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Florida Tennis Briefs(3): Haas, Nishikori Added to ATP Delray Beach; US Open Adds Monday Final

December 14, 2012 10:15 AM
US Open Announces Monday Men's Final, Record Prize Money
 
US Open generic logoThe 2013 US Open men's final will conclude on a Monday after the USTA announced a day of rest has been added to the schedule between the semifinals and the final.
 
In order to accommodate the players' request for a day of rest between the singles semifinals and finals, the 2013 US Open is scheduled to conclude on Monday, Sept. 9. The women's singles semifinals will be played in a single day session on Friday, Sept. 6, and the women's final will take place on Sunday, Sept. 8 at 4:30 p.m. ET, in the time slot where the men's singles final was traditionally played.
 
Prize money for the 2013 US Open will be increased by $4 million dollars, doubling the record $2 million dollar increase of 2012. Total US Open prize money in 2013 will be $29.5 million. Singles prize money at the US Open has now increased by 34% since the 2011 US Open. Overall tournament prize money has been increased by $6 million since the 2011 US Open. Distribution of prize money by round will be determined by the USTA in due course. The USTA will solicit suggestions for this distribution from the men's and women's players and their respective tours.
 
The men's singles semifinals will continue to be played in a single day session on Saturday, Sept. 7, with the men's singles final to take place on Monday, Sept. 9 at 5 p.m. ET. In the new schedule, no competition will be scheduled for the second Saturday night of the tournament.
 
"I'm pleased that the USTA has modified the US Open schedule to include a day of rest between the semifinals and final," said Andy Murray, winner of the 2012 US Open. "Together with the prize money increase, it's good that they've taken on board the players' concerns."
 
The final four days of the men's and women's singles competitions will be broadcast by CBS Sports. The full schedule of the 2013 US Open, which will include exact start times of the singles semifinals as well all doubles competitions, will be announced at a later date.
 
"We recognize the increased physicality required to compete at the highest level of the sport, and we have responded to the players' request for a scheduled day of rest between the singles semifinals and finals," said USTA Chairman of the Board and President Jon Vegosen. "The record increase in US Open prize money and the changes in the next year's schedule are aimed at rewarding the players' talents and accommodating the rigors of the modern professional game."
 
 
Tennis Participation Shows Growth in 2012
 
founders_day_aventura_tennisThe USTA and the Tennis Industry Association (TIA) announced that tennis participation in 2012 grew 4 percent over 2011 to top 28 million players for the first time since 2009. The total number of players is the second highest total recorded since the annual survey, conducted by Taylor Research and Consulting, began in 1988. The survey is conducted via telephone (both landline and cell phones) and includes observations from more than 7,500 individuals, one of the largest surveys conducted annually in sports.
 
The age demographic that saw the greatest percentage increase in 2012 over 2011, was young players aged six to eleven, which increased 13 percent. For the past two years, the USTA has invested significantly in 10 and Under Tennis, and the initiative is the organization's number one recreational tennis initiative. More than 6,500 tennis facilities now offer 10 and Under Tennis programs across the country.
 
In 2012, the USTA helped install or build more than 4,400 youth-sized tennis courts in 371 markets in 44 states throughout the nation. In all, the USTA has constructed nearly 10,000 kid-sized courts since 2010.
 
The survey also noted a sharp increase in participation among African-Americans and Hispanics. Participation among African Americans reached a 10-year high in 2012, and among Hispanics, participation was at the third-highest level in the last 10 years.
 
"We are very gratified that our efforts geared to young players are paying off," said USTA Chairman of the Board and President Jon Vegosen. "We want to grow the game and make it look like America, and therefore find it very encouraging that we are seeing growth among young players and in diverse communities."
 
In other survey highlights, frequent players (those who play tennis 21 or more times in a year) grew from 4.8 million in 2011 to 5.3 million in 2012.
 
"It's heartening to see the total number of frequent players increase by 10 percent in 2012 after all of our collective efforts the past few years to drive this most immediate and impactful consumer segment of the tennis economy," says Jon Muir, president of the Tennis Industry Association. "Frequent players represent more than 70 percent of all consumer spending across the tennis industry."
 
 
Former Champions Haas, Nishikori Returning For 2013 ATP Delray Beach
 
NEW DelrayITC.jpgFormer champions Tommy Haas and Kei Nishikori have signed on to play in the 2013 Delray Beach International Tennis Championships (ITC), giving the tournament five former champions in its ATP World Tour field.
 
Haas, the 2006 champion, and Nishikori, who began his accent to the Top 20 with his first career win in the 2008 ITC, will join Mardy Fish (2009) and the world's top-ranked doubles duo of Mike and Bob Bryan (2009, 2010) in returning to the tournament where they have won ATP titles.
 
Add top-ranked American John Isner to the mix, and Tournament Director Mark Baron adds, "Not only are these guys returning champions, but all of them, plus John Isner, have spent time in the Top 20 this year. We will see more Top 20 players on the courts in Delray Beach in 2013 than any other year in our history."
 
The ITC is also returning two of its ATP Champions Tour event champions -- Carlos Moya (2012) and Mark Philippoussis (2011) -- giving fans the opportunity to see seven former champions in the ITC's two events. Both the ATP World Tour and the ATP Champions Tour tournaments play during the same week -- the only event in the world to combine both Tours into a single event.
 
Haas recently won the ATP's 2012 "Comeback Player of the Year" award after an improbable run back to the Top 20 from his third career-threatening injury. Ranked No. 896 in 2010 following hip surgery, the 34-year-old fought back to finish the 2012 season with a 31-16 record and a No. 21 world ranking. He won his 13th career ATP title and capped the season with his 500th career ATP win.
 
After reaching No. 2 in the world during the 2002 season, Haas' career was on the ropes after he missed all of 2003 following shoulder surgery. He was the ATP's "Comeback Player of the Year" in 2004 after fighting back to the Top 20, but the shoulder required more surgery in 2007. Once again he reached the Top 20 in 2010, only to miss 14 months over the next two years with the hip injury.
 
"I just want to enjoy that moment of going out on the court, in front of a crowd, and have that feeling of a little pressure and wanting to win," Haas told Deuce Magazine at the beginning of 2012.
 
For more information go to www.yellowtennisball.com.
 
 
 
 
 
 

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