2012 Emirates US Open Series Early Summer Preview
By Steen Kirby, TennisEastCoast.com
This summer, the ATP and WTA tours will return to the US for the always-exciting US Open Series, which runs from the 2nd week of July until the US Open in August/September. Formerly sponsored by Olympus, but now sponsored by Emirates Airlines, the US Open Series offers the same set of great tournaments in different parts of the US that will certainly bring many American fans out to watch world-class professional tennis. TennisEastCoast.com should be able to offer on site coverage from at least two of the US Open Series events (Atlanta and D.C) in addition to Newport.
The ATP side of the US Open Series features tournaments in Atlanta, Los Angeles, Washington D.C., Toronto, Cincinnati and Winston-Salem, in addition to the ATP tournament in Newport the week after Wimbledon. Here is an early preview of the first two ATP events.
2012 Campbell’s Hall of Fame Tennis Championships July 7-15
While not technically a part of the US Open series, the ATP 250 event in Newport, Rhode Island is held on the grounds of the International Tennis Hall of Fame and offers a great experience from the fans perspective. It is a ‘blast from the past’ played in a cozy grass court environment with the players in all white and spectators often dressed in more traditional attire. It brings you back to a different era. All that is missing are the wooden racquets.
The very modern world of pro tennis comes to Newport right after Wimbledon, and current top 10 John Isner will join players such as Tommy Haas (who just knocked off Jo Wilfried-Tsonga in Munich this week), young guns Ryan Harrison, Denis Kudla and Grigor Dimitrov, Bucharest semi-finalist Matthias Bachinger, ‘Marathon Man’ Nicolas Mahut, Ryan Sweeting and Sam Querrey. Sweeting and Querrey are both hoping to build on their recent success. The event will also feature the serve and volleying Olivier Rochus, big man Ivo Karlovic and Matt Ebden, Delray semifinalist Dudi Sela, Germans Tobias Kamke, Michael Berrer, serve and volleyer Denis Gremalmayr, Mischa Zverev and a South American contingent that features Brian Dabul, Sebastien Decoud and Paul Capedeville. Lleyton Hewitt will also continue his comeback from injury here trying for some good results.
Rochus and Isner played in the final last year with Isner taking home the title while Kamke was one of the semi-finalists. Harrison and Ebden took home the doubles title. Isner beat the ”Casino Curse” last year in becoming the first top seeded to player to actually win the event.
The International Tennis Hall of Fame itself is a big draw and another reason to attend. The Hall features all sorts of exhibits on the sport of tennis and it’s storied history along with plaques of the great players, coaches and other contributors to the sport who have been inducted on both the men’s and women’s side. The 2012 Hall of Fame class, headlined by Jennifer Capriati, will be inducted during the tournament.
2012 BB&T Atlanta Open July 14-22
The first event of the US Open series (and its youngest, now in its 3rd year) is the ATP 250 series event in Atlanta. It features a state of the art, newly built venue this year located in the heart of downtown Atlanta and a great field to go with it.
Newly sponsored by BB&T, the field is set to feature American favorites John Isner and Andy Roddick along with rising American star Jack Sock (who has had some good results before suffering injury). The Americans will be joined by Kei Nishikori of Japan, who continues to improve his play and his ranking. Kevin Anderson of South Africa, the former University of Illinois stand out, will also compete in Atlanta. Mardy Fish took the title over Isner last year, while Alex Bogomolov and Matt Ebden took home the doubles title.
Atlanta has always been a great place for tennis and with the new setting and sponsor, the ATP tour event is on the path for greater, continued success. If you are a tennis fan in the south, this is a great event to attend.