kimberly yee to receive national award at International Tennis Hall of Fame

With Hall of Fame inductees Grand Slam champion Lindsay Davenport and famed coach Nick Bollettieri looking on, Las Vegas’ Kimberly Yee will accept the nation’s highest junior tennis award this weekend at the International Tennis Hall of Fame in Newport, R.I.

The 17-year-old Odyssey Charter High School senior has been named a recipient of the prestigious Bill Talbert Junior Sportsmanship Award, which is presented each year by the Board of Directors of the International Tennis Hall of Fame.

The award began in 1987 and is given to a “junior player who exemplifies the finest qualities of sportsmanship in tournament play and the finest traditions of the great sportspersons of tennis past and present.” Past winners include current WTA and ATP American players Alexa Glatch, Alison Riske and Las Vegas’ Sam Querrey.

“The credit for this award is really for the team that helped me: my parents, my USTA friends from NJTL and the USTA Serves Foundation and all my teammates at NO QUIT Tennis Academy,” Yee said. “Since I was 9 the USTA has been helping my family and made much of what I do possible.”

Yee has been No. 1 in the USTA national rankings in the girls’ 12s, 14s, 16s and Top 10 in the 18s. She came through the local Las Vegas NJTL chapter called the Marty Hennessey Jr. Tennis Foundation. She is also part of Team Bryan, a USTA NJTL Excellence Team in partnership with the Marty Hennessy Jr. Foundation where she mentors and tutors children 3-4 times per week and teaches the next generation of players on how to be a polite, kind and respectful champion. She is coached by her father Adam Yee and Tim Blenkiron from the NO QUIT Tennis Academy.

Bob and Mike Bryan have been Kimberly’s heroes since she was young,” said Ryan Wolfington, who started the Foundation 10 years ago as a volunteer. “Like Bob and Mike, Kimberly has always had all A’s, incredible sportsmanship and an amazing desire to help other people.”

Yee’s efforts will be honored at the Friday night awards dinner that will be attended by all of this year’s Hall of Fame inductees. On Saturday, Yee will attend the Hall of Fame induction ceremonies of Lindsay Davenport (former No. 1 player); Chantal Vandierendonck (wheel-chair great); Nick Bollettieri (coach); Jane Brown Grimes (industry leader); and John Barrett (tennis historian/journalist).

“Kimberly’s desire to help others is so significant that I was afraid it would interfere with her training,” Blenkiron said. “But then she explained that giving back is what motivates her. I think she wants to do for other children what the Bryan brothers did for her.”

Bob Bryan commented in a video done on Yee that, “One of the best things you can do in tennis is win an award for sportsmanship and character,” he said. “She is a great role model and we really look up to her. We thank her for leading Team Bryan.”

Wolfington concluded, “I’ve been involved in tennis for the past 15 years, and I’ve never come across a student like Kimberly Yee. “She’s No. 1 in the country; the top tennis recruit. She gets good grades and continually sets an amazing example to others in the Foundation by volunteering and mentoring children.”

atp tour and lacoste extend partnership through 2015

The ATP has announced a two-year renewal of its partnership with Lacoste, the renowned lifestyle fashion brand. The “crocodile” will continue to dress the line judges at the season-ending Barclays ATP World Tour Finals at The O2 in London until 2015. Lacoste has been a loyal partner of the world’s biggest indoor tennis tournament since 2002.

“As a partner for the past 12 years, from Shanghai to Houston and now in London, Lacoste has always been in line with what the event stands for: a mix of tradition and innovation,” said Laurent Delanney, ATP Commercial Director. “The Barclays ATP World Tour Finals is broadcast in 193 territories and Lacoste is present in 114 countries. Wherever it takes place, the extensive global coverage of the tournament is the foundation of our successful partnership.”

Beyond the on court brand exposure, Lacoste’s benefits include a private hospitality suite in the Sponsor Village facing one of the practice courts and a promotional booth in the popular Fan Zone, which welcomed over 300,000 people in 2013.

“With our support to several players and several tournaments throughout the year, it is natural for us to partner with the culmination of the ATP World Tour season.” said Berta de Pablos-Barbier, Group Marketing & Branding EVP. “We will keep a close look at the Race to London to see if some of our ambassadors qualify for the tournament in the singles or doubles draw.”

An extended collaboration

Both parties also took the opportunity to extend the collaboration, which will see the ATP staff wearing Lacoste at all ATP events and Lacoste receiving advertising space on ATPWorldTour.com, which recorded 550 million page views in 2013.

