Delray Beach Open Carl Foster9 Jan 2014no commentsStarting back in 1993 as the Red Clay Championships in Plantation, Florida, the Delray Beach Open is the only event in the world to host the ATP Champions Tour event and the ATP World Tour event in the same venue the same week February 14-23, 2014.Mark Baron, tournament founder and director, has made changes to the structure of its five-year-old ATP Champions Tour event, rebranding it as the ATP Champions Cup and adopting a format similar to the Davis Cup competition.Featuring former world No. 1 Andy Roddick among a field of six players, the event will be held February 14-16 at the Delray Beach Stadium and Tennis Center. Under the new format, all ATP Champions Cup matches will pit an American against an international player. The team that wins best of the nine matches will host the Delray Beach’s inaugural ATP Champions Cup.South Florida resident and former #6 in the world, Aaron Krickstein and former Delray Beach ITC Champ, Jan-Michael Gambill will join Roddick for Team USA while former No 1 from Sweden, Mats Wilander will join teammates Mikael Pernfors and 2001 Wimbledon Champion, Goran Ivanisevic of Croatia. The grand finale on Sunday, Feb. 16 will pit Andy Roddick against Goran Ivanisevic at 3:00 p.m.Roddick returns to site of his first ever professional event Roddick will be playing in his first ATP Champions Tour event, returning to the site where he played his first ATP professional match as an 18-year old. The former Boca Raton resident will meet eight-time Grand Slam champion, Wilander in the first match opening night February 14 at 6:30 p.m.“Because all ATP Champions Cup matches are scheduled, fans can pick which matchups and player they want to see,” said tournament director Mark Baron. “The highlight will be our “Super Sunday” session when all six players will be in action. Every match counts and national pride will be on the line.”Highest ranked draw headlines ATP World Tour event The ATP World Tour event (Feb. 17-23, 2014) has already announced the highest ranked draw in its 22 year history and 16th year in Delray Beach. The field will include two time Delray Beach semifinalist John Isner, former Delray Beach champions Lleyton Hewittt (1999), Tommy Haas (2006), Kei Nishikori (2008) and Kevin Anderson of South Africa (2012), Delray Beach finalist Janko Tipsarevic (2012) and former Top 10 players Marin Cilic and Marco Baghdatis. The world No. 1 Bryan Brothers, Bob and Mike, highlight the doubles field.The keystone event for the city of Delray Beach each year, the Delray Beach Open’s weekly attendance has doubled to more than 60,000 spectators during its first 15 years in Delray Beach thanks to the addition of the ATP Champions Tour tournament in 2010 that has created this one of a kind combination event. Each year, this event attracts thousands of visitors to Delray and to Palm Beach County.Award winning tournament boosts South Florida economy In 2010, the tournament received the Palm Beach County Convention and Visitors Bureau annual Providencia Award for its extraordinary contribution to tourism, and the City of Delray Beach was a finalist for the USTA’s “Best Tennis Town” Award as well. The tournament was also honored in 2003 with the “ATP Award of Excellence.”In 2014, the Delray Beach Open’s reach will grow to 40 plus hours of live domestic HD TV coverage domestically and 52 hours of live international coverage over the seven days.I’ve personally had the privilege to be the official voice as the PA Announcer for all 16 years in Delray Beach and watch the event grow bringing the world’s top tennis players to South Florida.The management team of Mark Baron, founder and tournament director, former No 1 Junior tennis player in the world, Ivan Baron, Tournament Chairman, along with Director of Operations, John Butler and Sponsor Relations and Ticket Manager, Bryan McConnell, provide a first class, professional tennis and entertainment event with live bands and music, the exciting VolleyGirls dance team started by Marlena Hall, and courtyard contests and promotions daily.Senior Days, Ladies Day luncheons, Pro-Ams and sponsored nightly entertainment make for a great day or evening for the entire family. There’s even the Best Seats in the House allowing you to sit right on the stadium court watching those 130 mile per hour serves go blasting by.To reserve your seats and schedules, just log on to yellowtennisball.com.Are you planning on attending this event? Email us at [email protected] and let us know. We would love to shake your hand and say hello!Carl Foster is the host of The Good Sports Magazine Show airing every Monday from 6-7pm on GraceNetRadio.com as well as marketing executive with the Good News of Florida and Blackstone Media Group. To contact him, please email him at [email protected]Leave a ReplyClick here to cancel reply.You must be logged in to post a comment.