DELRAY BEACH, December 26, 2020 (Press Release)
Six-time Delray Beach Open by VITACOST.com doubles champions Bob and Mike Bryan will be joined by former singles winner Tommy Haas in the field for the tournament’s ATP Champions Tour event that will be held Jan. 4-6, at the Delray Beach Stadium & Tennis Center.
The Bryans retired last summer after playing their final ATP Tour event at the Delray Beach Open by VITACOST.com in February where they claimed the tournament title for the second year in a row. The California twins will captain Team Bryans in their ATP Champions Tour debut. They will face Team Jensens, which will be captained by brothers Luke and Murphy Jensen. The teams of Grand Slam winning siblings will square off in the final match of the Champions Tour event in Delray Beach.
“We’re excited to get back to Delray Beach,” said Bob Bryan. “We have enjoyed playing there over the years and look forward to starting this next chapter of our career where we had a successful finish to our touring days.”
Mike Bryan added, “It will be a lot of fun to be back on the court, but I’m especially looking forward to playing the Jensens. I’m sure they’ll be fired up to play us, but hopefully being some of the youngest guys on the ATP Champions Tour will be to our advantage!”
Team Bryans will also feature Wayne Ferreira, Robby Ginepri, Johan Kriek, Mark Merklein and Mikael Pernfors.
“I have no idea why the ATP Champions Tour is having the Jensen Brothers, who have never officially retired, play against a couple of retired dudes,” said Luke Jensen. “I am absolutely out of my mind pumped to get back on the court with the greatest doubles team to ever lace them up. The Bryans made old doubles dogs like us very proud in the way they moved the game forward. But I’m hoping they have forgotten how to play tennis since their retirement!”
Alongside Luke and Murphy, Team Jensens includes 2006 Delray Beach Open singles champion Tommy Haas and Jesse Levine.
There will be six matches contested over four sessions as part of the ATP Champions Tour event. The schedule, which is subject to change, is as follows:
Session 1 – Monday, Jan. 4,
6 pm: Johan Kriek & Mark Merklein vs. Luke & Murphy Jensen
Not before 8 pm: Bob & Mike Bryan vs. Tommy Haas & Jesse Levine
Session 2 – Tuesday, Jan. 5
10 am: ATP 250 Qualifying (3 matches)
Not Before 2:30 pm: Wayne Ferreira & Mikael Pernfors vs. Tommy Haas & Jesse Levine
Session 3 – Tuesday, Jan. 5
6 pm: Robby Ginepri vs. Jesse Levine
8 pm: Wayne Ferreira & Mikael Pernfors vs. Luke & Murphy Jensen
Session 4 – Wednesday, Jan. 6
11 am: ATP 250 Qualifying final round match
Not Before 12:30 pm: Wayne Ferreira vs. Tommy Haas
Not Before 2:30 pm: Bob & Mike Bryan vs. Luke & Murphy Jensen
“The ATP Champions Tour is a great way to kick off our event week while we welcome back some very familiar faces to Delray Beach,” said Tournament Director Mark Baron. “One of the unique aspects of the tournament is the opportunity to see generational battles like the Bryans playing the Jensens. We look forward to that and all the matches over the course of the event.”
The Bryans make their ATP Champions Tour debut at the site of their final ATP Tour match. The California twins announced their retirement in August after claiming their second straight and sixth overall Delray Beach Open title in February. The 10-time year-end No. 1 team on the ATP, they won a record 119 titles together. Mike is two minutes older than Bob.
The Jensens won four titles together including at the French Open in 1993. That season, the Michigan natives finished as the No. 5 duo on the ATP Tour. The best of their eight appearances at this tournament came with a run to the 1997 final when the event was held in Coral Springs. Luke is two years older than Murphy.
During their ATP careers, the sets of brothers only faced each other one time, with the Bryans prevailing 7-6(7), 6-3 in the 2002 Cincinnati first round.
Ferreira won 15 singles and 11 doubles titles during his career while finishing in the singles Top 10 in back-to-back seasons. He was the first Olympic medalist from South Africa in 32 years when he won the silver in doubles at the 1992 Barcelona Games. He is making his third ATP Champions Tour appearance in Delray Beach.
Ginepri won three titles during his career. His best season came in 2005 when he reached the quarterfinals or better at seven events, including a run to the US Open semifinals while winning a career-best 37 matches. Making his ATP Champions Tour debut, he has played Delray Beach five times previously, having reached the semifinals in 2008.
Haas was the 2006 singles champion in Delray Beach. After nine appearances in the ATP 250 tournament, he will be playing the ATP Champions Tour event for the third time, having been a member of the winning team in each of the past two years. A 15-time winner on the ATP Tour, Haas was ranked as high as No. 2 during his career.
Kriek is making his fourth ATP Champions Tour stop in Delray Beach. The winner of 14 career singles titles, he was a two-time Australian Open winner. He reached a career high ranking of No. 7. Kriek was also a winner eight times in doubles during his ATP career.
Levine is now a local resident, serving as Tennis Director at Boca Bridges. A four-time participant in the Delray Beach ATP event, he will be playing his fourth straight ATP Champions Tour tournament here. The Canadian won five Challenger titles during his career.
Merklein was a two-time national champion at the University of Florida, winning the doubles title in 1993 before claiming singles in 1994. He reached the doubles quarterfinals for his native Bahamas at the 2000 Sydney Olympics. In 1998, he reached the doubles final at Delray Beach, the best of his eight appearances here.
Pernfors returns for his sixth ATP Champions Tour appearance in Delray Beach. The winner of back-to-back NCAA singles titles, he also helped the University of Georgia to the 1985 team title. As a pro, he won three titles and reached the finals at the French Open while achieving a career high ranking of No. 10.
Originally scheduled for February, the 2021 Delray Beach Open by VITACOST.com will feature ATP Champions Tour matches running concurrently with ATP 250 qualifying matches on Jan. 5-6. The main draw for the ATP 250 tournament, which will feature 28 players in singles and 16 teams in doubles, will begin Thursday, Jan. 7 with two sessions each day until the finals are contested during a single session on Wednesday, Jan. 13.
All tickets for the “Physically Distanced, Forever Social” event at the historic downtown tennis center are on sale now at www.yellowtennisball.com or by phone at +1 561-330-6000. In order to accommodate spacious conditions in the stadium and throughout the venue, attendance for each session at the 2021 tournament will be capped at 2,000 people, just under 25 percent of the outdoor stadium’s total capacity.
Fans who act quickly can take advantage of a special Holiday Sale on tickets if purchasing before midnight on Dec. 31. Using the promo code CHAMPION, a discount of 30% will be applied to individual box and reserved seats for Sessions 1-4 (ATP Champions Tour matches). For discounted tickets to see the ATP 250 matches, fans can use the code JINGLE to get 10% off individual box seats for Sessions 5-14 (excluding Session 8), while the code BELLS will provide a 20% discount on individual reserved seats for Sessions 5-14 (excluding Session 8).
Last year, Delray Beach resident Reilly Opelka served a tournament record 99 aces during the week in which he won his second career ATP Tour title while the Bryans repeated as doubles champions. In the opening weekend’s ATP Champions Tour matches, Team Europe, led by Haas and David Ferrer, earned a 5-2 win over the James Blake-led Team World.