“Our teams are very proud to wear Lacoste clothes, which combine elegance and comfort,” said Laurent Delanney, ATP Commercial Director. “The quality and consistency of the clothing reflects the level of professionalism we want to achieve in all areas of our organisation.”

“ATPWorldTour.com is a very good platform to keep expanding our new campaign ‘Life is a beautiful sport’ as an established member of the big tennis family.” said Berta de Pablos-Barbier, Group Marketing & Branding EVP.

 

 

US Open prize money to increase by four million dollars

 

The USTA today announced that the total purse for the 2014 US Open will increase by $4 million dollars bringing the total purse for the tournament to a record $38.3 million and an 11.7% increase over the 2013 US Open.

Both the men’s and women’s singles champions will earn $3 million, the largest payout in US Open history. Each round of the singles competition will see double digit percentage increases over last year’s record payouts. Total main draw prize money, which includes both the singles, doubles, and mixed doubles competitions, has increased by 12.5% over last year. Both the men’s and women’s doubles champions will earn $520,000, the highest in US Open history. The US Open qualifying tournament will now offer more than $1.5 million in prize money ($1,572,000) for the first time, and this represents an 11% increase over 2013.

In the last three years, US Open main draw prize money has increased by 64.6%.

Round-by-round individual prize money for the US Open is as follows:

Singles:                                             Doubles (each team):
Winner: $3,000,000                 Winners: $520,000
Runner-Up: 1,450,000             Runners-Up: 250,000
Semifinalist: 730,000               Semifinalist: 124,450
Quarterfinalist: 370,250          Quarterfinalist: 62,060
Round of 16: 187,300                Round of 16: 32,165
Round of 32: 105,090                Round of 32: 20,060
Round of 64: 60,420                  Round of 64: 13,375
Round of 128: 35,750

“Last year to recognize the importance of the players and the key role they have in building our sport, the USTA shared our vision to reach $50 million in prize money at the US Open by 2017,” said Dave Haggerty, USTA Chairman of the Board and President. “This year’s prize money increase continues the commitment to make the US Open one of the most lucrative purses in all of sports.”

This year’s US Open is scheduled for August 25 through September 8, with the US Open Qualifying Tournament beginning on August 19.

petra kvitova wins 2nd wimbledon singles title; federer is wimbledon runner-up and breaks more records

Petra Kvitova joined the Multiple Grand Slam Singles Title Club and the Multiple Wimbledon Singles Title Club by winning the 2014 Wimbledon Singles Title. She won the Title at the All England Club in 2011 as well. Her 12th WTA Singles Title was one of the most dominant in the history of the tournament. Although she was two points from losing in the 3rd round to Venus Williams, Petra did not lose any other sets and held three of her opponents to three games or less in a match. She also had three sets where she didn’t lose a game, including in the final. She will move into the top five on the WTA tour rankings when they are published on Monday.

“Petra’s extended family at Wilson congratulates her on an exemplary performance and a stunning two weeks at Wimbledon,” said Mike Dowse, President of Wilson Sporting Goods Co. “To hold an opponent to just three games in the final of a Grand Slam is testament to what an incredible talent this woman has become. We at Wilson are proud to be there for her from an equipment perspective to help her achieve these types of milestones.”

Roger Federer’s performance was equally impressive as he was 18 and 1 in sets en route to the final. The final match was of epic proportions, with momentum shifts and intense back-and-forth play throughout the five-set match before Federer was finally defeated, 7-6 (9-7), 4-6, 6-7 (7-4), 7-5, 4-6. This marked his 25th Grand Slam Final, which is a record. He also set records for semi-finals, quarter-finals and numerous others. Roger was using the new Pro Staff RF97 Autograph, which he helped design with Wilson over the last year and that will be available to consumers in October.

Grigor Dimitrov, Milos Raonic, Simona Halep and Lucie Safarova had incredible runs at Wimbledon as well, by all reaching the semi-finals. This means that three of the four players on both the men and women’s draw were using Wilson rackets. Of note, since switching to his Spin Effect Pro Staff at the beginning of the year, Grigor Dimitrov has won three ATP Singles Titles on three different surfaces and has now gotten to the quarters and semi-finals of the Australian Open and Wimbledon respectively. While pro tennis players are notorious about never changing their rackets, Grigor Dimitrov and Roger Federer are proving with wins…that technology matters!

