The Atlanta Open Tennis Tournament runs July 23-31 at Atlantic Station. This tournament is an ATP Tour 250 Series and part of the US Open Series.
Tournament Director Eddie Gonzalez states the following facts about the Atlanta Open:
- “We are the only Men’s tournament in the World that kicks off the action with a Women’s Exhibition: having Cori “Coco” Gauff and Leylah Fernandez play this year”. This match, delivered by UPS, will take place Sunday, July 24th, and to our surprise, it was also announced that Coco will play another match on Monday, July 25th, against Sophia Kenin.
- “We are the only ATP event with a dedicated College Night, in which we give one of our wildcards to a College player and their dream gets to come true” This year the Wildcard was awarded to Georgia Tech’s Andres Martin.
- “We are the only tournament in the World that has a dedicated Stem Program, during the whole course of the week of the tournament. That is something we started last year for our youth because the last two years our youth had to learn virtually.”
The UPS Unstoppable Stem Diversity Program will be hosted again this year by Ayana Green – UPS Vice President of Marketing and Tennis Pro / Author – Desmond McLennon. This event will operate Monday through Friday where 50 kids will embark on fun activities, guest speakers, and a clap and wave players tunnel on center court with lunch after. This year the invitees continue to highlight organizations in the community committed to youth, diversity, excellence, and being “UNSTOPPABLE”.
Here’s a summary of the organizations/ groups invited to the 2022 Atlanta Open UPS Unstoppable Stem Diversity Program:
- Rising Stars Tennis Association (NJTL), Stone Mtn, Ga. Dekalb County. They’ve won or placed runner-up the last 10 years on our 15u and 18u girls Alta team. They have sent 10 kids to college with tennis scholarships.
- ACsquared Tennis is located in Lithia Springs, Ga /Douglas County. They focus on High Performance with several nationally ranked players.
- RacKeTs Community Tennis Academy Jonesboro/Clayton County is a NonProfit 501c3-Underserved and Diversity Program, 10U NetGeneration Developing Players, 10U Junior Achievers along with Mentoring and Entrepreneurship. They would also like to extend their gratitude to the Atlanta Open and its organizers and volunteers for your hard work and dedication to making this event possible. By allowing our kids the opportunity to enjoy and participate in such an awe-inspiring event, you help to grow the sport of tennis and encourage the next generation of players. In addition, it gives each child something they can talk about for years to come.
- Net Results Tennis Service in Atlanta, Georgia Fulton County. They offer Annual FREE Summer Tennis Camp, Saturday Tennis Skills Development Program, APS After School Tennis, NRTS Junior Tennis Team in Collaborations with Emory Summer Tennis Camp. Many of the youth that will be coming with me live in the underserved neighborhoods on the westside of Atlanta. For some kids, this will be their only summer activity. The opportunity to attend a professional tennis tournament will be a great summer highlight. It’s essential that these youth get the exposure and opportunity to attend an event of this caliber.
- Above The Net in McDonough (Henry County) Georgia is pleased to share some exciting news with our loyal followers and supporters. In just a little over a year, Above the Net has added a National Junior Tennis and Learning (NJTL) chapter to its credits.
- Sugar Creek Youth Program is located in Atlanta. The program is officially in its second year and has over 100 active African American youth players between 5 and 18 years old. Last Fall, Winter, and Spring our ALTA and USTA junior teams reached the playoffs. This summer a select group competes in tournaments for the first time and some earned trophies for their efforts.
- McGhee Tennis Center and Washington Park operate in Fulton County but due to Covid are now operating at Sykes Park (East Point) via Coach Winks NJTL & AYSI.
- Love-All Tennis in Johns Creek coaches both youth and adults of all ages and abilities. Every player is trained to believe in themselves both on and off the court. Dreams do come true, so never give up!
- Get A Grip Association, Inc in Lithonia is new but has had a 15U and 18U tennis team in Stone Mountain for the past 6 years. We also have a four-week summer camp for area youth.
The age range of students is 11-17. Beyond tennis players, they have a handful of future Scientists, Engineers, and Mathematicians.
This year’s guest speakers:
Kimmie Gee – Choreographer / Dancer
Nathan Pasha – ATP Tour Tennis Pro / Coach
Eric Jackson – Tennis Pro / Coach
Jewel Peterson – WTA Tennis Pro / Coach
Troy Kemp – Educator and Public Speaker
Whitney McCray – WTA Tennis Pro / Coach
Ed “GoGo” Lovelace – Speed and Agility Coach
Darrell Watkins – Personal Trainer
Other organizations include:
2. ATL Police Athletic League (PAL)
3. South Clayton CTA (NJTL)
4. Coretta Scott King (All Female)
5. NEGCT (NJTL)
6. Best Academy – 100 Black Men of Atlanta
7. Tennis Works CORTA (NJTL)
For more information https://www.atlantaopentennis.com/
-Desmond McLennon and Cee Jai Jones
Photos Courtesy: Above The Net