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US Open draw to be released on ESPNews on Thursday: This Week in Tennis Business

From the US Open draw being released on ESPNews on Thursday to Stonyfield Farm signing a one-year sponsorship deal with the US Open to more than 300 hours worth of US Open action to be streamed for free on USOpen.org, these stories caught the attention of tennis fans and insiders this week.

  • The US Open draw will be released to the public during a live draw show telecast on ESPNews at Noon on Thursday, August 27. The draw reveal show will be hosted by ESPN anchor Chris McKendry, while Patrick McEnroe and Mary Joe Fernandez will analyze the draw.
  • The USTA announced on Monday that Stonyfield Farm, the world’s largest organic yogurt maker, has agreed to a one-year sponsorship deal with the US Open. Stonyfield will have signage throughout Arthur Ashe Stadium to promote the Oikos Organic Greek Yogurt brand and will offer yogurt samples to the fans throughout the tournament.
  • More than 300 hours worth of US Open action will be streamed for free on the official website, USOpen.org. Throughout the coverage, more than 150 matches will be shown.
  • The USTA announced the first year launch of the US Open Bracket Challenge, which allows fans to fill out the brackets online to compete for prizes, including a trip to the 2010 US Open. Fans have until Monday, August 30 at 11 a.m. EST to fill out their free brackets.
  • The USTA also announced that a special opening night ceremony will take place at the US Open and will honor athletes who “give back” to the community. The ceremony will honor Andre Agassi, former USA soccer legend Mia Hamm, quarterback Doug Flutie and former basketball star David Robinson. The ceremony, which will be televised live on ESPN2, will also include an appearance by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
  • On August 26 in Bryant Park in New York City, the DIRECTV ESPN US Open Experience will take place, which will include free tennis clinics and a tennis exhibition involving Venus and Serena Williams, Bob and Mike Bryan and former doubles players Luke and Murphy Jensen.
  • US Open women’s main draw wild cards were awarded to:
    • Kim Clijsters
    • Vania King
    • Alexa Glatch
    • Gail Brodsky
    • Mallory Cecil
    • Christina McHale
    • Kristina Mladenovic (French reciprocal wildcard)
    • Olivia Rogowska (Australia reciprocal wildcard)
  • US Open men’s main draw wild cards were awarded to:
    • Taylor Dent
    • Brendan Evans
    • Rajeev Ram
    • Devin Britton
    • Jesse Levine
    • Chase Buchanan
    • Michael Llodra (French reciprocal wildcard)
    • Chris Guccione (Australia reciprocal wildcard)
  • Tennis Hall of Famer Pancho Segura will be on the grounds of the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in New York on September 4 to sign copies of his biography, Little Pancho: the Life of Tennis Legend Pancho Segura.
  • RadioTennis.com will be live on the internet during the US Open Qualifying Tournament, which began on Tuesday, August 25. Coverage starts each day at 11 a.m. and is free of charge.
  • The Grand Slam of Asheville, which will take place on Friday, August 28, will no longer feature Andre Agassi and Marat Safin. Brian Wood, the promoter for the event, originally set the ticket prices in the $49-$2,000 range and since only 1,100 tickets were sold, he was forced to drop the former world No. 1 players due to financial reasons. American Rajeev Ram and Spaniard Ruben Ramirez Hidalgo will now be featured during the upcoming exhibition.
  • Venus and Serena Williams are buying a stake in the NFL Miami Dolphins.
  • Tennis Canada is considering two mini-combined tennis events that will feature half the players in Toronto and half in Montreal with the winners of each bracket facing off on a Sunday final to determine the tournament champion.
  • 16-year-old rising tennis star Michelle Larcher de Brito will now train at the Mouratoglou Academy in France. The former Top 100 player used to train at the Nick Bollettieri Tennis Academy in Florida.
  • IMG has signed rising Bulgarian tennis player Viktoriya Tomova to a marketing and representation deal.

Napeague to host pro tennis in the Hamptons Sunday

A first-prize of $10,000 will be on the line Sunday in the inaugural “Gotham Tennis Academy Hamptons 20-Ball Open” at the Napeague Tennis Club in Amagansett, N.Y. The unique single day event, featuring an action-filled, first-to-20-point match format beginning with a ground-stroke feed, will feature a cross section of professional and other high-level players, including players who have represented their countries in Davis Cup, Fed Cup and Pan American Games competitions.

