Memphis Open Presented by ServiceMaster Announces Developments for 40th Anniversary February 6-14, 2016

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Major announcements include: tickets available 10 a.m. Wednesday, October 28 at memphisopen.com; Bryan brothers commit; Reilly Opelka commits to multi-year agreement; Road to World Tennis Day starts in Memphis with Advantage St. Jude Ball Kid Program; expanded ticketing options and experiential elements added to help bring back the love; and new owners, GF Sports, offer years of tennis experience and industry connections

Josh Ripple, Executive Vice President, GF Sports; Reilly Opelka; Erin Mazurek, Tournament Director, Memphis Open; Jerry Solomon, President, GF Sports announce Memphis Open 40th Anniversary

Josh Ripple, Executive Vice President, GF Sports; Reilly Opelka; Erin Mazurek, Tournament Director, Memphis Open; Jerry Solomon, President, GF Sports announce Memphis Open 40th Anniversary

"We are dedicated to bringing back the love to the Memphis Open presented by ServiceMaster, and I am personally excited over revitalizing and returning this tournament to its glory days,” said GF Sports President, Jerry Solomon.

GF Sports, an affiliate of GF Capital Private Equity Fund, new owner and operator of the Memphis Open presented by ServiceMaster, today announced a number of developments planned to help bring back the love for the Memphis Open presented by ServiceMaster and to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Memphis Open at the Racquet Club of Memphis, February 6-14, 2016. Tickets for the Memphis Open presented by ServiceMaster will be available at http://www.memphisopen.com beginning Wednesday, October 28 at 10 a.m.

“We are dedicated to bringing back the love to the Memphis Open presented by ServiceMaster, and I am personally excited over revitalizing and returning this tournament to its glory days,” said GF Sports President, Jerry Solomon.

Developments announced include: commitment by the No. 1 ranked ATP Tour doubles team the, Bryan Brothers; Wimbledon Junior Champion, Reilly Opelka commits to multi-year agreement with Memphis Open; the Road to World Tennis Day starts in Memphis with Advantage St. Jude Ball Kid Program; expanded ticketing options and experiential elements added to help bring back the love; and new owners GF Sports and top executives offer years of tennis and sports event experience and beneficial relationships.

“Today, we outline to Memphians and the region our plans to reinvigorate one of tennis’ greatest winter traditions in the United States here at the Racquet Club of Memphis,” said Erin Mazurek, Memphis Open Tournament Director. “The energy and excitement over the Memphis Open presented by ServiceMaster has dramatically increased in light of the innovation and enthusiasm being brought to the event by our new ownership team at GF Sports. Their deep knowledge and history of this tournament combined with their leverage within the tennis community has immediately impacted the scope of everything we are doing. We are bringing back the love!”

Announcements in Detail

Bryan Brothers Commit

  •     The No. 1 ranked ATP tour doubles team; the Bryan Brothers commit to compete at the Memphis Open presented by ServiceMaster. The Bryan Brothers have amassed an incredible 106 tournament titles, including 16 Grand Slam wins, and will compete in Memphis for what may be the last time in their illustrious, professional career

"I am looking forward to coming back to Memphis where some of the greatest players of all time have won the event. If we can win it for a fourth time, we will join the Woodies as the only players to do that which would be quite an accomplishment," said Bob Bryan.

"Memphis has always been one of our favorite tournaments because of the unique blend of tennis, food and music. It will be great to come back to the Racquet Club where there has been so much tennis history written," said Mike Bryan.

Reilly Opelka has committed to multi-year agreement with Memphis Open presented by ServiceMaster

  •     America’s Wimbledon Junior Champion, Reilly Opelka commits to multi-year agreement with the Memphis Open presented by ServiceMaster. The 6-foot-11-inch tall Opelka represents the new generation of American talent and he will include Memphis as part of his schedule through 2018. Opelka will also visit youth at Memphis-area tennis clubs and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital® later today.

"I am honored to be asked to come to the Memphis Open presented by ServiceMaster to play where there is so much history and all the great American players have won,” said Reilly Opelka. “It is exciting to have a chance to play on the same court where legends like Connors, McEnroe, Agassi, Sampras, Chang and Roddick have played."

