Isner, Harrison to headline 2013 HoF Championships
NEWPORT, R.I. — For more than 130 years the historic grass tennis courts of the International Tennis Hall of Fame in Newport, Rhode Island have attracted some of the world’s best tennis players for exciting professional tournaments, ranging from the first U.S. Nationals (1881) to Davis Cup events, and many men’s and women’s professional tournaments. Since 1977, the facility has hosted an annual ATP World Tour event that is now the only grass court tournament in the Americas, and the only ATP World Tour event in the Northeast. In a press conference today at the Rhode Island State House, it was announced that the 2013 Hall of Fame Tennis Championships will be proudly sponsored by a consortium of global companies in multi-year deals including Rolex, Chubb Personal Insurance, EMC Corporation, Alex and Ani, and Corona. The 2013 tournament will be held July 8 - 14, 2013 and it is already shaping up to be an exciting week. A highlight of today’s press conference was the news that early commitments to the player field include two-time defending champion and No. 1 American John Isner, along with popular rising star American Ryan Harrison. A ticket pre-sale for Hall of Fame Members begins today, and tickets will go on sale to the general public on February 1.Tickets and memberships are available on www.HallofFameTennisChampionships.com or by phone at 401-849-6053.
ITHF CEO & Tournament Director Mark Stenning, Newport Mayor Harry Winthrop, Rhode Island Senate President Teresa Paiva-Weed, Rhode Island Governor Lincoln Chafee, ITHF Chairman Christopher Clouser, Hall of Famer & ITHF President Stan Smith, and Alex and Ani CEO Giovanni Feroce celebrated the launch of the 2013 Hall of Fame Tennis Championships today in a press conference at the Rhode Island State House to announce the major sponsors and the first players to commit to the field.
“The International Tennis Hall of Fame is a unique and valuable asset to the State of Rhode Island. In addition to the architectural and historical significance of the National Historic Landmark facility, research indicates that the Hall of Fame Tennis Championships generate an economic impact of $10 million annually to the state. The Hall of Fame has major expenditures with local businesses to operate the tournament, and the thousands of ticket holders spend locally on shopping, dining, lodging, and additional entertainment,” said Rhode Island Governor Lincoln D. Chafee, who participated in the announcement.
Chafee added, “Events like this one that come back year after year are very important to our local economy, and so I am pleased to congratulate the Hall of Fame on the longevity of this event, and also on creatively engaging a group of dedicated sponsors to support the tournament. It’s great to see strong local business like Alex and Ani investing in a local event that brings so much back to our community, and to see support from all of these companies. On behalf of the State of Rhode Island, I would like to extend my gratitude to all of the sponsors whose partnerships together make it possible to bring the Hall of Fame Tennis Championships back to our state once again.”
Hall of Fame President Stan Smith, the winner of seven Grand Slam tournament titles in singles and doubles, joined Governor Chafee at today’s press conference.
“I have had the good fortune to participate in and see tennis tournaments all over the world, and I’m proud to say that the Hall of Fame Tennis Championships is one of the most exciting and unique events on the professional tour,” commented Smith. “The historic venue offers incredible views from every seat, and there is no other place in the world where fans can get as close to the action as they can in Newport. On behalf of the International Tennis Hall of Fame, I would like to thank our sponsors who make it all possible and the many fans who come out to support the event. We look forward to a great tournament in July.”
Also at today’s press conference, Hall of Fame CEO and Tournament Director Mark L. Stenning announced that defending champion and No. 1 American John Isner would return to headline the field, and that popular young American player Ryan Harrison, ranked world No. 62, has also committed to play.
“Each summer, the Hall of Fame Tennis Championships brings some of the world’s best tennis players to Rhode Island for the only ATP World Tour event in the Northeast. With two popular Americans already scheduled to compete, our defending champion John Isner and Ryan Harrison, it will certainly be a great week of tennis to kick off the summer swing of the ATP World Tour in the United States after Wimbledon,” said Stenning. “These players compete all over the world each week, and we are very pleased to be able to bring them to the sports fans here in Rhode Island. As tennis is a highly international sport with an important local impact for us, it is very appropriate that the event is sponsored by these global businesses, including one that has such a strong local foundation in Alex and Ani, as well as many local small businesses whose support we value greatly. The tournament is good for tennis and good for Rhode Island, and we look forward to hosting a fantastic tournament here for the 37th consecutive year this summer.”
Currently ranked world No. 13, John Isner has been the No. 1 American player since the middle of 2012 and he has been a leader on the US Olympic and Davis Cup teams. At the 2012 Hall of Fame Tennis Championships, Isner defeated former world No.1 Lleyton Hewitt in the final to capture his second straight victory in Newport. Including his 2012 and 2011 titles at Newport, Isner has won a total of five ATP World Tour singles titles and three doubles titles. Known for his huge serve and powerful ground strokes, Isner, who is the second tallest player on the ATP World Tour at 6’9”, is a fan-favorite at Newport and always delivers exciting tennis for fans.
Ryan Harrison, who has consistently been a rising star in the past several seasons, closed out the 2012 season very strong, having improved his year-end ranking for a 5th straight season to finish at No. 70. He won a personal-best 23 matches and advancing to three semifinals-including Newport. At the US Open, 20-year-old Harrison and his brother, 18-year-old Christian, advanced to the quarterfinals in doubles. Harrison picked up his first ATP World Tour title in Newport in 2011, partnered with Matt Ebden. The pair also won the doubles title at Atlanta in 2012. Harrison has kicked off the 2013 season off with a strong start, jumping eight places in the rankings to his current No. 62 spot, after making it to the quarterfinals at the Apia International Sydney last week.
Complementing a full week of exciting ATP World Tour tennis, special events during the Hall of Fame Tennis Championships include junior tennis clinics, a pro am with the ATP World Tour pros, family activities, and more.
A highlight of the week is always the Hall of Fame Enshrinement Ceremony, when the highest honor in the sport of tennis is presented to great champions and leaders in the sport. The nominees for 2013 enshrinement are former world No. 1 Martina Hingis, Wimbledon champion Michael Stich, doubles specialist Helena Sukova, Australian tennis legend Thelma Coyne Long, ESPN’s Cliff Drsydale and tennis industry leaders Charlie Pasarell and Ion Tiriac. The International Tennis Hall of Fame Class of 2013 will be announced on March 4 at Madison Square Garden as part of World Tennis Day. The Enshrinement Ceremony will be held on Saturday, July 13, just prior to the semifinals of the Hall of Fame Tennis Championships.
A pre-sale for tickets for the Hall of Fame Tennis Championships and Class of 2013 Hall of Fame Enshrinement Ceremony begins today for Hall of Fame Members. In addition to the pre-sale, Hall of Fame Members receive $5 off all tickets for Monday-Thursday, $5 off weekend tickets at certain membership levels, and an array of other great membership benefits during the tournament. Tickets will go on sale to the General Public on Friday, February 1 at 10 a.m.
Tickets and Hall of Fame memberships may be purchased by calling 401-849-6053 or online at HallofFameTennisChampionships.com.
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