Wilson dominated the two-week tournament registering 45 match wins in the gentlemen’s draw and 45 match wins as well in the ladies’ draw, more than any other manufacturer on both men’s and women’s draws. A quick look at the numbers reveals that Wilson had more main draw players in both the gentlemen’s singles main draw and the ladies’ singles main draw. The Wilson players were the most numerous to reach the round of 16s in both the gentlemen’s and ladies’ draws. Wilson, More Win.

Earlier in the tournament, and after three years of development and dozens of prototypes, Roger Federer and Wilson officially announced the new Wilson Pro Staff line of rackets, which they collaborated in developing. The Wilson Pro Staff line will feature rackets suited for a variety of attack-style players: from avid players to youth striving to improve their game. The Wilson Pro Staff rackets provide more power without compromising the classic feel long associated with the Pro Staff line.

Wimbledon_Win_Poster_Kvitova

roger “the betterer” federer shows his new wilson pro staff racket

For months Roger Federer’s stealthy, matte black racket has been the source of conjecture and debate amongst tennis fans. Wins in Dubai and Halle, along with several finals appearances amplified the buzz surrounding his new secret weapon. After three years of development and dozens of prototypes, Roger Federer and Wilson officially announced the new Wilson Pro Staff line of rackets, which they collaborated in developing.

The new Wilson Pro Staff RF 97 Autograph* delivers the precise feel Federer demands with a larger sweet spot and more power in comparison to the Wilson rackets he has used throughout his storied career. The Wilson Pro Staff line will feature rackets suited for a variety of attack-style players: from avid players to youth striving to improve their game. The Wilson Pro Staff rackets provide more power without compromising the classic feel long associated with the Pro Staff line. The final graphics package will be unveiled closer to the projected October 1, 2014 in-store date.

“I grew up idolizing the legends of the game, so it was natural for me to play with Wilson Pro Staff 85-inch rackets,” said Federer. “I love the feel a smaller head provides, and larger rackets couldn’t deliver the feedback I needed to be successful. This new Wilson Pro Staff racket has been a long time coming, but I finally have the feel I need in a 97-inch head.”

The iconic Pro Staff line has spanned 31 years and is steeped in history, tradition, and Grand Slam victories. The Wilson Pro Staff line has delivered uncompromising feel for players of all skill levels and the latest products preserve the consistent feel while introducing a 97-inch head in three of the four models. The re-engineered Pro Staff models feature a 26 percent wider racket beam providing for a significant boost in power. Compared to Federer’s previous racket, the Wilson Pro Staff RF 97 Autograph is seven percent larger, resulting in a 10 percent larger sweet spot that consistently produces more power for Federer and for tennis enthusiasts. Wilson’s use of braided graphite and Kevlar maintain the consistent feel that players have come to know in the Pro Staff line.

“When it comes to his tennis career, Roger is a chess master, always thinking several moves ahead,” said Mike Dowse, Wilson Sporting Goods Co. President. “So when we broached the subject of developing a more powerful racket that would still fit his needs for responsive ‘feel’ and attacking style, we jumped at the chance to collaborate with him. This racket represents the most extensive collaboration between an elite player of Roger’s caliber and Wilson. The result is a groundbreaking racket that will benefit tennis players worldwide.”

Wilson has produced an episodic series of videos that highlight the unique relationship they share with the tennis legend. They can be viewed along with additional information on the racket at www.wilson.com/betterer.

Federer’s collaboration with Wilson actually goes back decades. He won the Wimbledon Juniors crown in 1998 playing with a Wilson Pro Staff 85 racket. He turned pro shortly after that victory and began working with Wilson to find the 90-inch racket that, with updates, has been his weapon of choice throughout his incredible career.

The new Pro Staff line includes four models to address different kinds of players:

Wilson Pro Staff

k-swiss names eric sarin as vp of product

PRESS RELEASE: WESTLAKE VILLAGE, CA (August 6, 2013) K-Swiss announced today the appointment of Eric Sarin as the company’s new vice president of product. Sarin will oversee all facets of K-Swiss product strategy, design and development globally. Sarin will be headquartered in Westlake Village, CA, reporting directly to CMO, Barney Waters.

“Eric is a great combination of creativity and strategic leadership with a very strong global point of view,” said Waters. “With K•Swiss under new ownership, we plan on bringing the brand back to prominence, and hiring Eric is a big piece of the puzzle.”

