The BB&T Atlanta Open Begins!
If you are a tennis fan living in Atlanta, then you probably know the BB&T Atlanta Open begins today. It is a 250 Level tournament on the ATP tour and is considered the kick-off for the US Open Series (a series of hard court tournaments leading up to the US Open). Our family, being uber tennis fans, has planned to attend a few of the matches not only because it's in our hometown, but because it is literally in our backyard! The tournament is being hosted in Atlantic Station, the area that Simmy and I live in. In fact, our condo building is being used as the tournament hotel for the players! 2017 is the final year of the BB&T Atlanta Open's contract with Atlantic Station, so it might be the last year to see some of these pros play in Atlanta (at least until they inevitably bring another tournament).
This tournament attracts world class talent, and this year is no different. There are even a few players in the draw that I had the chance to play during my Junior, Collegiate, and Professional career. Here are a few of the top pros playing this year:
Jack Sock: Jack returns to Atlanta as the top seed this year after claiming the title of the highest ranked American. I had the opportunity to play Jack a few times during our Junior careers. He was a standout in junior tennis who quickly rose in the ATP rankings and has solidified himself as household name in professional tennis. With one of the most explosive forehands on tour, he is going to be a top contender this week.
John Isner: Three time BB&T Champ and last year's finalist, John Isner returns as the #2 seed in this year's event. The former Georgia bulldog is coming off a big win in Newport last week.
Ryan Harrison: Ryan Harrison is having a stand out year by reaching a career-high ranking at 40 in singles and earning his first grand slam title by winning the French Open with partner Michael Venus. The two will also partner up in the doubles draw.
Bryan Brothers: Arguably the greatest doubles pair of all time, Mike and Bob Bryan have won 16 grand slam titles together and are still counting. Their high energy from the first point is always entertaining.
Donald Young: Originally from Chicago, Donald Young has made Atlanta his home for over a decade. He even bought South Fulton Tennis Center and turned it into a top academy. Donald is always a crowd favorite when playing in his adopted city.
Chris Eubanks: Rising Georgia Tech senior, Chris has had one of the most decorated careers in ACC tennis. Two time ACC Player of the Year and All-American, Chris has established his dominance in collegiate tennis. Chris is a fellow Atlantan and has earned a wildcard into the tournament.
Marcos Baghdatis: One of the more entertaining players in the draw, Marcos was the finalist in the 2006 Australian Open.
Bjorn Fratangelo: Another player I grew up playing against, Bjorn was a standout in junior tennis, evening winning the Junior French Open. Bjorn just had a great tournament in Newport, losing to fellow American, John Isner, in the finals.
There are also a number of young American talents worth mentioning who have already been dubbed the future of American Tennis:
- Jared Donaldson: ATP Ranking: #59
- Frances Tiafoe: ATP Ranking: #60
- Ernesto Escobedo: ATP Ranking: #69
- Taylor Fritz: ATP Ranking: #125
- Reilly Opelka: ATP Ranking: #128
- Stefan Kozlov: ATP Ranking: #133
- Tommy Paul: ATP Ranking: #291
I hope all you tennis fans can make it out there this week and enjoy this American-dominated tournament. We hope for great weather and even better tennis.
The BB&T Atlanta Open is hosted in Atlantic Station. The tournament will take place from July 22nd-30th, 2017. You can find more information at http://www.bbtatlantaopen.com
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Vik is an adviser at Fenix Risk Management. A top ranked national junior in tennis and played at Georgia Tech and UNC Charlotte.
Note: the opinions expressed in this blog are that of the author, not of any other individual or organization referenced.