Tennis fans in Atlanta will have a lot to get excited about come July 30. A mix of young newcomers and former and current ATP World Tour top-20 players make up the field for the 2016 BB&T Atlanta Open. That was the news, Eddie Gonzalez, Chief Business Officer and Tournament Director for BB&T Atlanta Open delivered to the gathered media, sponsors and VIP invitees on Tuesday morning at Media Day. Gonzalez also announced local college players receiving singles and doubles wildcards, praised tournament partners and unveiled the new practice courts at Atlantic Station.
The 2016 BB&T Atlanta Open, an ATP World Tour 250 event runs Saturday, July 31 through Sunday, August 7, at Atlantic Station, in Midtown Atlanta.
A singles field of seasoned top-50 players was announced by Eddie Gonzalez, Chief Business Officer and Tournament Director for BB&T Atlanta Open on Tuesday morning at Media Day. A few “young guns” in Nick Kyrgios, Borna Coric and Taylor Fritz were also thrown into the mix.
Subject to change, here is the 2016 BB&T Atlanta entry list. (ATP World Tour Rank is the number in the left hand column.)
(List subject to change)
17 Isner, John, USA
18 Kyrgios, Nick, Australia
23 Paire, Benoit, France
24 Anderson, Kevin, RSA
29 Pouille, Lucas, France
32 Dolgopolov, Alexandr, UKR
34 Chardy, Jeremy, France
36 Ramos-Vinolas, Albert, Spain
39 Julien Benneteau, France
43 Granollers, Marcel, Spain
49 Coric, Borna, Croatia
52 Verdasco, Fernando,Spain
54 Mannarino, Adrian, France
58 Garcia-Lopez, Guillermo, Spain
63 Fritz, Taylor, USA
67 Millman, John, Australia
68 Edmund, Kyle, Great Britain
69 Young, Donald, USA
72 Schwartzman, Diego, Argentina
The recognizable Kyrgios, an athletic Australian with a flair for big matches and fiery temperament may have been the biggest surprise of Media Day. The 21-year old reached a career high ranking of No. 18 this week and won a title at Marseille this spring.
“I’m excited to be making my first appearance in Atlanta at the BB&T Atlanta Open,” said Kyrgios. “I’m going to give it all I got, feed off the crowd and take in what looks like a cool venue at Atlantic Station.”
Media Day Highlights:
Remembering the 1996 Atlanta Games. The Olympic Spirit will be evident at Atlantic Station throughout the tournament. Each day, a current or former Olympian will appear to sign autographs and greet fans. Items from Coca-Cola’s 1996 Olympic vault will be on display at Atlantic Station. Check the BB&T Atlanta Open website to see who will be appearing each day.
“With the help of our great partner, Coca Cola, we are bringing the spirit and memories of the 1996 Atlanta Olympics back for a week during the 2016 BB&T Atlanta Open,” states Gonzalez. “With historic pieces from the Coca-Cola 1996 Olympic vault and former Olympians, to recreating the 1996 Olympic Gold Medal singles historic re-match between Andre Agassi and Sergi Bruguera, this is the perfect way for us to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games!”
New practice courts at Atlantic Station were unveiled. Four new tennis courts, three that will be used full time for practice during the tournament and one that can be used for practice or competition were christened with a ribbon cutting ceremony and then broken in by members of the media and the local college players that received a wildcard into the event.
“The beautiful new practice courts here at Atlantic Station show our commitment to making sure our players have everything at their disposal to get ready for the BB&T Atlanta Open and prepare for the start of the U.S. Open in August.”
Tournament partners, Alan Kennedy of Hines, Jason Cropper of Lexus Southern Area, Ken White of Coca-Cola and Kevin Smith of Orkin, talked about their commitment and role in the 2016 BB&T Atlanta Open.
Ben Phelps of BB&T, reiterated BB&T’s commitment to the tournament and that it’s not just BB&T’s event, but it’s a community event.
The BB&T Atlanta Open has welcomed over 250,000 fans to Atlantic Station over the past six years, establishing itself as one of the top ATP tennis events in the US. Tickets for the 2016 BB&T Atlanta Open and the Agassi vs Bruguera exhibition can be purchased at www.bbtatlantaopen.com.
Stated Gonzalez, “We are proud to have two great champions on our Stadium Court at Atlantic Station as we celebrate the 20th anniversary of Atlanta hosting the Olympic Games.”
About the BB&T Atlanta Open
The BB&T Atlanta Open is held each year in July in Atlantic Station and is one of eight summer tournaments in the Emirates Airline US Open Series. The tournament features men’s top world tennis players in singles and doubles competition. Approximately 40,000 fans attend the tournament and bring an estimated economic impact of $10.3 million to Atlanta. John Isner holds the 2015, 2014 and 2013 titles. Andy Roddick won his last ATP World Tour title when he defeated Gilles Muller at the 2012 BB&T Atlanta Open. Mardy Fish holds the title for 2011 and 2010.
About GF Sports
After the successful completion of the BB&T Atlanta Open in August 2015, GF Sports, LLC, a newly formed integrated event content company, formed by the New York-based financial management company GF Capital Private Equity Fund, and its founder Gary Fuhrman, along with long time sports executive, Jerry Solomon and his Lynnfield-based company, StarGames acquired the tournament. GF Sports has committed to reinvigorating the BB&T Atlanta Open brand and bringing a World Class Field-World Class Fun to many local, regional and national tennis fans for years to come.
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 60 tournaments in 30 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 2015 ATP World Tour battle for prestigious titles and Emirates ATP Rankings points at ATP World Tour Masters 1000, 500 and 250 events, as well as Grand Slams (non ATP events). At the end of the season only the world’s best eight qualified singles players and doubles teams will 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 2015 ATP World Tour No.1 presented by Emirates. For more information, please visit www.ATPWorldTour.com.
About the Emirates Airline US Open Series
Now in its 12th season, the Emirates Airline US Open Series continues to serve as a true regular season of hard court tennis, linking eight summer tournaments to the US Open. In 2014, Serena Williams won the US Open and Emirates Airline US Open Series women’s title for the second consecutive year, earning a record tennis paycheck of $4 million. Rafael Nadal (2013), Roger Federer (2007) and Kim Clijsters (2005) also accomplished the feat of winning the Emirates Airline US Open Series and US Open singles title within the same year. www.emiratesusopenseries.com.