Play begins at 9 am and fans are invited to enjoy the “Breakfast at Wimbledon” men’s singles final on television with hospitality – including strawberries and cream – while watching the live pro tennis. Fans can also tour the Napeague facilities and learn about the tennis programming offered by Gotham Tennis (www.gothamtennis.com). A silent auction will also be held featuring items such as Napeague tennis memberships, lesson packages and summer camp week packages among others. Admission is free.

The event is open to both male and female players of all levels – professional and amateur. Entries close at 9 pm on Saturday, July 4. For information on entering the event, call the tournament director at 917-428-7154.

Sponsors of the Hamptons 20-Ball include Grand Central Racquet, Tiffany’s of East Hampton, Gubbins Sports of East Hampton, Gone Local, Hamptons.com, Montauk Chamber of Commerce, WHEN Radio and Pop Chips.

The Napeague Tennis Club is located at 2145 Montauk Highway in Amagansett, N.Y.  The club features four immaculately-maintained clay courts and one artificial grass court. The Napeague Tennis Club offers excellent tennis programming at reasonable prices including individual and family memberships, corporate memberships, adult and children’s tennis clinics, tennis parties, tennis camps and private tennis lessons. It is the preferred destination for tennis in the Hamptons because of its relaxed, family-friendly atmosphere, beautiful clay courts, close proximity to the beach, and reasonable prices. “Napeague is a very special place” says Tennis Director Brian Helm. “It’s an oasis of calm with high-level, state-of-the-art tennis programming for players of all levels.”

The mission of Gotham Tennis Academy is to provide friendly, personalized, high-performance tennis instruction in convenient facilities for Manhattan and Hamptons clients. In addition to operating the Napeague Tennis Club in the Hamptons, Gotham Tennis Academy has established a reputation for excellent tennis programming at three Manhattan locations — the Harlem Armory Tennis Center, the Midtown Tennis Club and the Riverside Clay Tennis Association. Gotham Tennis Academy offers tennis programs year-round to players of all ages and skill levels. Gotham Tennis Academy’s goal is to help each player improve all aspects of his or her tennis game. More information on Gotham Tennis Academy can be found at www.GothamTennis.com .

The US Open Is Only Four Months Away

Posted by E.C. Sullivan

The US Open will be held in just about four months time at the Billie Jean King/USTA National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows, N.Y. The facility is open to the public to enjoy and play tennis for the other 49 weeks of the year when the US Open is not being held. Late last year, the USTA unveiled its spectacular new indoor tennis building, but now, as spring is in full bloom in New York City, the outdoor courts are now starting to be filled with enthusiastic players. We hope you enjoy this photo essay of the home of the US Open taken on a late April afternoon.

NTC – 21 – The Arthur Ashe Commemorative Garden in the shadow of Arthur Ashe Stadium on an April day in New York.

NTC – 22 – The 2008 US Open Champions are already documented in the “US Open Court of Champions.”

NTC – 20 – The South Plaza – five months before it is abuzz with US Open excitement

NTC – 19 – Some casualties from the winter

NTC – 18 – The field courts are getting some early use from New York City residents

NTC – 17 – New corporate hospitality space, just above the food court

NTC – 16 – Two new Platform Tennis courts at the Billie Jean King / USTA National Tennis Center

NTC – 15 – Remnants of the 2008 US Open

NTC – 14 – Some clean-up still to be had

NTC – 13 – Food Court looking over to Ashe Stadium

NTC – 12 – Food Court looking over to Louis Armstrong Stadium

NTC 11 – Tennis clinics taking place

NTC 10 – A beautiful lounge area to take in all the indoor tennis action

NTC – 9 – Jimmy Connors champions’ photo

NTC – 8 – Rod Laver champions’ photo

NTC – 7 – The lobby features photos of all of the men’s and women’s singles champions of the Open Era (since 1968)

NTC – 6 – Roger Federer’s photo in the lobby

NTC – 5 – The spectacular news indoor tennis building with 12 courts

NTC – 4 – The new lobby of the new indoor building

NTC – 3 – The new indoor building at the Billie Jean King / USTA National Tennis Center

NTC – 2 – Front entrance

NTC – 1 – Re-branded and welcoming tennis players of all levels