By Sam Crenshaw, Special to Tennis Panorama News
(July 25, 2013) ATLANTA, GA -They said it wouldn’t work. Bringing an ATP tournament from Atlanta’s northside to an intown residential/retail development would be a logistical nightmare some thought. Not only did last year’s event draw crowds to see Andy Roddick’s final tournament win, it also landed a title sponsor in BB&T.
Now it’s year two for pro tennis in the city and Atlantic Station has been transformed into a tennis village. The players walk from their hotel to practice courts or to play matches, and during down time there is shopping, dining and plenty of entertainment. Lexus has signed on to be a long term sponsor for the tournament that has given spectators a reason to stay inside the perimeter after 5 o’clock.
When the tournament closes Sunday afternoon it will also mark a new beginning. Four of the courts at Atlantic Station, one of which is used for tournament play, will be donated to the City of Atlanta. Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed will be on hand for the ceremony that will take place at the finals of the BB&T Atlanta Open. The courts will be maintained by the Atlanta Parks and Recreation Department and will be welcomed by the people who live and work in the area near Atlantic Station.
A hearty tip of the cap to USTA Southern for bringing pro tennis intown, making it more accessible to the entire community and now community courts that will be a part of a lasting legacy of the BB&T Atlanta Open.
The projected economic impact of the BB&T Atlanta Open is over 10 million dollars. This figure comes from the Atlanta Convention and Visitors Bureau.
Top Seed Isner wins in three sets
When John Isner says he didn’t know what to expect from Christian Harrison, he was speaking the truth. The top seed for the BB&T Atlanta Open opened play Thursday night with a tough 3 set win 7-6, 4-6, 7-5 in hot and humid conditions at Atlantic Station. The 19 year old Harrison, playing in his first ATP main draw, made a good impression on the tour veteran. “I thought he played pretty well. He is a good player and I was fortunate to beat him .” I’ll take the win, it’s better than not winning”, said Isner.
Next up for Isner is a quarterfinal match with good friend James Blake. Blake gets to the quarterfinals after a three set victory over Evgeny Donskoy. “James is playing well and he is not far removed from being number 4 in the world, ” says Isner. ” He is a confidence player and I will have to play very well to beat him”.