Atlanta Open announces draws for this year’s final version of the event

Atlantic Station will host the tournament in July.
Kei Nishikori serves the ball against Taylor Fritz during a quarterfinal match at the 2023 Atlanta Tennis Open at Atlantic Station, Friday, July 28, 2023, in Atlanta. (Hyosub Shin / Hyosub.Shin@ajc.com)

Credit: HYOSUB SHIN / AJC

Credit: HYOSUB SHIN / AJC

Kei Nishikori serves the ball against Taylor Fritz during a quarterfinal match at the 2023 Atlanta Tennis Open at Atlantic Station, Friday, July 28, 2023, in Atlanta. (Hyosub Shin / Hyosub.Shin@ajc.com)

On a hot Tuesday morning, tennis fans gathered at Atlantic Station to attend media day for the Atlanta Open, which included the announcement of the tournament’s singles draws. Tournament director Peter Lebedevs kicked off the day by giving his praise to the community as the 15-year event comes to a close.

“We’ve been here in Atlanta for the last 15 years, and this will be our final version of the open,” Lebedevs said. “And we wanted to make sure that everybody realized this is a celebration of professional tennis here in Atlanta. We’ve always been doing something different over the years, and it’s been an amazing run that we’ve had.”

This year’s event will take place at Atlantic Station from July 20-28.

Assisting Lebedevs in announcing the draws was John Isner, a six-time Atlanta Open champion and former a Georgia Bulldog. Isner had some kind words for those who’ve been a part of the open’s legacy the past 15 years.

“It’s great, and support from this town and the fans with the night matches in this tournament are just so much fun to be a part of,” Isner said. “You know the sun goes down and the weather is a little bit better and the stadium is packed and is so much fun to play here. ... I thank Atlanta for everyone involved in making this event extremely special.”

One by one, Lebedevs, Isner, Atlanta City Councilman Byron Amos and four local sports mascots Freddie Falcon, Harry the Hawk, Buzz (of Georgia Tech) and the Coca-Cola Polar Bear peeled off the stickers and revealed the names to the public.

The ATP Tour 250 Event is played on a hard-court surface and will feature 28 players in the singles main draw and 16 teams in the doubles main draw. Notable names in this year’s singles draw include Atlanta native Ben Shelton, Frances Tiafoe, Jordan Thompson and Brandon Nakashima. This year’s singles draw sees heavy representation from the United States, Australia and France. For players such as Shelton and Tiafoe, this event serves as good practice as the U.S. Open approaches come August in New York.

Isner discussed Shelton, a heavy favorite for the event.

“He’s got a lot of flair and a lot of game. He’s a crazy, athletic kid, and it’s a treat to have him in Atlanta for sure,” Isner said.

Announced during Tuesday’s affair was recent Georgia Tech graduate Andres Martin who earned a wild-card spot in this year’s event, an ode to where he captured his first career ATP Tour win in 2022. Martin shared what playing in this year’s Atlanta Open means to him.

“It feels great. I’m so grateful to be here one more year. Obviously, I’ve had a lot of experience with college and playing here two years in a row already. So super good opportunity,” Martin said.

As usual, American-born players will be the fan favorites. Last year saw American Taylor Fritz defeat Australian Aleksandar Vukic 7-5, 6-7 (5), 6-4 to take home the Atlanta Open trophy. Vukic, last year’s finalist, is set to make another appearance in the event this year.

Though there are some recognizable players competing this year, some usual suspects, such as Fritz and two-time Atlanta Open champion Alex de Minaur, aren’t in this year’s edition given that the Atlanta Open coincides with the Paris Olympics.