The USTA and Tennis Channel announced recntly that the network will present live broadcasts of the finals of the 2010 US Open National Playoffs – Men's and Women's Championships. The men's and women's winners of the US Open National Playoffs each receive a wild card entry into the 2010 US Open qualifying draw. In addition to live coverage of the finals, Tennis Channel also will air a one-hour documentary, chronicling the inaugural year of the US Open National Playoffs. Olympus, the official camera and long-time sponsor of the US Open, is the sponsor of the US Open National Playoffs and the presenting sponsor for the one-hour documentary.
"We are thrilled to have Tennis Channel telecasting the men's and women's finals of the 2010 US Open National Playoffs to a national audience," said Jim Curley, USTA Chief Professional Tournament Officer and US Open Tournament Director. "The US Open National Playoffs has been a great opportunity for all tennis fans to have their own special link to the US Open and these telecasts are the perfect capstone to the first year of this initiative. These should be exhilarating and emotional finals with a chance to play in the US Open on the line."
Tennis Channel will telecast the finals of the US Open National Playoffs – Men's Championship on July 25. The men's final will be played at the Atlanta Athletic Club, during the Atlanta Tennis Championships (held July 19-25), which kicks off the Olympus US Open Series. Tennis Channel will telecast the final of the US Open National Playoffs – Women's Championship on August 1. The women's final will be played at the Taube Family Tennis Stadium at Stanford University in Stanford, Calif., during the Bank of the West Classic (held July 26-August 1), the first women's event of the Olympus US Open Series.
"Seventy-five percent of Tennis Channel's audience plays this sport," said David Scott, vice president, programming, Tennis Channel. "The US Open National Playoffs are a perfect illustration of the close relationship between the professional and recreational sides of tennis. We're excited to be a part of it and think our viewers will enjoy getting to know these players and watching them compete for what's truly the chance of a lifetime."
Tennis Channel also will air a one-hour documentary just prior to the start of the US Open main draw that chronicles the first-ever US Open National Playoffs. The documentary will highlight play from the US Open National Playoffs – Men's and Women's Championships, and will feature player interviews and stories. Olympus, the overall sponsor of the US Open National Playoffs, will be the presenting sponsor of the documentary.
In addition to supporting the Tennis Channel broadcasts, Olympus is providing the winners of each Sectional event with a STYLUS TOUGH-3000 digital camera and is the sponsor of the US Open National Playoffs photo gallery on usopen.org.
"Olympus has been a proud partner of the USTA and US Open since 2003 and of the Olympus US Open Series since its inception in 2005. We are honored to be the inaugural sponsor of the National Playoffs, which truly open tennis opportunities to players across the country. Olympus is also excited to partner with the Tennis Channel as the presenting sponsor of this exciting playoffs documentary, which will be sure to add to fan engagement," said Mark Huggins, Executive Director, Brand Marketing of Olympus Imaging America Inc.
In January, the USTA announced the launch of the US Open National Playoffs, which expands the footprint of the US Open and provides an opportunity for all players 14 years of age and older to try to earn a wild card into the 2010 US Open Qualifying Tournament. The US Open National Playoffs began with 16 sectional qualifying tournaments held throughout the country from April through June. The men's and women's champions from each of the sectional qualifying tournaments advance to the US Open National Playoffs – Men's and Women's Championships, in Atlanta and Stanford, Calif.
Participants can be of any playing level, from aspiring novice to seasoned professional. The first sectional qualifying tournament was held at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center – the home of the US Open – and featured nearly 200 players from 10 states, ranging in age from 14 to 61.
Entry information and a schedule of US Open National Playoffs Sectional Qualifying Tournaments are available online at www.usopen.org.
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