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Mardy Fish to Defend BB&T Atlanta Open Title - Wednesday, June 13, 2012

TREMENDOUS FIELD INCLUDES TOP FOUR AMERICANS ON TOUR AND
MORE THAN 20 OF THE TOP 100 PLAYERS IN THE WORLD

ATLANTA, June 11, 2012 – BB&T Atlanta Open two-time champion and world No. 12 Mardy Fish has committed to defend his title at the tournament this year, the BB&T Atlanta Open announced today. Fish will have a chance to renew his Atlanta rivalry with world No. 10 John Isner, who lost both previous finals to Fish.

The BB&T Atlanta Open will be held at Atlantic Station July 14-22 and is the first men’s event in the Emirates Airline US Open Series.

Additional U.S. players committed include Andy Roddick, Ryan Harrison, James Blake and Jack Sock. On the international side, the current entries include world No. 18 Kei Nishikori, world No. 30 Kevin Anderson, Denis Istomin, Gilles Muller, Go Soeda, Yen-Hsun Lu, Leonardo Mayer, Lukas Lacko, Tatsuma Ito, Matthew Ebden and Xavier Malisse all currently in the world top 80. "This is the strongest field we’ve had since the ATP World Tour returned to Atlanta,” said Tournament Director Bob Bryant. "With the Olympics just following the BB&T Atlanta Open, we’ve had a great turnout of future Olympians headlined by the best of the U.S.”

Fish, who last competed at the U.S. Men’s Clay Court Champions in Houston in April, is currently recovering following a procedure to address a heart condition. He is slated to return to competition in late June, a month before the BB&T Atlanta Open. Fish rose to the top of American tennis last year following his victory in Atlanta—which propelled him to the 2011 Emirates Airline US Open Series crown—alongside career titles in Houston, Stockholm, Newport and Delray Beach.

"Atlanta has become a home away from home for me,” said Fish. "The possibility of being a three-time champion in one of the greatest tennis cities in America is something really special. I’m also excited to see the new tournament site and play tennis in the heart of the city.”

World No. 52 Harrison reached the Atlanta semifinals last year and is considered one of the top young Americans on tour. Blake, 32, has been a mainstay of the U.S. tennis scene for a decade, reaching world No. 4 and winning 10 titles.Weeklong tickets and individual tickets are on sale now at www.BBTAtlantaOpen.com and through our Facebook page, www.facebook.com/ATChampionships.

About the BB&T Atlanta Open

Mardy Fish defeated John Isner in 2010 and 2011 to win the first two singles finals when the tournament was called the Atlanta Tennis Championships. Other top competitors included Andy Roddick, Lleyton Hewitt, James Blake and Robby Ginepri, of Marietta, Ga. More than 72,000 spectators attended the tournament that offers $531,000 in prize money annually. Atlantic Station signed a multi-year deal to host the tournament starting in 2012. The 2012 Tournament is expected to provide an economic impact of $10.3 million to the city of Atlanta, according to the Atlanta Convention & Visitors Bureau. The ATP World Tour formally awarded the ATP 250 sanction to the USTA Southern Section in December 2009.

Visit us on www.bbtatlantaopen.com, www.facebook.com/ATChampionships and twitter.com/BBTAtlantaOpen.

About BB&T

BB&T Corporation (NYSE: BBT) is one of the largest financial services holding companies in the U.S. with $174.8 billion in assets and market capitalization of $21.9 billion, as of March 31, 2012. Based in Winston-Salem, N.C., the company operates approximately 1,800 financial centers in 12 states and Washington, D.C., and offers a full range of consumer and commercial banking, securities brokerage, asset management, mortgage and insurance products and services. A Fortune 500 company, BB&T is consistently recognized for outstanding client satisfaction by J.D. Power and Associates, the U.S. Small Business Administration, Greenwich Associates and others. More information about BB&T and its full line of products and services is available at www.BBT.com.

About the Emirates Airline US Open Series

Now in its ninth season, the Emirates Airline US Open Series continues to serve as a true regular season of hard court tennis, linking 10 summer tournaments to the US Open. Fans follow the action throughout the summer during national broadcast coverage while players battle for $40 million, including a chance for bonus prize money at the US Open. The Series collectively reached a U.S. television audience of 39 million and drew more than 800,000 on-site fans in 2011. In 2012, Emirates Airline became the title sponsor of the Series, as well as the official airline of the US Open. The Emirates Airline US Open Series is also supported by sponsors American Express, Chase, Citizen Watch Company, Esurance, evian and Gatorade.

Americans Mardy Fish and Serena Williams swept the 2011 Emirates Airline US Open Series men’s and women’s titles. In 2007, Roger Federer collected the biggest paycheck in tennis history – $2.4 million – for winning the US Open and the Emirates Airline US Open Series. In 2005, Kim Clijsters also captured both the US Open and the Series, winning $2.2 million – the largest purse in women’s sports history – and equaled that amount in 2010, winning the US Open and finishing the Emirates Airline US Open Series in second place.

About the ATP

The ATP is the governing body of the men's professional tennis circuits - the ATP World Tour, the ATP Challenger Tour and the ATP Champions Tour. With 62 tournaments in 31 countries, the ATP World Tour showcases the finest male athletes competing in the world’s most exciting venues. From Australia to Europe and the Americas to Asia, the stars of the ATP World Tour battle for prestigious titles and South African Airways ATP Rankings points at ATP World Tour Masters 1000, 500 and 250 events, as well as Grand Slams (non ATP events). At the end of the season only the world’s top 8 ranked men’s singles players and top 8 doubles teams, based on their performance throughout the year, will qualify to compete for the last title of the season at the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals. Held at The O2 in London, the event will officially crown the 2012 ATP World Tour No.1 in singles and doubles. For more information, please visit www.ATPWorldTour.com.

About USTA Southern

The USTA is divided into 17 sections, of which USTA Southern is the largest. The 187,000+ USTA members living in Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee make up USTA Southern, and account for approximately 25 percent of the total USTA membership. The section owns and operates the BB&T Atlanta Open, an ATP World Tour 250 tournament. A professional staff housed in Norcross, Ga., carries out USTA Southern’s daily operations, but policy is formed and much of the organization’s work is executed via a board and committee structure of over 200 volunteers. For more information about the types of programs and services offered by USTA Southern, visit www.southerntennis.com.

About Atlantic Station
A national example for sustainable mixed-use communities, Atlantic Station (www.atlanticstation.com) transformed an abandoned industrial site into a thriving entertainment district at the heart of Atlanta’s vibrant Midtown neighborhood. Opened in 2005, Atlantic Station is home to some of Atlanta’s most popular restaurants, retailers such as H&M and Dillard’s and leading employers such as Wells Fargo and BB&T. Atlantic Station each year hosts dozens of community gatherings, charity walks and neighborhood forums. Susan G. Komen Atlanta Race for the Cure and other events at Atlantic Station have raised more than $50 million for Atlanta charities since 2005. A national leader in consumer engagement and technology, Atlantic Station has the No. 6 most followed Twitter feed among U.S. retail centers.



 

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