Tallahassee: The Final Step To The French Open

An impressive lineup headlined by Americans Ryan Harrison, Jack Sock, Steve Johnson, defending champion Tim Smyczek and 2011 winner Donald Young will compete in the United States Tennis Association (USTA) Tallahassee Tennis Challenger set for April 27-May 4.

The Tallahassee Tennis Challenger is the third of three events in the Har-Tru USTA Pro Circuit Wild Card Challenge series that determines which American male earns a wild card spot in the 2013 French Open.

Mardy Fish, the former world No. 8 and current No. 42, accepted a wildcard for the $50,000 USTA Pro Circuit event, held at the Forestmeadows Tennis Complex. He won here in his only appearance in 2006.

The Forestmeadows Tennis Complex is located at 4750 North Meridian Road. Tournament passes are available at the Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare Foundation, 1331 E. Sixth Avenue or by calling 850-431-5389. Tickets are also available at The Grey Fox at 206 E. Sixth Avenue or call 850-576-8372. The cost for tickets are: April 29 – 30 – $5; May 1 – 3 – $10; May 4 Finals – $20. A Tournament Pass can be purchased with a $50 donation.

The tournament benefits the D. Mark Vogter, M.D. Memorial Endowment for the Neuro-Intensive Care and the Sharon Ewing Walker Breast Health Center at Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare and the Yealdhall Challenger Tennis Fund at Friends of Our Parks.

Thirty-four-year-old Michael Russell, playing in Tallahassee for the third consecutive year and ranked No. 73, made the quarterfinals of the ATP event in Memphis in February. In 2001, he reached the fourth round of the French Open, losing to eventual winner and world No. 1 Gustavo Kuerten.

Harrison, ranked No. 93, makes his main draw debut in Tallahassee at 20 years old. The Shreveport, La., native has been ranked as high as No. 43 and won a USTA Pro Circuit title at Honolulu in 2011.

Sock, also 20, enters the field ranked No. 119 after a quarterfinals effort in Memphis. The Lincoln, NE, native also paired with veteran James Blake and won his first-ever ATP title in doubles in February in Delray Beach.

Former two-time NCAA champion Johnson, ranked No. 130, leads a host of top college alumni that includes No. 144 Rhyne Williams (Tennessee), 2008 Tallahassee winner and No. 145 Bobby Reynolds (Vanderbilt), No. 189 Bradley Klahn (Stanford), No. 210 Somdev Devvarman (Virginia) and No. No. 213 Tennys Sandgren (Tennessee).

Defending champion Smyczek, who beat fellow 2013 entrant Frank Dancevic of Canada for the title here a year ago, also makes his return to Tallahassee for the 32-player draw.

Press release source: http://www.visittallahassee.com/news/view/155/

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