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By Bob Stockton

  • According to the United States Tennis Association, television coverage of the 2010 Olympus US Open Series on ESPN2 has reached more people through four weeks than ever before. The singles final at the Western & Southern Financial Group Women’s Open between Kim Clijsters and Maria Sharapova was the second-most-watched Olympus US Open Series match in ESPN2’s history. Through four weeks, Olympus US Open Series broadcasts on ESPN2 have reached 33.2 million people, up almost two million from the previous high, set last year. The women’s final between Clijsters and Sharapova averaged 622,000 households and 902,000 people, second only to the 2005 Rogers Masters men’s final between Andre Agassi and Rafael Nadal, which averaged 653,000 households and 930,000 people. “The Olympus US Open Series continues to broaden TV viewership of tennis throughout the summer,” said J. Wayne Richmond, General Manager, Olympus US Open Series, USTA.  “Tennis fans want to see the best in tennis and have tuned-in in record numbers for the Series’ signature back-to-back Finals coverage on ESPN2.” Now in its seventh season, the Olympus US Open Series has established itself as a true regular season of hard court tennis, linking 10 summer tournaments to the US Open. Fans can follow the action throughout the summer through national television coverage, culminating each week with back-to-back men’s and women’s finals every Sunday afternoon. Players battle for $40 million, including a chance for bonus prize money at the US Open. In 2008, Olympus became the first title sponsor of the Series. The Olympus US Open Series is also supported by sponsors American Express, Evian, Grand Marnier and SPDR State Street Global Advisors.

    The Lindner Family Tennis Center during the finals match between Maria Sharapova and Kim Clijsters

  • American Sam Querrey and his family have won a bid to run the Darling Tennis Center complex in Las Vegas, the former site of the Tennis Channel Open ATP World Tour event and the site of Querrey’s first career ATP World Tour singles title in 2008. The facility, located in Summerlin, Nevada, is the home to youth and adult leagues, tournaments, clinics and individual play. “It’s an awesome place,” Querrey told the Las Vegas Review-Journal “I think there’s so much potential here, and I learned to play tennis as a kid (in Las Vegas), so I wanted to help.” City Councilman Stavros Anthony told the Review Journal that the city will save $200,000 annually by having the Querrey’s run the facility.
  • Former world No. 1 golfer Annika Sorenstam and Jeanne Moutoussamy-Ashe, wife of the late Arthur Ashe, will present Martina Navratilova with the Eugene L. Scott Award from the International Tennis Hall of Fame at the 30th annual Legends Ball on Friday, September 10, 2010 at Cipriani 42nd Street in New York City. Polly Scott will also participate in the presentation of the award, which is given in honor of her late husband, Eugene, founder of Tennis Week magazine. The Eugene L. Scott Award, presented annually since 2006, honors an individual who embodies Scott’s commitment to communicating honestly and critically about the game, and who has had a significant impact on the tennis world. Scott founded Tennis Week magazine and wrote the most widely read and well-respected column about the sport, “Vantage Point” until his death in March 2006. Previous recipients of the award have been: John McEnroe (2006); Andre Agassi (2007); Billie Jean King (2008); and Arthur Ashe and his wife Jeanne Moutoussamy-Ashe (2009). “In addition to the fact that they are personal friends of Martina, we felt that Annika’s legendary athletic career combined with Jeanne’s extensive work for social change, perfectly embody what Martina has meant to tennis and society for the past three decades,” said Christopher E. Clouser, chairman of the International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum. “We know their presence will make this an even more special moment for Martina and everyone attending the 2010 Legends Ball, and we appreciate their enthusiasm and support.” The Legends Ball, held annually since 1980, brings the tennis world together to celebrate the history of the game and to honor some of the sport’s great contributors; all while raising money for the International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum.  