"Both Rookwood and the Western & Southern Open have rich Cincinnati histories reaching back more than a century," said Martin Wade, owner of Rookwood Pottery.
"In fact, in 1899, the year of the first tournament, Rookwood's artists created the winner mementos, including a tankard and six ale mugs, as well as a tobacco case."
The 2012 tournament will be played from Aug 11 to 19 at the Lindner Family Tennis Center in Mason, OH. About 60 million television viewers from 160 countries are expected to watch as Roger Federer, Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova compete to win the Rookwood Cup. Immediately following the tournament, the cups will be shipped to winners and runners-up in places as far off as China, Serbia and Belgium, much like the 2012 World Choir Games trophies, also created by Rookwood Pottery.
"The tournament has grown exponentially over the past century and is seen across the globe," said Western & Southern Open CEO Elaine Bruening. The trophies have come a long way since 1899. As part of the agreement, Cincinnati artist Roy Robinson redesigned this year's trophies for Rookwood, making them slightly smaller and lighter, with an earthier glaze palette of burgundy and green. Rookwood's own artists did the sculptural and molding work, including the foliage that carries over the lip of the cup.
The Center Court Rookwood Cup will be on display at the entrance to the player's lounge, it will be televised on court during the finals, and the Rookwood Cup name will be written into the final script of CBS announcers, reaching millions. The 2011 Western & Southern Open, for instance, attracted 58.9 million TV viewers, with 8.65 million domestic and 50.3 million international, according to Western & Southern Open.