The 2016 Road to World Tennis Day starts in Memphis with Advantage St. Jude Ball Kid Program

  •     The Road to World Tennis Day, a GF Sports international tennis platform, will begin at the 2016 Memphis Open presented by ServiceMaster with the Advantage St. Jude Ball Kid Program. Kids 12 and over will have the chance to apply and audition for ball kid spots, then selected youth will engage in a peer-to-peer fundraising opportunity for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. The top 10 fundraisers each earn prizes with the top two winning the grand prize – an opportunity to ball kid at the 2016 BNP Paribas Showdown on Tuesday, March 8 at Madison Square Garden. The ninth annual event will include Serena Williams, Caroline Wozniacki, Stan Wawrinka, and Gael Monfils.

Originally debuting as Tennis Night in America in 2008, what is known now as World Tennis Day began as a unique social tennis experiment created to celebrate the sport of tennis on one-day across the United States. An astonishing 2200 tennis facilities participated in various USTA program sign-ups, social outings, and special viewing parties for the BNP Paribas Showdown at Madison Square Garden. The program quickly expanded beyond the U.S. and in 2013 World Tennis Day premiered, showcasing professional and grassroots tennis activities in over 95 countries.

Daily match schedule revised giving more fans more access

  •     A revised and condensed daily match schedule allows for everyone to get connected to the great competition of the Memphis Open presented by ServiceMaster with 2 sessions daily. Day sessions are now shifted to later in the afternoon, starting at 3 p.m., to make tennis more accessible to more fans and better accommodate both work and school schedules.

Ticket options increase with ticket prices as low as ever

  •     Ticket prices remain a good value to enjoy the phenomenal action of this ATP World Tour stop. Upper level tickets are priced from $10 to $50 as the rounds advance. The Memphis Open is introducing new inventory of seating options, including an opportunity for fans to purchase tickets as close to the floor as possible without buying box seats, a special school zone has been added, and a new court side champagne table section has been added.

Experiential elements add variety

  •     Experiential elements such as live music, culinary offerings, interactive sponsor and fan activation areas, and other promotions and special events return, providing fans with the opportunity to experience lifestyle activities with world-class tennis action.

GF Sports is the new owner and operator of the Memphis Open presented by ServiceMaster

  •     GF Sports, the owner and operator of the Memphis Open presented by ServiceMaster, was formed by the New York-based financial management company GF Capital Private Equity Fund, and its founder Gary Furhman with StarGames, the Lynnfield, Massachusetts-based sports marketing agency led by long-time sports executive, Jerry Solomon. GF Sports President, Solomon is joined by Josh Ripple, Executive Vice President of GF Sports and Tournament Chairman of the Memphis Open presented by ServiceMaster. Ripple most recently served as COO of the Life is Beautiful Festival in Las Vegas, Nevada and is a former president and COO of the WTA Tour.

“Jerry and I have personal relationships and fond memories with the tournament because over the years we either represented many of its champions including: Ivan Lendl, Jimmy Connors, Michael Chang, and Brad Gilbert; represented the tournament’s television rights; or helped past ownership market and sell sponsorships,” said Josh Ripple, Executive Vice President of GF Sports. “Further, Memphis leaders such as Kevin Kane, Bruce Hopkins, Jeremy Park and 15 other community leaders who are Courtside Club members are motivated to help Erin and our tournament staff. With all this collaboration and the support of the Racquet Club of Memphis, we guarantee that our fans, sponsors, and players will experience the new Memphis Open presented by ServiceMaster both on-and-off the court like never before.”

About Memphis Open Presented By ServiceMaster
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 is celebrating its 40th anniversary at the Racquet Club of Memphis in 2016.

Men’s champions have included a “Who’s Who” of the tennis world: Andre Agassi, Jimmy Connors, Jim Courier, Stefan Edberg, Ivan Lendl, John McEnroe, Andy Roddick and Pete Sampras. Doubles champions include three of the greatest tandems of the Open era: Bob and Mike Bryan, Ken Flach and Robert Seguso, and Todd Woodbridge and Mark Woodforde, among others.

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