– The Atlanta Tennis Championships announced today its 2011 tournament will be held at the Racquet Club of the South, July 18-24, 2011. While the site has changed from the Atlanta Athletic Club, the tournament is scheduled for the same week in the ATP World Tour calendar year and will once again launch the Olympus US Open Series season.
Reigning singles champion Mardy Fish and finalist John Isner have committed to return to Atlanta to play in 2011. Both players finished in the top 20 in year-end South African Airways 2010 ATP World Tour Rankings.
The Racquet Club of the South is known as one of the premier tennis clubs in Georgia. The facility hosted the 1990 Fed Cup and a men’s World Championship Tennis tournament during the 1980s. Numerous world-class pro players have played at RCS, including Isner, Sam Querrey, the Bryan brothers, Jim Courier and Thomas Muster. For years, it has hosted USTA Pro Circuit tournaments that have featured up-and-coming and veteran pros.
A USTA Regional Training Center, the facility is the home club of one of the U.S. top players, Melanie Oudin, of Marietta, Ga. RCS features a permanent outdoor stadium along with 26 outdoor courts, eight indoor courts and two platform tennis courts.
"We’re extremely pleased to bring the Atlanta Tennis Championships to the Racquet Club of the South. The club’s extensive experience in hosting professional tournaments over many years makes it a very desirable location to showcase the top players in the world," said Rex Maynard, Tournament Chairman.
"With one very successful year under our belts, we are aiming to improve our customer‘s experience. We know our new host will provide our partners, spectators and players with spacious and comfortable indoor facilities along with an attractive outdoor area with numerous courts," said Bill Oakes, Tournament Director. "Some people think we were in Atlanta for just one year, but nothing could be further from the truth -- we are here for the long haul."
Oakes also pointed out numerous assets of the club. "We will have ample onsite VIP parking and extra courts for competition, practice and community tennis events such as 10 and Under Tennis and USTA League play. Last year our players expressed how much they loved the tournament with its enthusiastic crowds. This year they will enjoy a larger player area that will make their stay in Atlanta even better."
The tournament will make use of the venue’s large clubhouse that offers extensive air-conditioned indoor areas for fans. Additionally, there will be large areas of shade to comfort spectators if the temperature rises in July.
"It is very exciting that the USTA and ATP chose RCS as the new site for the tournament," said RCS President Steve Gareleck. "Things have really changed here over the past two years. With the junior tennis academy getting incredible results over the past 18 months (run by Grant Stafford, who played on the ATP tour for 11 years), along with the wonderful upgrades to the facility, it a perfect place for the event. We are excited to help make this the absolutely best location and facility for the tournament."
The facility is run by Gareleck, Stafford and Remington Reynolds.
Isner became a household name across the world when he won the longest match in tennis history – a marathon contest of 163 games – over Nicolas Mahut of France at this year’s Wimbledon. Isner is a former University of Georgia Bulldog and NCAA Division I champion. With a dominating first serve, the towering 6’9" native of Greensboro, N.C. captured his first tournament win in Auckland in 2010. Isner was also named to the U.S. Davis Cup team for the first time in 2010. He is No. 19 in the 2010 ATP World Tour Rankings.
Fish had a resurgent year in 2010, winning two of his five career singles titles and two of his seven career doubles titles. He was the Olympic silver medalist in singles at the 2004 Athens games. Fish finished No. 16 in the 2010 ATP World Tour Rankings, the highest ranking of his 12-year career.
The ATP formally awarded the ATP 250 sanction Atlanta Tennis Championships to the USTA Southern Section in December 2009. The tournament field and schedule will be similar to 2010 with a 28-player singles draw and a 16-team doubles draw. Four of the singles players will come from a two-day qualifying tournament on July 16-17.
About the Atlanta Tennis Championships
Mardy Fish defeated John Isner to win the 2010 Atlanta Tennis Championships singles crown. Other 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. The 2011 Atlanta Tennis Championships will be held at the Racquet Club of the South, located at 6350 Courtside Drive, Norcross, GA 30092. Premium tickets and daily tickets will be available at a later date. To order daily tickets by phone, 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 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 sponsor American Express. 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.
About the ATP World 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 at Grand Slams (non ATP members), ATP World Tour Masters 1000, ATP World Tour 500 and ATP World Tour 250 events. At the end of the season the world’s top 8 ranked singles players and top 8 doubles teams, based on their performance throughout the year, qualified to compete in the season’s climax - the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals. Held at London’s O2 arena, the event officially crowned the 2010 ATP World Tour Champion and determined the final South African Airways 2010 ATP Rankings. 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