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Matt Van Tuinen
FORMER WORLD NO. 1 LLEYTON HEWITT JOINS FISH, QUERREY, ISNER AND RAONIC IN STAR-STUDDED PLAYER FIELD AT 2011 ATLANTA TENNIS CHAMPIONSHIPS
Internationally Diverse Field Showcases Rising Stars; Blake Also Commits
ATLANTA, June 8, 2011 – Former World No. 1 and two-time Grand Slam champion Lleyton Hewitt has committed to play the Atlanta Tennis Championships (ATC), an ATP World Tour event that will open the Olympus US Open Series at the Racquet Club of the South, July 18-24, Tournament Director Bob Bryant announced today.
Hewitt’s remarkable career is highlighted by two Grand Slam singles titles (US Open, Wimbledon), 28 ATP World Tour singles titles and 80 weeks at the top of the men’s game.
Also coming to the ATC is former World No. 4 James Blake, one of America’s most dependable Davis Cup players in last decade. An All-American at Harvard, Blake has won 10 ATP World Tour titles.
Joining them as headliners in the field are a group of North American stars including World No. 9 and defending ATC champion Mardy Fish, University of Georgia alum and finalist last year John Isner, World No. 26 and four-time winner on Tour in 2010 Sam Querrey and Canadian Milos Raonic, the youngest player in the top 30 of the world rankings at No. 28.
“We are thrilled to add former World No. 1 Lleyton Hewitt and American standout James Blake to our strong field that will also feature Mardy Fish, John Isner, Sam Querrey and Milos Raonic,” said Tournament Director Bob Bryant. “In just under six weeks, we will serve up another fantastic tournament for fans with some of the best players in the world.”
While Americans will have the greatest presence, the field in Atlanta is diverse with 12 different countries being represented in the main draw and another dozen projected in the 32-man qualifying tournament. One of the top ranked players in the draw will be a big serving South African, Kevin Anderson, who won the first tournament of his career in Johannesburg earlier this season. He is joined by Xavier Malisse, of Belgium, who holds three ATP World Tour singles titles; six-time winner on Tour Russian Dmitry Tursunov and Kei Nishikori of Japan, who won his first ATP World Tour title in 2008 at the age of 18 in Delray Beach.
Rounding out the field of the 2011 Atlanta Tennis Championships are Latvian Ernests Gulbis, who captured an ATP World Tour title in Delray Beach last year; 20-year-old rising Bulgarian star Grigor Dimitrov; Yen-Hsun Lu, of Chinese Taipei, who reached the quarterfinals of Wimbledon in 2010 after defeating Andy Roddick; Russian Igor Kunitsyn; Germans Michael Berrer and Matthias Bachinger and the two-time NCAA Singles champion from India, Somdev Devvarman..
In addition, other American stars in the event include Ryan Sweeting, who captured his first ATP World Tour title in Houston earlier this year; Alexander Bogomolov, Jr., who has one win this year on the Challenger circuit and 10-year tour veteran Michael Russell, who will be looking to back-up his quarterfinals appearance last year in Atlanta.
Daily tickets and weeklong ticket packages, which include tickets to all 11 sessions of the Atlanta Tennis Championships, are now on sale. For ATC ticket information, call 866-840-8822, e-mail email@example.com or visit www.atlantatennischampionships.com.
About the Atlanta Tennis Championships
The Atlanta Tennis Championships will be played at the Racquet Club of the South, 6350 Courtside Drive, Norcross, GA 30092, July 18-24. The facility hosted the 1990 Fed Cup final and a men’s World Championship Tennis tournament in the 1980s. A USTA Regional Training Center, the facility is the home club of one of the top American players, Melanie Oudin, of Marietta, Ga. In 2010 top competitors included Andy Roddick, Lleyton Hewitt, James Blake and Robby Ginepri, of Kennesaw, Ga. More than 41,000 spectators attended the inaugural tournament that offered $600,000 in prize money. The ATP formally awarded the ATP 250 sanction Atlanta Tennis Championships to the USTA Southern Section in December 2009. For ATC ticket information, call 866-840-8822, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.atlantatennischampionships.com.
About the Olympus US Open Series
The Olympus US Open Series has established itself as a true regular season of hard court tennis, linking 10 summer tournaments to the US Open. Fans follow the action throughout the summer through national television coverage, culminating each week with back-to-back men’s and women’s finals on Sunday afternoon. Players battle for $40 million, including a chance for bonus prize money at the US Open. In 2008, Olympus became the first title sponsor of the Series. The Olympus US Open Series is also supported by sponsors American Express and Evian. Andy Murray won the 2010 Olympus US Open Series men’s title and Caroline Wozniacki won the women’s title. In 2007, Roger Federer collected the biggest paycheck in tennis history – $2.4 million – for winning the US Open and the Olympus US Open Series. In 2005, Kim Clijsters also captured both the US Open and the Series, winning $2.2 million – the largest purse in women’s sports history – and again equaled that amount in 2010, winning the US Open and finishing the Olympus US Open Series in second place.
About the ATP
The ATP is the governing body of the men's professional tennis circuits - the ATP World Tour, the ATP Challenger Tour and the ATP Champions Tour. With 62 tournaments in 32 countries, the ATP World Tour showcases the finest male athletes competing in the world’s most exciting venues. From Australia to Europe and the Americas to Asia, the stars of the ATP World Tour battle for prestigious titles and South African Airways 2011 ATP Rankings points at Grand Slams (non ATP events), ATP World Tour Masters 1000, ATP World Tour 500 and ATP World Tour 250 events. At the end of the season only the world’s top 8 ranked men’s singles players and top 8 doubles teams, based on their performance throughout the year, will qualify to compete for the last title of the season at the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals. Held at The O2 in London, the event will officially crown the 2011 ATP World Tour No.1 in singles and doubles. For more information, please visit www.ATPWorldTour.com.
About USTA Southern
The USTA is divided into 17 sections, of which USTA Southern is the largest. The 187,000+ USTA members living in Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee make up USTA Southern, and account for approximately 25 percent of the total USTA membership. The section owns and operates the Atlanta Tennis Championships, an ATP World Tour 250 tournament. A professional staff housed in Norcross, Ga., carries out USTA Southern’s daily operations, but policy is formed and much of the organization’s work is executed via a board and committee structure of over 200 volunteers. For more information about the types of programs and services offered by USTA Southern, visit www.southerntennis.com.
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