MEMPHIS, February 6, 2016
The Memphis Open is one of the longest-running American tournaments on the ATP World Tour and the only indoor ATP event contested in the United States. The ATP 250 event celebrates its 40th anniversary this year, as tennis in Memphis officially kicked off in 1976, with a tournament won by Vijay Armitraj.
With the support of US-American youngster Tommy Paul and Frances Tiafoe, the 2016 edition started with the official draw ceremony on Fridayd night, held by ATP supervisor Tom Barnes and tournament director Erin Mazurek. Tiafoe and Paul will be joined by former junior world number one Taylor Fritz, having three teenagers in the main draw.
“I can’t thank everyone enough who was behind the scenes and gave us a wild card,” said Tiafoe, who will face his compatriot Ryan Harrison in the opening round. Both players met in the qualifying of the ATP event in Winston-Salem last year with Tiafoe winning in three sets. “I think we all have a good look at a first round win and I’m excited to play Ryan again. The first time I beat him, but everytime is different.”
The winner of the all-US-American-affair will face the tournament’s top-seed of the $693,425 event Kei Nishikori. The world number seven and Memphis’ only top-10-player receives a bye in the opening round of the 28-man-draw.
Paul, the 2015 Junior Boys French Open champion, will be making his first ATP World Tour main draw debut in Memphis taking on German veteran Benjamin Becker.
“I’m originally from the south, so I’m comfortable and super excited to be here,” Paul said. “This will be my first full calendar year of pro tennis, so hopefully this helps me make the jump.”
Fritz, who already claimed the ATP Challenger title in Happy Valley in January, will face a qualifier in the first round. The winner will take on second seed Steve Johnson.
The tournament’s number three Donald Young will play the winner of the encounter between Marcel Granollers and Malek Jaziri. Fourth seed Sam Querrey meets either Matthew Ebden or a qualifier for his opening match.