Sarin brings 17 years of global experience in the athletic and lifestyle footwear industries to K-Swiss. Most recently, Sarin was part of the team responsible for the impressive turnaround of the Le Coq Sportif brand. He was based in Paris and held various roles including global director of product. Prior to Le Coq Sportif, he served as international business unit manager at Puma, leading the lifestyle business and seasonal creative concepts from 2002-2008. From 1996-2002, Sarin worked for Adidas AG where he held various U.S. and European design and product management roles, including senior product manager for Adidas Originals Footwear.

“K-Swiss is great brand with a truly amazing history and story,” said Sarin. “I am genuinely excited to be part of the team challenged with putting the company back on a track to reaching its full potential.”

unc, virginia remain on top of ita college rankings

ita-tennis-logo

This past week of college tennis produced a number of notable results, including a rare home loss by the Stanford women, as the Cardinal were shocked 4-3 by St. Mary’s over the weekend, dropping Stanford out of the Top 10. The Florida Gators also had an interesting two days, losing 4-0 at Duke on Sunday before defeating top-ranked North Carolina 4-2 on Monday. For the men, the Virginia Cavaliers fought off the competition at the 2013 ITA DI National Men’s Team Indoor Championship to hold steady at No. 1, claiming the title with a 4-2 triumph over No. 2 USC.

Follow the Leader: For the men, following Virginia are USC, UCLA, Ohio State, Duke, Kentucky, Pepperdine, Georgia, Oklahoma, and Ole Miss. One the women’s side, North Carolina is followed by UCLA, Duke, Florida, Georgia, USC, Cal, Alabama, Northwestern, and Texas A&M.

Conference Count: Men’s Top 25: SEC – 9; Pac-12 – 4; ACC, Big 12, and Big Ten – 3; Big East, Conference USA, and WCC – 1. Six different conferences placed at least one team in the Top 10. Women’s Top 25: ACC – 7; SEC – 5; Big Ten and Pac-12 – 4; Big 12 – 3; Big East and Ivy League – 1. Four SEC teams landed in the Top 10, while the Pac-12 had three squads among the Top 10 and the ACC had two.

ITA Tennis Rankings - February 19, 2013

Double-Dip: A total of 13 schools have both their men’s and women’s programs ranked inside the Top 25. Duke, Georgia, UCLA, and USC find both their men’s and women’s team inside the Top 10 this week. The 13 schools are listed in the graphic above.

Top 25 Caliber: One men’s and one women’s team cracked the Top 25 this week. On the men’s side, the Notre Dame Fighting Irish are ranked No. 24 after checking in at No. 29 two weeks ago. Notre Dame has played a rigorous schedule to this point, facing seven ranked opponents on the year already. The Fighting Irish are playing very well in head coach Bobby Bayliss’ final year, recently defeating No. 50 Michigan State 6-1 and No. 23 Michigan 4-3 while also dropping a tight 4-3 contest to No. 6 Kentucky. It is the first time back in the Top 25 for Notre Dame since March 29, 2011. On the women’s side, the Florida State Seminoles slipped into the Top 25 this week at No. 25. Florida State has put together a solid season so far, compiling a 6-1 record with the only blemish coming at No. 19 Baylor 4-1. The Seminoles own victories over No. 35 Rice 4-2, No. 47 South Florida 6-1, and No. 58 Georgia State 5-2. Florida State has not been ranked this high since Feb. 22, 2012, when the Seminoles were No. 22.

Top 75 Newcomers: In all, six teams have leaped into the Top 75 in the latest rankings after being unranked previously, including four men’s and two women’s squads. Nebraska checks in at No. 59 this week on the strength of recent wins against No. 34 VCU, No. 60 Georgia State, and then No. 74 ETSU. The No. 72 Oregon Ducks are undefeated on the season at 8-0, collecting victories over No. 52 Arkansas and No. 69 New Mexico last weekend, while Yale upset No. 68 Brown en route to posting a 2-1 record at the ECAC Team Indoor Championship to earn its ranking of No. 74. Finally, No. 75 Wisconsin beat previous No. 75 UC Irvine 5-2 to secure its place in the national rankings this week. For the women, No. 63 Kentucky rebounded from a pair of losses against ranked foes to upset No. 60 Indiana at home and No. 61 Ohio State on the road, both by the score of 4-3. Previously unranked NC State moved to 4-0 on the season with a 6-1 defeat of No. 72 College of Charleston, moving the Wolfpack into the rankings at No. 73.

reebok launches new fitness-focused campaign

Reebok launches 2013 fitness-focused campaign

Reebok launched its new, fully-integrated marketing campaign, “Live With Fire,” continuing the global fitness brand’s mission to change how people perceive and experience fitness. With this campaign, Reebok shows how living an active lifestyle can inspire people to live their lives with passion, intent and purpose;and inspire others to do the same.

