Fish First to Sign with Winston-Salem Open
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — The Winston-Salem Open at Wake Forest University has announced Mardy Fish — the top ranked American tennis player in the world — as the first player signed to play in the inaugural tournament. Fish is one of several young American tennis players who rose to prominence at the beginning of the 21st century.
He was the Olympic silver medalist in singles at the 2004 Athens games. The 29-year-old Fish had a resurgent year in 2010, winning two of his five career singles titles and two of his seven doubles titles. He is currently ranked No. 11 in the ATP World Tour Rankings and is the highest ranked American male in the world. Fish reached the semi finals at the Sony Ericsson Open last week, vaulting past Andy Roddick who has held that post for more than four years.
We’re thrilled that Mardy will be coming to Winston-Salem in August. He’s sure to be among the fan favorites at the Winston-Salem Open,” said tournament director Bill Oakes. “Mardy’s career has been on the upswing for the past year or so, culminating with his recent ranking as the top American male tennis player in the world. The commitment of a champion like Mardy will help attract additional world-class players to Winston-Salem.”
Information about purchasing tickets to the Winston-Salem Open will be available in about two weeks, with volunteer information to follow shortly after that.
Fish turned professional in 2000 at the age of 18. He spent his first few years as a pro playing in the Challenger and Futures circuits, the minor leagues of tennis. He earned his first title on the ATP Tour in 2002 playing doubles in the U.S. Men’s Clay Court Championships in Houston, Texas, with Andy Roddick. Fish has won five tournaments on the main ATP Tour and has reached the final of three Masters Series events: Cincinnati in 2003 and 2010 and Indian Wells in 2008. His best result at a Grand Slam tournament has been reaching the quarter final stage at the 2007 Australian Open and the 2008 US Open .
Fish has a very similar playing style to compatriot Andy Roddick . Fish, like Roddick, possesses a huge first serve, which often wins him free points. Fish used to rely on going for big forehands and outright winners to win points in rallies. In 2010, he dropped over 30 pounds, from 203 to 170. As a result, Fish became more fit, which enabled him to improve his speed around the court.
About the Winston-Salem Open
The Winston-Salem Open, an ATP World Tour 250 event with a total purse of $625,000, will take place from August 21-27, 2011, with qualifying set for August 19 and August 20. The tournament will be the final men’s event of the Olympus US Open Series. The tournament will receive national television exposure via Tennis Channel and ESPN2, including the singles final broadcasted by CBS. For more information, please visit winstonsalemopen.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&rs! quo;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 ATPWorldTour.com.
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