This special night of celebration will honor a host of tennis luminaries including the Class of 2010, which features the extraordinary doubles teams of Gigi Fernandez & Natasha Zvereva, Todd Woodbridge & Mark Woodforde, mixed doubles champion Owen Davidson, Derek Hardwick, an influential tennis administrator and Brad Parks, the first ever wheelchair tennis inductee, who is also one of the pioneering founders of the wheelchair game. A legendary line-up of tennis greats will also be in attendance, including more than a dozen Hall of Famers and tennis dignitaries. In addition to presenting the Eugene L. Scott Award, the International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum will also present the Joseph F. Cullman 3rd Award to Mercedes-Benz.For tickets, sponsorship opportunities, or to learn more about the event, call 212-843-1740 or e-mail legendsball@hgnyc.com. The mission of the International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum, based in Newport, R.I., is to preserve the history of tennis, inspire and encourage junior tennis development, enshrine tennis heroes and heroines and provide a landmark for tennis enthusiasts worldwide.
  • According to the IEG Sponsorship Report, companies will spend $600 million sponsoring amateur and professional tennis tournaments in 2010. The figure represents a 3.2 per cent increase on 2009 and includes global, national and local deals. William Chipps, senior editor of IEG Sponsorship Report, said tennis has largely replaced the drop in spending by financial services and automobile companies during the global financial crisis, with new categories such as beer and spirits. New major tennis deals for 2010 include Mexican beer brand Corona Extra’s sponsorship of the ATP World Tour, worth $70 million over five-and-a-half-years. A major Asia-Pacific partnership between the WTA Tour and Chinese apparel brand Peak Sport Products was also signed this year. In the USA, significant deals have been struck between vehicle insurer Esurance and the US Open and with Moet Hennessy’s Grand Marnier and the US Tennis Association’s US Open Series.
  • After more than 40 years of providing memorable experiences for local, national and international visitors, The Colony Beach & Tennis Resort ceased operations on August 15, 2010. A years-long dispute between the Condominium Unit Owners and the operating company of the resort remains unresolved and, as a result, much needed renovations to the property have not yet been performed. The resort was developed by Dr. Murray “Murf” Klauber in the late 1060′s and has been managed by his daughter Katherine “Katie” Klauber Moulton for the past 25 years.  Under their leadership they hosted more than a million guests and the resort became world-renowned for extraordinary service, its spectacular location and the warm hospitality of the Klauber family and their employees.  Because the property has fallen into such disrepair the legacy of fine service, exceptional facilities, manicured property and gardens, and the making of special memories that have become expected from a visit to The Colony and that the Klaubers worked so hard to create, cannot possibly continue with the condition the resort is in.
  • American Express announced their brand new web site NextContenders.com, where tennis enthusiasts can follow rising tennis stars John Isner, Sam Querrey, Caroline Wozniacki and Melanie Oudin as they train for the US Open with exclusive behind-the-scenes footage giving a glimpse into their personal lives.The also are enhancing fans experience with the official iPhone application of the US Open and will continue to distribute the American Express Radios Live, allowing fans to listen to play-by-play commentary and match updates on CBS, ESPN2 and the Tennis Channel while they watch the action live from the courts.
  • The Lindner Family Tennis Center in Mason, Ohio will be expanded by 5.4 acres to include six new courts, and a new ticket office and entry plaza, according to officials of Tennis for Charity and the United States Tennis Association. The Tennis Center is the host of the annual Western & Southern Masters and Women’s Open, the largest professional summer tennis tournament in the nation outside of the US Open. The grounds are located approximately 20 miles north of Cincinnati. Among the improvements in this phase, planned to be completed by the first day of next year’s combined event, which kicks off August 13, 2011:- Six new courts
    - One court with a seating capacity of 4,000 that will serve as a third television court for the 2011 combined event
    - One court with a capacity of 2,500
    - Four additional courts
    - A 2,750-square-foot enclosed ticket office
    - A 10,000-square-foot entry plaza with a 30-foot by 60-foot canopy and 9 gates

