– Georgia Tech University’s Guillermo Gomez and the University of Georgia’s Wil Spencer were granted wild cards into the qualifying draw for the 2011 Atlanta Tennis Championships, an ATP World Tour event that opens the Olympus US Open Series to be held July 16-24 at the Racquet Club of the South, Tournament Director Bob Bryant announced. Representing the fiercest rivalry in Georgia, the players from Georgia's two most prestigious schools will add a special excitement for spectators throughout the Peach State attending the ATP World Tour event.
Gomez, a graduating senior at Georgia Tech and three-time Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) All-American from Alicante, Spain, has been ranked as high as No. 3 among collegiate tennis players. He led his Yellow Jackets, who finished the year ranked No. 13, to the round of 16 in the NCAA Championships and finished his career as the leader in school singles victories with 119.
Spencer, a rising senior from Ponce de Leon, Fla., helped his UGA Bulldogs reach the semifinals of the NCAA Championships before losing to eventual champion USC.
Gomez and Spencer met previously on Feb. 12 in a Georgia vs. Georgia Tech dual meet. In that match, Gomez had the upper hand, defeating his Bulldog opponent, 7-5, 6-3. These two will now battle to become the first active collegiate player to qualify for the main draw of an Olympus US Open Series event since USC’s Steve Johnson in Los Angeles in 2010.
While the players from these two universities will battle to get into the singles draw, on the doubles side, a pair of inter-state rivals, Georgia Tech’s Kevin King and Georgia’s Drake Bernstein, were granted a wild card into the main draw of the doubles competition. King, from Peachtree City, Ga., was part of a dynamic Georgia Tech duo that took out the No. 7 and No. 1 doubles teams en route to the NCAA Doubles Championships semifinal, where they lost a tight match to the eventual champions from Texas A&M. King will pair up with UGA’s Drake Bernstein, another graduating senior from Winder, Ga., who led the team in doubles wins (27-11) with partner Wil Spencer.
"We are excited to have additional local flavor in the Atlanta Tennis Championships," said Bryant. "Between former Georgia superstar John Isner and these four talented collegiate players representing two excellent universities, we will showcase the best tennis players with an affiliation to Georgia."
"Guillermo is an outstanding player that is dangerous at any level in tennis," said Georgia Tech coach and 2011 Wilson/Intercollegiate Tennis Association National Coach of the Year Kenny Thorne. "It will be exciting to see him represent Georgia Tech while he competes against the best players in the world at the Atlanta Tennis Championships."
"Since that meeting in February, Wil’s ranking and results have steadily improved," said UGA coach, Manuel Diaz. "He will not only pose a threat to Guillermo [Gomez], but also to any other player he might face in qualifying. I look forward to seeing him in the main draw."
For more information about the ATC and tickets, 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 USTA Southern 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