ATLANTA – The Atlanta Tennis Championships named Andrew Young, former U. S. Ambassador to the United Nations and noted civic and business leader in Atlanta, the honorary chairman of the inaugural Atlanta Tennis Championships. The Atlanta event, owned and operated by USTA Southern, will serve as the kick-off to the 2010 Olympus US Open Series.
In his role as honorary chairman, Ambassador Young is working with the tournament to reach out to the large and diverse tennis communities throughout greater Atlanta. Atlanta is one of the most vibrant tennis markets in the United States with the highest number of per capita USTA members and the largest USTA Leagues program in the nation. Ambassador Young will also provide introductions on behalf of the tournament to members of the Atlanta business community to help ensure the future success of the tournament in the coming years. Young began playing tennis as a member of Congress, and was a long-time friend of tennis humanitarian and icon Arthur Ashe. Young presided at both Ashe’s wedding and funeral.
"We’re honored to name Andrew Young, one of Atlanta’s most noted residents, who has served this City as its Mayor, has served his country as Ambassador to the United Nations, and continues to serve this community in so many ways, the honorary Chairman of the Atlanta Tennis Championships," said Rex Maynard, USTA Southern Section President. "With his leadership and guidance, our tournament will be a success for years to come."
As part of the Olympus US Open Series legacy program, the USTA will refurbish the tennis courts located at the Andrew and Walter Young YMCA. The two courts presently on-site will be converted in to four 36-foot courts for kids under 10 years old and one 60-foot court. The conversion of the courts is part of the new teaching philosophy that places younger players on appropriately-sized courts with appropriately-sized racquets and low compression balls. In addition to the court conversion, the USTA will upgrade the court drainage, as well as ensure that all the courts are handicap accessible.
Taking place from July 19-25 at the Atlanta Athletic Club in Johns Creek, Ga., the Atlanta Tennis Championships will feature a 28-player singles draw and 16-team doubles draw. John Isner, who won the longest tennis match in history at Wimbledon, is set to be the top seed. Three-time ATP titlist Mardy Fish joins Marcos Baghdatis, Lleyton Hewitt, James Blake and Robby Ginepri in the main singles draw. Concurrently, the men’s winners from 16 US Open National Playoffs Qualifying Tournaments will battle for one spot in the 2010 US Open Qualifying Tournament in Flushing, N.Y.
Premium tickets and daily tickets are now on sale. To order daily tickets by phone, call 866-840-8822. For an order form or other ticket info, call (678) 527-2138 or visit www.atlantatennischampionships.com.
About the Olympus US Open Series
Now in its seventh season, the Olympus US Open Series has established itself as a true regular season of hardcourt tennis, linking 10 summer tournaments to the US Open. Fans can follow the action throughout the summer through national television coverage, culminating each week with back-to-back men’s and women’s finals every 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, Evian and Grand Marnier.
Sam Querrey won the 2009 Olympus US Open Series men’s title and Elena Dementieva won the women’s title. In 2007, Roger Federer collected the biggest paycheck in tennis history -- $2.4 million -- for winning US Open and the Olympus US Open Series. In 2005, Kim Clijsters also captured both the US Open and the Olympus US Open Series, winning $2.2 million -- the largest purse in women’s sports history.
About USTA Southern
The USTA is divided into 17 sections, of which USTA Southern is the largest. The 185,000+ 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.