“The response to the first year of the US Open Series was extremely positive from fans, players and media alike,” notes Arlen Kantarian, the USTA’s chief executive of Professional Tennis. “But we’re not resting on our laurels.
“We are pushing forward this year with more tournaments, more TV hours, more bonus money and more innovations. Tennis has an opportunity for the first time to have the sort of real, meaningful regular season that American sports fans can relate to, culminating with a championship event—the US Open.”
The basics of the 2005 US Open Series are these:
- 10 events linked together under the US Open brand, featuring a consistent look that readily identify these tournaments as US Open Series events.
- More than 115 hours of live, national TV coverage, including tournament finals at regularly-scheduled weekend hours. In addition, watch for more than 100 hours of additional US Open Series coverage on The Tennis Channel.
- A first-of-its-kind player bonus system that rewards those who perform best throughout the six-week season with bonus prize money payouts at the US Open. This year, US Open Series winners will be playing for double prize money at the US Open, with a shot at a possible $2 million payoff. Simply put: great play equals more pay.
- A multi-million dollar advertising and marketing campaign, aimed at promoting tennis, the events and—especially— the players.
The 2005 US Open Series kicks off on July 18 with the men’s RCA Championships in Indianapolis, and the 10-tournament schedule this year includes every major North American hard-court event, as the women’s Acura Classic has joined the US Open Series lineup for 2005. The addition of this WTA Tier I tournament, which annually draws some of the top names in the women’s game, completes the Series’ slate, and promises to benefit both the tournament and the Series as a whole. “Our alliance with the US Open Series adds a new element that’s sure to bring a heightened level of excitement to the action on court,” says Acura Classic Tournament Director Racquel Giscafre.