    The new footprint of the Tennis Center will span 19.0 acres, up from 13.6 acres in 2010. The expansion will stretch to the North and East of the current grounds.

    “With the tournament planning to host the men and women simultaneously in 2011, this expansion is necessary to accommodate the increase in tennis and attendance expected at the combined event,” said Ken Berry, president of Tennis for Charity. Tennis for Charity owns the land and leases the facility to the tournament. The expansion plans will be designed by Browning, Day, Mullins & Dierdorf in Indianapolis, and the construction will be completed by Vector Construction of Northern Kentucky. Both organizations have been involved with the Lindner Family Tennis Center for more than 20 years. “The goal of the Master Plan is to create a festive urban tennis garden that generates excitement and action throughout the grounds,” said executive vice president, Greg Jacoby. This year’s tournament marked the opening of the newly constructed player and media facility built into the West side of the 11,400 capacity Center Court. Also today it was announced, the 52,000-square-foot structure will officially be named the “Paul Flory Player Center,” in honor of the tournament chairman, Paul Flory. Flory joined the event in 1975 as tournament director and guided the event from a small tournament held at Coney Island to one of the largest in the world.

    The United States Tennis Association (USTA) and Levy Restaurants, the official restaurateurs of the US Open, will offer many new culinary offerings at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center for the 2010 US Open, which runs from August 30-September 12. Most notably new this year is the South Plaza Master Chef Cafe, featuring signature items created exclusively for the US Open by some of the most esteemed chefs in the country. Spiaggia Chef Tony Mantuano, who created the Wine Bar Food experience at the US Open and is fresh off an appearance on Top Chef Masters, worked with US Open Executive Chef Michael Lockard to invite several Top Chef Masters co-stars to participate. Chefs include Mantuano, Susan Feniger, Carmen Gonzalez, Rick Moonen and Jonathan Waxman. Additionally, Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto has been tapped to serve his signature sushi in ACES, the Player’s Lounge and the 90 luxury suites. Attendees will also see more healthy and organic options, including a new all-organic concession stand. The Patio Cafe and the Heineken Light Lounge have also expanded, and the new Overlook cabanas will serve as popular between-match destinations. “The US Open is one of the premier sports and entertainment attractions on the planet, both in the on-court product and in the experience offered to patrons throughout the grounds,” said Danny Zausner, Managing Director, USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. “The US Open features culinary offerings that have transcended sports, and with the additions in 2010, including an extraordinary lineup of acclaimed chefs, this year’s US Open will provide both tennis fans and casual visitors alike an experience unparalleled by any other sporting event in the world.”

    Culinary highlights for the 2010 US Open include:

    - South Plaza Master Chef Cafe

    - South Plaza Master Chef Cafe: Unprecedented for a sporting event, the new South Plaza Master Chef Cafe will be accessible to all guests and will feature dishes created exclusively for the US Open by a roster of celebrity chefs. Additionally, on Sunday, September 5, all chefs will be on-site to conduct cooking demonstrations and compete in the Master Chef Championship Charity Competition for their own US Open prize: a $5,000 donation to their charity of choice for the chef that sells the most of their signature item. Participating chefs include:

    - Susan Feniger: Chef and owner of Border Grill restaurants in Santa Monica and Las Vegas and the Border Grill Truck (along with business partner Chef Mary Sue Milliken), Feniger recently launched her first solo venture, Susan Feniger’s STREET in Hollywood. A veteran of Food Network’s Too Hot Tamales, Feniger also co-authored five cookbooks with Milliken, including Mesa Mexicana and Cooking with Too Hot Tamales. For the US Open, she will serve carne asada tacos made with grilled jalapeno lime steak, caramelized onion, grilled corn relish, chipotle salsa and guacamole, and Yucatan pork tacos made with braised achiote pork, orange jicama slaw, guacamole and pickled onion, both served on soft corn tortillas with red rice and black beans.

    - Carmen Gonzalez: Puerto Rican native Gonzalez is the former chef/owner of the nationally-acclaimed, Miami-based, Carmen the Restaurant, which was named “one of the best restaurants in America” by Esquire Magazine. Gonzalez will be serving a lobster roll with key lime mayonnaise, a pulled pork sandwich with mango slaw on a brioche roll, barbeque pork quesadillas topped with avocado relish, a lobster and avocado terrine, and Carmen’s signature flan with caramel sauce.

    - Tony Mantuano: Mantuano is known worldwide for his four-star Italian restaurant Spiaggia, located in Chicago. He also won the 2005 James Beard Foundation Award for Best Chef: Midwest. In addition to his offerings at the Wine Bar Food stand (see below), at the South Plaza Master Chef Cafe Mantuano will serve a spinach salad with crispy shallots and crumbled ricotta salata, and an antipasti platter featuring Niman Ranch dry cured salami, Pleasant Ridge Reserve cheese and marinated Cerignola olives.

    - Rick Moonen: The author of Fish Without a Doubt and chef/owner of RM Seafood at Mandalay Bay Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, Moonen is an advocate for sustainable seafood practices and is critically acclaimed for his work at Oceana, Molyvos, the Water Club and RM. For the US Open, Moonen visited the Levy Restaurants Innovations Kitchen in Chicago and worked with Levy and Tony Mantuano to develop the Moon`N Doggie, an all-natural shrimp hot dog debuting at this year’s US Open. Each shrimp dog is served on a fresh toasted bun and comes with Asian slaw, mint pesto and toga chips. Customers can also customize their Moon ‘N Doggies with a variety of specialty toppings including honey ginger goo, chipotle dude or horseradish hell.

    - Jonathan Waxman – A revered chef, restaurateur and author, Jonathan has helmed venerable kitchens from coast to coast – from Chez Panisse in Berkeley and Michael’s in Los Angeles to New York’s famous Jams in Washington Park. The author of A Great American Cook, Waxman is currently the chef/owner of Barbuto in Manhattan’s West Village. At the Open, he will dish up his signature roast chicken panino with basil aioli and greens and mozzarella, an heirloom tomato caprese panino with pesto, and a grilled sliced hanger steak panino with pepperonata, along with caponata and ratatouille contorni.

    - Wine Bar Food: Chef Mantuano and wine expert Cathy Mantuano will once again offer their wine bar atmosphere adjacent to the South Plaza Master Chef Cafe and on the Club Level of Arthur Ashe Stadium. The menu, based on recipes from their Wine Bar Food cookbook, will bring back popular items such as flaming ouzo shrimp and the mozzarella plate, expertly paired with Mediterranean wines.

