the doubles’ final.
For those purchasing tickets through the general public marketplace, this can be done for future events at www.argentinaopentennis.com.
Tossing the Coin From My Wheelchair
Having the opportunity to roll my wheelchair out onto the tennis court for the coin toss was a true once in a lifetime experience, and it’s something I won’t soon forget. At the net, I shook hands with the umpire and the two teams (Marcel Granollers/Horacio Zeballos and Guillermo Duran/Juan Ignacio Londero), snapped a photo and tossed the coin.
Wheelchair Accessible Seating at Argentina Open
After the coin toss, I returned to the wheelchair accessible seating area, which is located directly alongside the court at the net.
Although the umpire’s chair obstructed my view just a bit, I appreciated the premium seating offered to disabled patrons. More exciting than the amazing seat location (and my proximity to players during the changeover breaks) was the fact that there were multiple wheelchair users in attendance! It’s important to see that type of inclusion and representation.
The Tennis Tournament
Several players withdrew from the field prior to the start of the tournament, including the current world No. 3, Dominic Thiem. But the real star of the 2020 Argentina Open was local favorite Diego Schwartzman, who entered the tournament ranked No. 14 in the world. I am a true fan of his myself, and hoped he would win the title after disappointing losses in both the 2019 Singles and Doubles finals.
During the Quarterfinals, I watched Schwartzman face off against the Uruguayan Pablo Cuevas in what was the most exciting match I have ever attended on a clay court. After dropping the first set 5-7, Diego won a second set tiebreak at 7-6(11) and advanced into the semifinals by winning the final set at 7-5.
Unfortunately, during the final set, he appeared to injure his hamstring and decided to retire from the tournament the following day.
Although the tournament’s star player was forced to withdraw, the tennis was still enjoyable and exciting. I watched the semifinals and finals matches in both the singles and doubles draws with great interest!
The winners of the 2020 Argentina Open were Casper Ruud (Norway) in the Singles draw and the team of Marcel Granollers (Spain) and Horacio Zeballos (Argentina) in the Doubles Draw.
General Accessibility at the Tennis Club
To help facilitate movement throughout the tennis club and to protect the grass, raised walkways are installed, and provide an accessible route.
Thanks to my Marriott Moments package, I had access to an air-conditioned VIP tent with complementary food and beverages. There were also multiple food vendors within the tennis club for general ticket holders.
The only significant accessibility issue I found concerned bathroom facilities. There were larger portable toilets for wheelchair users, but they were not level with the ground. I was unable to get my power wheelchair over the threshold, but manual wheelchair users likely could access the porta potty. Permanent bathrooms at the stadium had no accessible stalls, so I used the urinals.
Because communication is a barrier for me at this event (I don’t speak Spanish), I may have overlooked a truly accessible bathroom. But having attended this tournament for two years straight, I think I would have found it by now.
After two trips to Buenos Aires and the Argentina Open, I feel confident in attending the tournament as a wheelchair user. Apart from the lack of truly wheelchair accessible toilet facilities, it’s a great event and I always have a wonderful time. I’m grateful for the event’s inclusion in the Marriott Moments program, and always find value in this redemption. As a self-proclaimed tennis fanatic, I welcome the opportunity to see professional tennis played in person. Send me a message if you’d ever like to join me at this or another tennis tournament!