2018 BB&T Atlanta Open: Isner to Defend, Finalist Harrison Returns, Top-Ranked American Sock, Bryan Brothers Commit

2018 BB&T Atlanta Open: Isner to Defend, Finalist Harrison Returns, Top-Ranked American Sock, Bryan Brothers Commit


Sloane Stephens, Madison Keys to Play U.S. Open Rematch Opening Sunday


Tickets Sales Start Tuesday, March 20


ATLANTA, March 20, 2018 – Defending BB&T Atlanta Open singles champion, John Isner, and the top-ranked American, Jack Sock, lead a strong field for the annual ATP World Tour tennis event at Atlantic Station in Midtown, to be held July 21-29, 2018. The most decorated doubles tandem of all-time and the defending doubles champions, Bob and Mike Bryan, The Bryan Brothers, will be looking to repeat. Once again, there will be a special women's exhibition match on the opening weekend to kickoff a week of fun.


BB&T Atlanta Open Tournament Director Eddie Gonzalez announced today that 2017 U.S. Open champion, Sloane Stephens, and the 2017 U.S. Open finalist, Madison Keys, will be featured in the special Sunday, July 22, women's exhibition session at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are on sale now for all sessions at bbtatlantaopen.com.


Stephens, 24, from Plantation, Fla., is currently ranked No. 13 on the WTA Tour and is coming off a year where she returned from a leg injury to win her first major title. Keys, 23, a native of Rock Island, Ill., sits right behind Stephens in the rankings at No. 14, and owns three career WTA titles. In addition to being last year's U.S. Open finalist, Keys is a past Australian Open semifinalist and reached the quarters at Wimbledon.


"We like to say we are the ‘mini U.S. Open,’ and building on the success of our women's feature match in 2017, we are excited to offer fans a ‘U.S. Open Rematch’ in 2018," stated Gonzalez.


Excitement is already brewing for this year's women's match. Making the women's match even more interesting is that Stephens and Keys aren't just rivals, they are good friends.


"Anytime you step out on the court with Madison, it is a challenge, but in a good way,” said Stephens. “It's an honor to be a part of the tradition of having a women's match kickoff a men's event, in the BB&T Atlanta Open."


“You figure out how to separate your friendship from being on the court, and I think when we come off the court, we’re able to leave what happens there and still have a great friendship off of the court,” explained Keys.


Four-time BB&T Atlanta Open champ, Isner, and top ranked American, Sock, will be looking to kickoff their summers with success in Atlanta. In 2017, Isner, the former University of Georgia All-American, locked down two tiebreakers on Championship Sunday to defeat friend and fellow American, Ryan Harrison, 7-6(6), 7-6(7). Isner is currently ranked No. 18.


"Obviously I love to play in Georgia and to compete at the BB&T Atlanta Open where I feel at home and have had so much success,” stated Isner. “I can’t wait to get back on court at Atlantic Station in front of all those supportive tennis and Bulldog fans.”


Sock, 25, is currently ranked No. 10 in the ATP World Tour singles rankings. He has played in the BB&T Atlanta Open on five occasions, reaching the semifinals once (2014) and winning the doubles title with Vasek Pospisil (2014). He reached the year end Nitto ATP Finals for the first time in 2017.


Sock echoes Isner's sentiments about playing in the BB&T Atlanta Open:


"I always look forward to my time in Atlanta and the BB&T Atlanta Open. I've developed so many friendships there and have relatives that live in the area that come out and support me. The goal is to win the BB&T Atlanta Open in 2018!"


"We are proud to have two of our top Americans, a four-time champion in John, and a top-10 player in Jack - who is looking to build on his strong finish to 2017,” Gonzalez said. “Both are crowd favorites and they will be looking to get off to a strong start in the U.S. Open Series."


Gonzalez is also happy to announce that the most decorated doubles team of all-time, The Bryan Brothers, a crowd favorite of Atlantans, will return to defend their doubles title.


"We have nothing but great memories of playing in Atlanta and the BB&T Atlanta Open,” the Bryan Brothers stated. “Atlanta is where we played our first professional tournament, and as the defending doubles champs, it's our goal to repeat and win another BB&T Atlanta Open title."


“Our 2018 BB&T Atlanta Open will be our biggest and best to date by providing a mix of marquee established players, along with the rising stars of tennis,” offers Gonzalez. “GF Sports is really proud to present this diverse offering to our tennis fans and sports fans.”


Once again the tournament venue will offer more shade and air conditioned viewing opportunities. Every seat in the stadium is close to the court and sight lines are some of the best in tennis. All week long there will be sponsor activities, player autograph sessions, and delicious food and drink. More player announcements will be forthcoming.


The BB&T Atlanta Open has welcomed over 310,000 fans to Atlantic Station over the past eight years, establishing itself as one of the top ATP Tour tennis events in the U.S. Ticket packages for the BB&T Atlanta Open, the only ATP World Tour event in Georgia, go on sale on Tuesday, March 20, at 10am, and can be purchased at http://www.bbtatlantaopen.com/.

About the BB&T Atlanta Open

The BB&T Atlanta Open is held each year in July in Atlantic Station and is one of eight summer tournaments in the U.S. Open Series. The tournament features men’s top world tennis players in singles and doubles competition. Approximately 40,000 fans attend the tournament and bring an estimated economic impact of $10.3 million to Atlanta. John Isner has won the 2017, 2015, 2014 and 2013 singles titles. Other notable champions include Andy Roddick, who won his last ATP World Tour title when he defeated Gilles Muller at the 2012 BB&T Atlanta Open, Mardy Fish who holds the singles title for 2011 and 2010, and Australian Nick Kyrgios, who won in 2016.

About the U.S. Open Series

Now in its 15th season, the world's best players on the WTA and ATP World Tour are coming together for the U.S. Open Series. Linking seven summer WTA and ATP World Tour tournaments to the U.S. Open, the U.S. Open Series serves as a true regular season of hard court tennis. Featuring a cohesive schedule, the series centralizes the way tennis is viewed in North America across multiple television and digital platforms. Fans will see today's top champions go head-to-head with tomorrow's emerging stars, as storylines develop throughout the summer season. Each tournament also engages its local community with a variety of outreach initiatives, including grassroots youth tennis clinics and activities.

About GF Sports
GF Sports is a sports and entertainment content company based in New York, NY. The company owns and operates several professional tennis and ice skating events, each with a rich tradition and longstanding role in their respective sports. GF Sports events included: The BNP Paribas Showdown (New York, NY), The New York Open, The BB&T Atlanta Open (Atlanta, GA), and Nancy Kerrigan's Halloween On Ice Tour. Throughout their storied histories, these events have hosted hundreds of thousands of fans, celebrities, sponsor guests, and some of the most iconic names in sports, all while generating significant exposure through multiple social, digital and TV platforms. In addition to its current properties, GF Sports is in development on several other exciting and innovative sporting events.

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 64 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 2018 ATP World Tour will battle for prestigious titles and ATP ranking 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 eight qualified singles players and doubles teams will qualify to compete for the last title of the season at the Nitto ATP Finals. Held at The O2 in London, the event will officially crown the 2018 ATP World Tour No. 1. For more information, please visit www.ATPWorldTour.com.


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