Where: Atlantic Station, Atlanta, GA
When: July 24-30, 2017; Qualifying: July 22-23
Defending champions: Nick Kyrgios (singles); Andres Molteni and Horacio Zeballos (doubles)
Tournament website: www.bbtatlantaopen.com
The BB&T Atlanta Open moved to Atlanta in 2010 after being held in Indianapolis starting in 1988. Since relocating to Atlanta seven years ago, there have been only four champions at the event – Americans Mardy Fish (2010-11), Andy Roddick (2012), John Isner (2013-15) and Nick Kyrgios (2016). Past champions of the tournament when it was held in Indianapolis include Boris Becker, Jim Courier, Gustavo Kuerten, John McEnroe, Patrick Rafter and Pete Sampras.
The next generation of men’s stars staged a coming-out party at the 2016 BB&T Atlanta Open. In the end, none shined brighter than 21-year-old Nick Kyrgios.
Kyrgios was one of three players 21 or younger to advance to Atlanta’s final four, joined by 20-year-old Yoshihito Nishioka of Japan and 18-year-old Reilly Opelka of the U.S., with fellow American teen Taylor Fritz making a run to the quarterfinals. The lone veteran to advance to the weekend was three-time defending champion John Isner, but the 31-year-old could not crack Kyrgios in a final played in sweltering conditions, falling, 7-6, 7-6. The victory was the first Series crown for Kyrgios, who also became the first non-American to hoist the trophy since the event moved to Atlanta in 2010.
In the doubles final, the Argentine pair of Andres Molteni and Horacio Zeballos topped Swedes Johan Brunstrom and Andreas Siljestrom, 7-6, 6-4, for their first tour doubles crown.
After a year’s hiatus, the BB&T Atlanta Open is back in the lead-off spot for the US Open Series, kicking off the five-week lead-up to the 2017 US Open. Played in downtown Atlanta overlooking the city's skyline, the ATP-250 level event typically draws a talented player field that in recent years has included some of tennis’ top men’s players, including US Open finalists Lleyton Hewitt and Kei Nishikori, and nearly all the top American men, including John Isner, Jack Sock, Andy Roddick, Mardy Fish, James Blake and up-and-coming stars such as Jared Donaldson, Taylor Fritz, Reilly Opelka and Frances Tiafoe.
Already for this year, Atlanta has secured commitments from Top 20 players Sock and defending champion Nick Kyrgios. This year’s event will also feature a women’s exhibition on Sunday evening, July 23, featuring seven-time Grand Slam champion Venus Williams and 2014 Wimbledon finalist Genie Bouchard.
Last year’s semifinal between 6-foot-10 John Isner and 6-11 Reilly Opelka was the tallest matchup in ATP World Tour history. Isner prevailed, 6-7, 6-4, 6-2, to reach his fourth consecutive final in Atlantic Station.
- E.J. Crawford