· Tournament to be held at a state-of-the-art tennis complex centrally located to tennis fans in the Louisville and Southern Indiana area
· Event is supported by a strong group of local investors including the Louisville Professional Tennis LLC and the City of Louisville
· Tournament has strong support from American players including Irina Falconi and Shelby Rogers
ST. PETERSBURG, FL, USA – The Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) today announced that the WTA Board of Directors has approved a new hard court WTA International event in Louisville, KY, USA starting in 2016.
Stacey Allaster, WTA Chairman & CEO said: “We are very excited to welcome this new event to Louisville, a city with a rich sports tradition and supportive tennis community. This is a great opportunity for fans in the United States and around the world to experience world-class hard court tennis and Louisville will be a fantastic addition to the WTA summer schedule in North America. Thanks to the WTA Board of Directors, Louisville Pro Tennis LLC, the City of Louisville and the State of Kentucky for helping this event come to fruition.”
Michael Bewley, Managing Member of Louisville Professional Tennis, LLC said: “Louisville Professional Tennis is so excited about the opportunity that the world's premier women's professional sports organization, the WTA, has afforded us. Louisville being an event city accustomed to hosting large week-long events and festivals, another event like the $250,000 Louisville International Open staged at the end of the summer will provide Louisville residents another chance to act out its familiar motto, ‘Louisville isn’t just a place to live, it’s a place to really live.”
Whitney Collins Thompson, Tournament Director for the new event said: "It is has been my lifelong dream to bring a professional women's tennis tournament to my hometown, Louisville, Kentucky. My vision for this event is to bring world class tennis competition as well as unparalleled entertaining experience to the entire community.”
Louisville has a rich sporting tradition, hosting major events including the Kentucky Derby and the PGA Championships and a strong athletic program at The University of Louisville. The tournament has garnered significant support from the local community and WTA family, including American Top 100 players Irina Falconi and Shelby Rogers.
Greg Fischer, Louisville Mayor said: "Our city looks forward to welcoming the Women's Tennis Association--and watching the great athletes who will compete in Louisville. We have a strong tennis tradition in our city and this tournament will put a spotlight on it.”
American WTA Top 100 player Irina Falconi said: “I’m super excited that professional women’s tennis is coming to my home Louisville, Kentucky. I would like to give a special thanks to Mike Bewley and Louisville Professional Tennis for making this all happen. I hope that we get a bunch of fans to come out and support all of the women that are going to be playing in this event.”
American WTA Rising Star Shelby Rogers said: “I’m so excited there is going to be a new WTA tournament in Louisville, Kentucky. It’s an amazing city and the fans are incredible. I hope everyone comes out to watch us play!”