June 22, 2012
ATLANTA – For the second straight year, Georgia Tech’s Kevin King has been extended a wild card invitation to participate in the BB&T Atlanta Open, the first event in the summer Emirates Airline U.S. Open Series which will be held July 14-22 at Atlantic Station.
In a repeat of the unique Yellow Jacket-Bulldog pairing which debuted last year, a main draw doubles wild card will go to King, a Peachtree City, Ga., native who recently completed his Georgia Tech career, and Ignacio Taboada of the University of Georgia. The tournament also has extended singles qualifying wild cards to King and Nathan Pasha of Georgia.
Last year the enthusiastic local crowd encouraged King and Georgia’s Drake Bernstein to a first-round upset of No. 1 seeds and defending champions Scott Lipsky and Rajeev Ram. The college duo fell in the second round to the eventual finalists Matthias Bachinger and Frank Moser.
King was named an All-American in doubles by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) and earned All-Atlantic Coast Conferences honors for the second consecutive year. King and Georgia Tech teammate Juan Spir finished 2012 with a No. 4 national doubles ranking. In singles, King was ranked as high as No. 7 and was named to the Capital One Academic All-America Men’s At-Large team.
King will team up for doubles with Taboada, who finished ranked No. 48 in singles in the ITA this year. Atlanta native, Taboada, who was also a senior this past year, tied for the most wins on Georgia’s squad with a 35-11 record. He clinched the SEC Tournament final with a victory against Kentucky and was named tournament MVP, along with being named to the second All-SEC team.
“Kevin has earned the honor to represent Georgia Tech in both singles and doubles. His doubles victory last year over the top seeds was a highlight for the Yellow Jackets,” Georgia Tech coach Kenny Thorne said. “We’re pleased to be a part of the BB&T Atlanta Open as it brings together Georgia-based players for a chance to test themselves against world-ranked pros.”
Rising sophomore Pasha, of Atlanta, finished with a 34-8 record in singles and 23-2 in dual matches. He was named SEC Freshman of the Week four times, along with being selected ITA Southeast Region Rookie of the Year. Pasha was also named a member of the SEC All-Freshman Team and the ITA National Indoors All-Tournament Team.
“For the second year, we are excited to add a local college connection to the BBT Atlanta Open,” said tournament director Bob Bryant. “All three of our college players are from metro Atlanta and are highly talented tennis players. It is not often you can bring Tech and UGA fans together, but last year’s pairing showed the Atlanta tennis community proudly supports this unique doubles pairing.”
Weeklong tickets and individual tickets are on sale now at www.BBTAtlantaOpen.com and through our Facebook page, www.facebook.com/ATChampionships.
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About the BB&T Atlanta Open
Mardy Fish defeated John Isner in 2010 and 2011 to win the first two singles finals when the tournament was called the Atlanta Tennis Championships. Other top competitors included Andy Roddick, Lleyton Hewitt, James Blake and Robby Ginepri, of Marietta, Ga. More than 72,000 spectators attended the tournament that offers $531,000 in prize money annually. Atlantic Station signed a multi-year deal to host the tournament starting in 2012. The 2012 Tournament is expected to provide an economic impact of $10.3 million to the city of Atlanta, according to the Atlanta Convention & Visitors Bureau. The ATP World Tour formally awarded the ATP 250 sanction to the USTA Southern Section in December 2009.
BB&T Corporation (NYSE: BBT) is one of the largest financial services holding companies in the U.S. with $174.8 billion in assets and market capitalization of $21.9 billion, as of March 31, 2012. Based in Winston-Salem, N.C., the company operates approximately 1,800 financial centers in 12 states and Washington, D.C., and offers a full range of consumer and commercial banking, securities brokerage, asset management, mortgage and insurance products and services. A Fortune 500 company, BB&T is consistently recognized for outstanding client satisfaction by J.D. Power and Associates, the U.S. Small Business Administration, Greenwich Associates and others. More information about BB&T and its full line of products and services is available at www.BBT.com.
About the Emirates Airline US Open Series
Now in its ninth season, the Emirates Airline US Open Series continues to serve as a true regular season of hard court tennis, linking 10 summer tournaments to the US Open. Fans follow the action throughout the summer during national broadcast coverage while players battle for $40 million, including a chance for bonus prize money at the US Open. The Series collectively reached a U.S. television audience of 39 million and drew more than 800,000 on-site fans in 2011. In 2012, Emirates Airline became the title sponsor of the Series, as well as the official airline of the US Open. The Emirates Airline US Open Series is also supported by sponsors American Express, Chase, Citizen Watch Company, Esurance, evian and Gatorade.
Americans Mardy Fish and Serena Williams swept the 2011 Emirates Airline US Open Series men’s and women’s titles. In 2007, Roger Federer collected the biggest paycheck in tennis history – $2.4 million – for winning the US Open and the Emirates Airline US Open Series. In 2005, Kim Clijsters also captured both the US Open and the Series, winning $2.2 million – the largest purse in women’s sports history – and equaled that amount in 2010, winning the US Open and finishing the Emirates Airline US Open Series in second place.
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 62 tournaments in 31 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 ATP World Tour battle for prestigious titles and South African Airways 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 top 8 ranked men’s singles players and top 8 doubles teams, based on their performance throughout the year, will qualify to 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 2012 ATP World Tour No.1 in singles and doubles. For more information, please visit www.ATPWorldTour.com.
About USTA Southern
The USTA is divided into 17 sections, of which USTA Southern is the largest. The 187,000+ USTA members living in Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee make up USTA Southern, and account for approximately 25 percent of the total USTA membership. The section owns and operates the BB&T Atlanta Open, an ATP World Tour 250 tournament. A professional staff housed in Norcross, Ga., carries out USTA Southern’s daily operations, but policy is formed and much of the organization’s work is executed via a board and committee structure of over 200 volunteers. For more information about the types of programs and services offered by USTA Southern, visit www.southerntennis.com.
About Atlantic Station
A national example for sustainable mixed-use communities, Atlantic Station (www.atlanticstation.com) transformed an abandoned industrial site into a thriving entertainment district at the heart of Atlanta’s vibrant Midtown neighborhood. Opened in 2005, Atlantic Station is home to some of Atlanta’s most popular restaurants, retailers such as H&M and Dillard’s and leading employers such as Wells Fargo and BB&T. Atlantic Station each year hosts dozens of community gatherings, charity walks and neighborhood forums. Susan G. Komen Atlanta Race for the Cure and other events at Atlantic Station have raised more than $50 million for Atlanta charities since 2005. A national leader in consumer engagement and technology, Atlantic Station has the No. 6 most followed Twitter feed among U.S. retail centers.