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Isner, Blake to Play Atlanta Championships

Atlanta, GA — John Isner and James Blake, the second- and fourth-ranked American men’s tennis players, have committed to play the 2010 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.

Isner just jumped to No. 21 in the world following his run to the final at the Regions Morgan Keegan Championships in Memphis last week. The former University of Georgia All-American has won more than $1,180,000 in his career and has just reached his highest ranking ever, rising 123 places in the last 12 months. Known for his dominating first serve, the towering 6’9" native of Greensboro, N.C. has a 12-2 record on the ATP World Tour this year, including his first tournament win in Auckland. Isner was recently named by Captain Patrick McEnroe to the U.S. Davis Cup team for the first time.

Also committed to playing in the inaugural Atlanta Tennis Championships is Blake, the long-time American tennis star who has been ranked as high as No. 4 in the world. Blake has won 10 ATP titles, including the 2006 Indianapolis tournament, which the Atlanta tournament is replacing. He started his career in 2000 and has been a Davis Cup stalwart for the American team. Included in People Magazine’s 2006-2007 “Sexiest Man Alive” issue, Blake is also known for off-court accomplishments. He played tennis for two years at Harvard University and co-wrote the autobiography Breaking Back: How I Lost Everything and Won Back My Life that reached 15th on The New York Times Best Seller list. The book chronicles Blake’s accident where he ran into a net post and broke his back.

Robby Ginepri, who lives in the metro Atlanta city of Kennesaw, Ga., was the first player to agree to play the tournament. He reached a career high No. 15 in 2005 after reaching the US Open semifinals.

The Atlanta Athletic Club, Johns Creek, Ga., will be the tournament site from July 19-25. USTA Southern purchased the sanction for the ATP World Tour 250 tournament last December.

Premium tickets went on sale Tuesday, Feb. 16 at 9 a.m. ET. Other tickets will be available in March. For an order form or other ticket info, call 678-527-2138 or email tickets@atlantatennischampionships.com. The tournament web site is atlantatennischampionships.com.

The USTA is the national governing body for the sport of tennis in the U.S. and the leader in promoting and developing the growth of tennis at every level — from local communities to the highest level of the professional game. It owns and operates the US Open, the largest annually attended sporting event in the world, and launched the Olympus US Open Series linking 10 summer tournaments to the US Open. In addition, it owns the 90 Pro Circuit events throughout the U.S., and selects the teams for the Davis Cup, Fed Cup, Olympic and Paralympic games. A not-for-profit organization with more than 730,000 members, it invests 100 percent of its proceeds in growing the game. It 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 southerntennis.com.

 

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