The 2013 “Live With Fire” campaign celebrates people whose lives have been transformed through their active lifestyle and in doing so unifies the brand’s marketing of its fitness and lifestyle business. In addition to featuring Reebok’s core pillars of Training and Running, the campaign reinforces Reebok’s commitment to women’s fitness through the introduction of its Dance and Yoga collections, as well as a renewed focus on Walking.

The campaign builds off the brand’s 2012 campaign, “The Sport of Fitness Has Arrived,” which featured CrossFit as a symbol of the rapidly changing fitness landscape. The campaign illustrated how CrossFit builds community and confidence and fosters a spirit of competition and camaraderie. With “Live With Fire,” Reebok is broadening this message and issuing an invitation to people to pursue their passions and to live life in a way that will inspire others to follow.

“At Reebok, our mission is to empower people to be fit for life, but we don’t want people to move for the sake of movement; we believe movement is the path to becoming physically, mentally and socially stronger,” said Matt O’Toole, Chief Marketing Officer, Reebok. “Since we’ve sharpened our focus on fitness, we’ve seen how reaching goals and accomplishing new feats changes people and their lives. We find our inspiration in these people, who live their lives with renewed passion and intensity, and affect others with their attitude. Among our employees and our consumers we’re building a community that pushes people to do and be more, and we want to inspire others to join this movement.”

Yan Martin, Vice President of Brand Marketing, said: “We offer a different perspective on a healthy lifestyle and creative expression. We’re not featuring the aspirational actions of today’s superstar millionaires in this campaign; we’re celebrating individuals who find purpose by pursuing their passions. We believe that everyone has the potential to transform their lives through fitness and creativity, and want to encourage this discovery, whether it’s through CrossFit or group training workouts, running clubs or Spartan races, high-energy Latin Dance classes or physically-challenging Yoga classes, intense fitness walks or another active pursuit.”

“Live With Fire”

The multi-channel campaign communicates “Live With Fire” through TV, print, digital and OOH media, as well as consumer events and activations. It will officially kick-off with a TV advertisement on February 15th on ESPN and will be supported with print and digital media.

The advertisement, available at, http://reesha.re/livewithfire, depicts seven inspirational stories: CrossFitters working to make sure every rep counts; a running club doing last man sprints; a Latin Dance class mastering a routine; two women catching the sunrise on an early morning walk; two men racing each other to the top of a stadium; a yoga class attempting a challenging inversion flow; a group pushing themselves to the limit at an early morning workout; and Spartan racers fighting to the finish.

The ‘heroes’ in each story embody what it truly means to “Live With Fire” as they meet and tackle different challenges and celebrate their achievements. Featured in the spot is yoga expert and Reebok ambassador, Tara Stiles, and Josh Bridges, runner up from the 2011 Reebok CrossFit Games – the world’s premier test to find the Fittest on Earth. In addition to these athletes, Reebok scouted CrossFitters, runners, dancers, yoga instructors, fitness walkers and an up-and-coming band, Driemanskap, for the TV, print and digital work. Rick Ross and Tyga are featured in new print and digital work to support Reebok Classics.

Specific “Live With Fire” creative executions will support Reebok’s key fitness products such as RealFlex and ZigTech; introduce Reebok’s new SubLite footwear and Reebok Δ Apparel; and showcase Reebok Women’s fitness, including the new Dance and Yoga collections. These elements, which include TV, print, digital and OOH media, continue the story of the launch spot highlighting the key usage and benefits of each product.

Following the launch of the TV campaign, Reebok will continue to inspire and demonstrate how to “Live With Fire” with the launch of the Reebok Fitness app. Designed to inject variety into stale workout programs, the Reebok Fitness app will help people rejuvenate tired fitness routines by creating new and varied workouts using a combination of popular disciplines: Walking, Running, Dance, Yoga and Training. The app will be available on Apple and Android devices as well as online.

A key component of the campaign is a digital consumer activation allowing people to be part of, and share in, Reebok’s “Live With Fire” mission. Last month, Reebok kicked off a worldwide competition in partnership with crowdsourcing agency, MOFILM, to identify young, talented filmmakers to create films that celebrate true stories of inspirational people who live every day with passion, intent and purpose. Reebok will use these stories and a social media-driven campaign to inspire people to share their own stories.

