Playing within 30 minutes of the place he grew up, John Isner won the inaugural Winston-Salem with a three-set victory over Julien Benneteau.
John Isner couldn’t have written a better script for his third career ATP World Tour title.
The Greensboro, N.C. native completed a perfect homecoming week by beating qualifier Benneteau 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 in the Winston-Salem Open final on Saturday afternoon.
Isner started slowly, as he had throughout the week, but eventually cut down on his unforced errors as the match went on and got his booming serve on track.
It was his second ATP World Tour title of the summer; he won on grass at Newport last month.
I"It means a lot, for sure," Isner said. "Any time you can win a tournament at this level, it’s a huge accomplishment. And for me personally, this is great because I did it here in virtually my hometown. Obviously I couldn’t have asked for anything better, and in my opinion I think this is perfect preparation for me heading up north."
Isner is the 28th seed in next week’s US Open. In his first-round match, he’ll take on Marcos Baghdatis, the player he beat here in the third round.
The USTA and ATP World Tour today announced the sale of the ATP World Tour event previously located in New Haven, Conn. to Winston-Salem Professional Tennis. Beginning in August 2011, the 48-draw tournament will take place in a to-be-constructed tennis facility on the campus of Wake Forest University.
for tickets and more information from the tournament website.
The newly-designed state-of-the-art tennis facility will be constructed to host both professional and collegiate tennis events. The facility will be located between the current indoor tennis training center and BB&T Field, home of the Wake Forest Demon Deacon football team. Plans call for the construction of 10-12 Deco-Turf II courts, and will include center court seating with a minimum of 3,500 and two additional show courts which will hold at least 1,500 each.
"We are thrilled this prestigious event is coming to Winston-Salem, a community that has embraced tennis events over the past several years," said Don Flow President of The Flow Companies and head of Winston-Salem Professional Tennis. "The entire community will embrace this event and the process has already begun with our corporate community stepping up, and with Wake Forest University being a major supporter of the event."
"We are thrilled about the ATP’s new home at Wake Forest University, and thank Don Flow and Winston-Salem Professional Tennis for bringing men’s professional tennis back to North Carolina," said ATP Executive Chairman and President Adam Helfant. "Globally, the game is enjoying one of the most exciting periods in its history, and it’s terrific that the tour will visit Winston-Salem as part of its U.S. summer swing."
"We have worked with Don Flow for many years and know first hand his passion and commitment to the sport of tennis," said Lucy S. Garvin, USTA Chairman of the Board and President. "The tournament will take place with tremendous local support, both within the Winston-Salem community and the USTA Southern Section, and with a national television and marketing platform courtesy of the Olympus US Open Series."
"It is an honor for Wake Forest to serve as the host of the Winston-Salem Open," said Wake Forest President Nathan O. Hatch. "The international attention garnered by the tournament will allow us to showcase Wake Forest's unique character."
"We are very excited to host the Winston-Salem Open at Wake Forest University, both for the opportunity it gives for our fans and the entire Winston-Salem community to experience an ATP tournament in their backyard, and for the improvements it will bring to our athletic facilities." said Wake Forest athletic director Ron Wellman. "The world-class tennis complex that will be constructed will give our men’s and women’s tennis teams one of the best facilities in the Atlantic Coast Conference. It will perfectly compliment the recent renovations to BB&T Field and Wake Forest Baseball Park as part of our commitment to providing our fans with one of the best game day experiences in the country."
"Winston-Salem is thrilled at the opportunity to host this tournament. The community has a rich tennis history and we have a long tradition of supporting tennis. It is great to see Wake Forest and the corporate community partnering in such an innovative way. The tournament will have a significant economic impact and it will help ensure that this is a great place to live in the future," said Winston-Salem Mayor Allen Joines.
According to Flow, the entire Winston-Salem community has embraced the event. Local corporate partners who have signed as initial presenting sponsors of the tournament include BB&T Bank, Hanes Brands and the Flow Companies.
The event, with a total purse of $625,000, will take place from August 21-27, with qualifying set for August 19 and August 20. The tournament remains the final men’s event of the Olympus US Open Series, and will receive national television exposure via Tennis Channel and ESPN2. The 2011 singles final is expected to be carried by CBS Sports on Saturday, August 27. Launched in 2004, the Olympus US Open Series created a regular season for the sport of tennis in the U.S., and with a consistent television package, has doubled television viewership of the Series tournaments since its inception.
About Wake Forest University
Founded in 1834, Wake Forest University is a private, collegiate university located in Winston-Salem, N.C., dedicated to serving humanity through the pursuit of knowledge. Consistently ranked among the nation's top universities, Wake Forest offers students the personalized attention of a small liberal arts college with the resources, technology and co-curricular opportunities of a large university. With strong undergraduate and graduate programs and leading professional schools, Wake Forest maintains the highest academic and scholarly standards and strives to instill in all its students a desire to lead examined and purposeful lives.
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 63 tournaments in 32 countries, the ATP World Tour showcases the finest male athletes competing in the world’s most exciting venues. From Australia and Europe to Africa; from North and South America to Asia, the stars of the ATP World Tour battle for prestigious titles at Grand Slams (non ATP members), ATP World Tour Masters 1000, ATP World Tour 500 and ATP World Tour 250 events. At the end of the season the world’s top 8 ranked singles players and top 8 doubles teams, based on their performance throughout the year, will qualify to compete in the season’s climax - the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals. Held at The O2 in London, the event determines the final South African Airways 2010 ATP Rankings. For more information, please visit www.ATPWorldTour.com