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2005 Us Open to Launch Inaugural Wheelchair Tennis Competition

| Source: usta.com

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y., – The USTA today announced that the US Open will hold the first US Open Wheelchair Tennis Competition at the 2005 US Open September 8-11 at the National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows, N.Y. Athletes will compete in four events: men’s singles, women’s singles, men’s doubles, and women’s doubles.

The US Open Wheelchair Tennis Competition will include 16 of the top athletes from around the globe. Each draw will include eight players – the top seven ranked players to enter the event, as well as one wild card. The US Open Wheelchair Tennis Competition is an event on the international professional wheelchair tour sanctioned by the ITF.

“The new US Open Wheelchair Tennis Competition provides a high-profile showcase for wheelchair tennis on one of the grandest stages in sports,” said Franklin R. Johnson, Chairman of the Board and President, USTA. “Tennis is truly the most inclusive of sports and this new initiative at the US Open reinforces our ongoing commitment to recognize the talents of those competing in wheelchair tennis at the highest levels.”

The USTA was officially designated by the USOC as the national governing body for the Paralympic sport of wheelchair tennis in June 2002, becoming the first Olympic national governing body to earn this recognition. As the national governing body for wheelchair tennis, the USTA manages wheelchair tennis in the United States, including the sanctioning of tournaments, overseeing U.S. wheelchair rankings, creating and managing a High Performance program for developing elite disabled athletes, and selecting teams to compete internationally for the United States.

Many of the competitors expected to participate in this event, as well as other of the world’s top wheelchair professionals, will also compete October 4-9 at the US Open USTA National Wheelchair Championships at the Barnes Tennis Center in San Diego, Calif.

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The USTA is the national governing body for the sport of tennis in the U.S. and is a not-for-profit organization with more than 665,000 members. It owns and operates the US Open and, in 2004, launched the US Open Series which links 10 summer tournaments to the US Open. In addition, it selects the teams for the Davis Cup, Fed Cup and the Olympic and Paralympic Games. It invests 100% of its proceeds to promote and develop the growth of tennis, from the grassroots to the professional levels. For more information on the USTA, log on to www.usta.com < http://www.usta.com > . For more information on how to learn tennis fast, visit www.tenniswelcomecenter.com .

For more information, contact:
Brendan McIntyre, Publicity Assistant, Community Tennis, USTA

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