(via Footwear Business Update)

2013 ita all-tournament women’s team announced

ITA National Women's Team Indoors logo

Tar Heel Toast: UNC’s Whitney Kay was named the Most Outstanding Player of the ITA National Women’s Team Indoor Championship, held last week at the Boar’s Head Sports Club in Charlottesville, Va., (and hosted by UVA). Kay, a rookie at UNC, won her singles matches 3-0, helping her team bag their first Team Indoor Championship title and gain the No. 1 spot in the ITA Women’s Team Rankings.

Kay is joined on the ITA All-Tournament Team by the following singles players and doubles pairs:

Singles
No. 1 – Danielle Lao, USC
No. 2 – Kyle McPhillips, UCLA
No. 3 – Whitney Kay, North Carolina
No. 4 – Silvia Garcia, Georgia
No. 5 – Caroline Price, North Carolina
No. 6 – Clementina Riobueno, Miami (Fla.)

Doubles
No. 1 – Kaitlyn Christian/Sabrina Santamaria, USC
No. 2 – Courtney Dolehide/Pamela Montez, UCLA
No. 3 – Catherine Harrison/Kyle McPhillips, UCLA

This is the sixth annual ITA National Women’s Team Indoor All-Tournament Team as voted by head coaches from the 16 participating teams. Previous MOPs include Kirsten Flower (Georgia Tech, 2008), Chelsey Gullickson (Georgia, 2009), Maria Mosolova (Northwestern, 2010), Hilary Barte (Stanford, 2011), and Robin Anderson (UCLA, 2012).

houston: juan monaco will defend title; monfils and querrey join field

u.s. men's claycourt championships - logo

HOUSTON – Argentina’s Juan Monaco will defend his US Men’s Clay Court Championship title when the tournament returns to River Oaks Country Club April 8-14, and he will be accompanied in the field by American Sam Querrey and Frenchman Gael Monfils.

These three players join the previously announced commitments from top-ranked American John Isner and Spaniards Nicolas Almagro and Fernando Verdasco in the singles field and American twins Bob and Mike Bryan in the doubles field.

These singles entries put five players from the Top 25 of the current ATP World Tour rankings into the field for the tournament at River Oaks. As of Monday, Almagro was No. 11, Monaco No. 15, Isner No. 16, Querry No. 20 and Verdasco No. 24.

“We always take pride in exposing our fans to new players, so it is with great pleasure we can have guys like Monfils, Almagro and Verdasco making their River Oaks debut this year,” said Tournament Director Van Barry. “We are also happy to welcome back familiar faces. Juan Monaco was a popular champion last year, and the group of Americans we have returning have long been fan favorites here in Houston.”

Monaco will try to be the first repeat champion of the event since the recently retired Andy Roddick won back-to-back titles in 2001-02. The win at River Oaks last year was one of his career-high four titles in 2012. He has reached at least one clay court final in seven of the past eight seasons, and six of Monaco’s seven career titles have come on clay.

Querrey teamed with James Blake to win the 2012 doubles title at River Oaks. He’s also enjoyed singles success, reaching the final in 2010. He has won seven titles while appearing in 12 finals in his career, and earlier this month helped the US reach the Davis Cup quarterfinal with a pair of singles wins against Brazil.

Monfils has finished in the Top 20 in the World in four of the past five seasons. He has reached 17 career ATP finals, winning four titles. He was a finalist twice early in 2012 before a knee injury forced him to miss nearly four months. He already has reached one semifinal and another quarterfinal early in 2013.

In last year’s final, Monaco defeated Isner, who in 2012 reached the Top 10 for the first time. Almagro has led the ATP in clay court match wins three times in the past five seasons and is one of only four players with over 200 career clay court wins. Verdasco has reached 10 career clay court finals and finished in the Top 25 in five straight seasons.

The Bryan Brothers are the World No. 1 doubles team and four-time champions at the US Men’s Clay Court Championship. They own the record for Grand Slam titles with 13 together as well as total career titles together with 84.

Individual session tickets and the very popular “Champ Pass” are on sale on now. The Champ Pass for the 2013 US Men’s Clay Court Championship includes a ticket to the Friday, Saturday and Sunday sessions. “The Champ Pass” usually sells out before the tournament begins. A limited number of season ticket packages are still remaining. Information on tickets can be found at www.mensclaycourt.com or by calling 713-874-6294.