We are at the halfway point of the Winston-Salem Open and the City has done a wonderful job creating a fan friendly event that the players seem to like as well.

Commitments to the event by top players such as Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Tomas Berdych, Andy Roddick, John Isner and others have created a high level of play on the courts.

"I really enjoy it here. I feel like the crowd is pretty enthusiastic. I feel like the City is pretty enthusiastic about having this event. So, I think it makes it fun for us to be here" Andy Roddick commented.

"For me, It was important  to play on hard courts before the U.S. Open", Jo-Wilifried Tsonga said.

 Since Winston-Salem is the last stop before the U.S. Open in the U.S. Open Series, it is likely that the field will remain strong and continue to grow in years to come.

It is a very cozy venue with everything close together. I was told by a Tournament Official, "It is such an open lay out. The players just walk through the crowd". In fact, as I entered the facility the first day, I noticed Andy Roddick leaving the practice courts and walking through the crowd to get to the players facilities. It makes for a great opportunity for kids to grab an autograph or speak to a tennis great.

There is a nice atmosphere away from the courts as well. A Margaritaville atmosphere has been created with bars and plenty of seating areas if you care to have a drink. Easy access to your traditional sporting event foods such as hamburgers, hot dogs and pizza are easily accessed from the courts, as well.

A section where you can play table tennis, cornhole and other entertainment has been set up for the fans, that is buzzing between the day and night sessions.

From the top of Center Court, you can see all the other courts and activities going on around the facility and even catch action on Court 2. and 3.

There is an international flavor on the grounds as well as I spoke to fans from Brazil and France who were very interested in competitors from their Countries. Over 20 different Countries are represented in the field.

And while there has been some rain early, the overwhelming majority of the time has been perfect tennis viewing weather. Hopefully the second half of the tournament is as entertaining as the first and with a number of big names left in the draw, the level of tennis should be very high.