Fillol family at the Chile Open

In 2020, the ATP Tour returned to Chile for the first time in six years with the Chile Dove Men+Care Open. The credit goes to a group of dreamers who wished to see professional play on their home turf again. The Fillol family's love for the game is the reason why the ATP 250 event that wrapped up this past Sunday is not only alive, but thriving.

"Don't risk the stress to bring the tournament back," Jaime Fillol Sr. told his daughter Catalina back in 2019. "It's a lot of work, it's economically very risky, you might jeopardize the family."

All of his worries faded following the tournament's success and he felt extremely proud of his family and their bravery to get the tournament back up and running. Maybe they were in over their heads, but the Fillol family prefers to live life that way and the risk was ultimately worth the reward.

What makes this event so special is the fact that the Fillols are taking care of every detail. With Catalina as the tournament director, sister Cecilia handling finance and administration, sister Natalia on player hospitality, sister Angela assisting with community relations and her brother Jaime Jr. serving as the on-court emcee (in addition to his finance responsibilities), it's a family affair from start to finish.

The contributions don't end there, either. The Fillol spouses are also involved, in commercial strategy (Allan, Diego and Rodrigo), VIP services (Renata) and player operations (Martin). The setup even extends to Jaime's grandchildren (which includes main-draw participant Nicolás Jarry), some assisting with guest relations and credentials and others on court daily as ball kids.

Working in harmony, the Fillol put a strong emphasis on taking care of one another and it's easy to see. Their grandchildren handing off bottles of Gatorade to the security team, and making sure to address all staff by their names—it's the little things that make the tournament special. The passion, love and generosity creates a welcoming environment that treats both players and fans as a part of the family. "Contagious" is the word that comes to mind when Cecilia describes the energy at the ATP tournament. It's a feeling that was missing for quite a while.

Catalina addresses the crowd during Saturday's doubles trophy presentation.

Catalina addresses the crowd during Saturday's doubles trophy presentation.


Catalina tells Baseline, "It's a part of who we are, Seeing the older cousins guide and help teach the younger ones the ropes of being a ball boy, doing credentials, assigning practice courts, carrying water and anything else that is needed at the spare of the moment, they feel the excitement for the week.

"Everyone brings their own experiences to the table and that's an important element to our teamwork."

The family is undoubtably the heart of the event, but it's not about them at the end of the day. The event according to the tournament director is all about their country and for the people. With each passing year, improvements and updates are being installed which contribute to this overall outlook of making fans feel represented.

"The event belongs to Chile," Catalina says. "For that very reason, we make sure to call it Chile Open, we make sure that the trophy represents our country—it's made out of our national copper and it symbolizes the mountains that surround us. It doesn't symbolize the Fillol family."

Her father Jaime echoes the same love for the game and believes his bloodline goes against the norm. It can be difficult for a large family to find time to unite, as it's easy to get caught up in day-to-day life. Not this one.

"To see that tennis is a way of getting together," Jaime says. "So many times in families, there's this conception that you got to have variety, you have to have independency of activities. And maybe we go against that. Maybe we are not, maybe we're an exception. We think that tennis brings us together."

Former Australian Open finalist Fernando Gonzalez agrees. "It's a unique tournament. It's very satisfying how you see the family and tennis fans both enjoying this great event," the three-time Olympic medalist expresses.

The Fillols served up quite the week of action-packed tennis for their country. Chilean Alejandro Tabilo enjoyed a semifinal run and was happy to do so in front of his home crowd this year. The 24-year-old's hometown campaign saw him break into the Top 100 for the first time Monday.

"My mom came, my family, everybody is so close. It was a nice week to share with everybody," he reflects. "They do a great job, they put all their energy into it. Always grateful for the work they do to make this tournament happen, which is not easy,"

The world No. 98 is certainly right, After another successful year, the Fillol family continues to prove the challenges don't come close to the beautiful and heart-warming benefits.