    Food Village & Concessions:

    - New: Stonyfield Farm will have an all-organic stand, serving organic food and beverages such as balsamic blue salad made with organic greens, naturally-raised chicken, crumbled blue cheese, raisins, walnuts and flatbread croutons and the chilled gazpacho. The Southern BBQ stand is also new, offering Texas beef brisket, pulled pork sandwiches, macaroni and cheese and more. The Fulton’s Seafood stand, known for the US Open signature lobster roll, has also added a fried shrimp ‘po-boy’ served on a baguette with coleslaw. All hamburgers in the Food Village are also now made with a LaFrieda burger blend made exclusively for the US Open.

    - Niman Ranch: Levy Restaurants is the exclusive purveyor of Niman Ranch products in sports and entertainment venues nationwide, and their premium sausages and meats will be served throughout the US Open grounds. Niman Ranch is supplied by a network of more than 650 independent family farmers who raise livestock traditionally, humanely and sustainably, and their meats are 100 percent natural and gluten-free.


    - ACES (Club Level): Known for VIP sightings at the US Open, ACES now has even more star power – in the kitchen. ACES welcomes Chef Masaharu Morimoto to helm the sushi served at this seafood restaurant, where he will prepare sashimi, daily sushi specials including a signature US Open roll, and the chef’s choice Morimoto ultimate combo. The menu also features a new lobster salad made with local corn, shell beans, farm eggs, asparagus and orange-tarragon vinaigrette.

    - Champions Bar & Grill (Club Level): This exclusive steakhouse offers premium cuts of meat and seafood including the new Surf and Turf, grilled filet mignon and butter poached lobster served with a garlic and herb tomato gratin. The Champions Seafood Tasting – an assortment of clams, oysters, shrimp and lobster served with traditional accompaniments – is also a top-seller.

    - Mojito Restaurant and Bar (Arthur Ashe Stadium ground floor): This Latin restaurant is a popular between- and post-match destination accessible to all ticketholders. New this year is the squash blossom quesadilla with zucchini flowers, pepper jack cheese and avocado relish.

    - Patio Cafe (outside the US Open Club): A charming outdoor cafe, this year the Patio Cafe opens a new bar with an extensive wine list and small plates menu to match. On the main menu is the new California BLT made with crisp Niman Ranch bacon, bibb lettuce, sliced tomato and avocado on rustic sourdough bread.

    Additional Highlights:

    - Overlook as presented by Cosmopolitan Hotel of Las Vegas: A new space this year, the Overlook cabanas are on the terrace of the practice courts atop food village. The menu features an impressive drink list along with ceviche, spring rolls and crispy scallion Moo-Shu wraps made with chicken, pulled pork or tofu.

    - Heineken Light Lounge: First introduced last year, this tennis oasis has expanded to include outdoor seating and will now offer food including the Belgian waffle bites dipped in Nutella hazelnut sauce and the Belgian waffle club sandwich made with maple-glazed turkey, hickory smoked bacon, lettuce and tomato served between two Belgian waffles. This lounge also features a DJ, sofas with fire pit tables and plasma TV stations loaded with Wii Tennis.

    - Player’s Lounge: The athletes are given many options to fuel their game, and new this year they will also have an Iron Chef making sure the US Open remains the players’ favorite food destination on tour. Iron Chef Morimoto will now manage the sushi station, offering players made-to-order rolls and sashimi. Additionally, the pasta bar has doubled in size and the popular juice and smoothie bar has been expanded.

    - Honey Deuce: The signature drink of the US Open is a refreshing blend of GREY GOOSE® Vodka, a touch of raspberry-flavored liqueur, lemonade and honeydew melon “tennis” balls, served in a US Open souvenir glass with a list of past US Open men’s and women’s winners. One of the most popular items on the grounds, more than 50,000 of the signature drinks were sold at the 2009 US Open.

    - Going Green: The USTA and Levy Restaurants have continued to expand their green initiatives. New this year, composting will be expanded throughout the grounds including the two main kitchens, as well as all restaurants and front of house operations. Other initiatives include a cooking oil recycling program that converts oil into clean-burning, renewable biodiesel fuel, and utilizing serviceware (cups, napkins, plates, etc.) made from environmentally-friendly, recyclable, biodegradable or compostable materials. The recycling program has also expanded and Levy Restaurants will be sourcing more than 30 percent of all produce from local farms.

    - City Harvest Donation: The USTA and Levy Restaurants will once again team up to donate unused food to City Harvest, the world’s first food rescue organization, which delivers rescued food to soup kitchens and food pantries across the five boroughs. Last year, four truckloads totaling more than 21,000 pounds of food were donated, and City Harvest has collected more than 250,000 pounds of food from the US Open since 1998.

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