Samantha Crawford Wins Girls Junior Championship

FLUSHING, N.Y., September 9, 2012 – The United States Tennis Association (USTA) today announced that American Samantha Crawford of Atlanta, Ga., captured the 2012 US Open Girls’ Junior Championship with a 7-5, 6-3 victory over No. 12 seed Anett Kontaveit of Estonia at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on Sunday. Crawford, who currently trains at the USTA National Training Center in Boca Raton, Fla., is the second consecutive American to win the US Open Junior Girls’ title, and the third in the past five years.

“We are extremely proud of Sam and the total team effort of her family, coach Kathy Rinaldi and the entire USTA Player Development team Boca Raton,” said USTA General Manager, Player Development Patrick McEnroe.

Crawford follows Grace Min, in 2011, and CoCo Vandeweghe, in 2008, as Americans to win US Open Junior titles in the last five years. Crawford’s victory also completes an American sweep of the 2012 US Open Junior Girls’ titles after Taylor Townsend, of Jonesboro, Ga., and Gabrielle Andrews, of Pomona, Calif., won the doubles championship on Saturday.

Crawford, a 17-year-old wild card in the 2012 US Open Junior Championship, defeated five of the Top 12 seeds to win her first major girls’ singles title and cap an impressive summer. Crawford, as a wild card, qualified for the US Open singles main draw and took Great Britain’s Laura Robson to a second-set tiebreak in the first round. She also played in the US Open women’s doubles and mixed doubles main draws, earning a wild card entry into the former after winning the USTA Girls’ 18s Nationals doubles title with partner Allie Kiick, of Plantation, Fla.

Crawford was playing in just her fifth ITF world junior circuit event of the year. Prior to the US Open, she played in two USTA Pro Circuit $50,000 events in 2012, reaching the final in Yakima, Wash., and the semifinal in Sacramento.

US Open and Levy Restaurants Donate 21,000 Pounds of Food to City Harvest

New York, NY – Sept. 14, 2010 — The United States Tennis Association (USTA) and Levy Restaurants, the official restaurateur of the US Open, teamed up to donate more than 21,000 pounds of unused food to City Harvest following the 2010 US Open.

City Harvest, the world’s first food rescue organization, is dedicated to feeding New York City’s hungry men, women, and children. In the week following the US Open, City Harvest delivered rescued food to soup kitchens and food pantries across the five boroughs.

“The USTA is focused on being a responsible member of the greater New York City community,” said Danny Zausner, Managing Director, USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center.  “This commitment includes reducing the environmental footprint of the US Open and providing for others in need.  Donating unused food from the US Open, in coordination with our partner, Levy Restaurants, is a great way to help City Harvest feed our neighbors in the five boroughs.”

“We are very thankful to the USTA and Levy Restaurants and for this generous donation,” said Jilly Stephens, Executive Director at City Harvest.  “Our long-standing partnership with the US Open demonstrates their commitment to helping us feed hungry New Yorkers,” she added.

Led by Executive Chef Michael Lockard, Levy Restaurants utilized a 250-person culinary team to serve the crowd of more than 700,000 at the US Open Aug. 30 – Sept. 12. Fans had dining options at five restaurants, 60 concession stands and 100 suites on the grounds. Creating a more eco-friendly sports experience, the USTA and Levy Restaurants introduced many new green initiatives this year, including composting of kitchen waste and sourcing of more than 10 percent of all produce from local and regional farms.

Donated food items included: bread, grains, fresh and frozen produce, seafood, dairy, juices and more. Four truckloads of food were picked up by City Harvest in the days following the US Open’s conclusion. The Bethesda Missionary Baptist Church in Jamaica, Queens received lettuce, celery, yogurt, bread, and milk; Five Loaves and Two Fishes in Brooklyn received hamburgers, rolls, salads, peppers, cucumbers and cheeses; Community Food Pantry of Highbridge in the Bronx received a variety of dairy products including cream, milk, and cheese, frozen vegetables, fresh produce and herbs. Additional locations receiving donations included the Hope Line Resource Center in the Bronx and Child Development Support Corporation in Brooklyn.

City Harvest has collected food donations from the US Open for more than 10 years and from Levy Restaurants for the last three years.  City Harvest has collected more than 270,000 pounds of food from the US Open since 1998.

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About USTA

The USTA is the national governing body for the sport of tennis in the U.S. and the leader in promoting and developing the growth of tennis at every level — from local communities to the highest level of the professional game.  A not-for-profit organization with nearly 750,000 members, it invests 100% of its proceeds in growing the game.  It owns and operates the US Open, and launched the Olympus US Open Series linking 10 summer tournaments to the US Open.  In addition, it owns the 90-plus Pro Circuit events throughout the U.S., is a minority owner and promotional partner of World TeamTennis, and selects the teams for the Davis Cup, Fed Cup, Olympic and Paralympic Games.  USTA Serves, the National Charitable Foundation of the USTA, provides financial support for disadvantaged youth and people with disabilities through tennis and education programs.  For more information on the USTA, log on to usta.com.

About City Harvest

Now serving New York City for more than 25 years, City Harvest (www.CityHarvest.org) is the world’s first food rescue organization, dedicated to feeding the city’s hungry men, women, and children. This year, City Harvest will collect more than 25 million pounds of excess food from all segments of the food industry, including restaurants, grocers, corporate cafeterias, manufacturers, and farms. This food is then delivered free of charge to nearly 600 community food programs using a fleet of trucks and bikes as well as volunteers on foot. Each week, City Harvest helps over 260,000 hungry New Yorkers find their next meal.

About Levy Restaurants

Levy Restaurants, founded in Chicago in 1978, is recognized as one of America’s fastest growing and most critically acclaimed restaurant companies, and is the leader in premium sports and entertainment dining concessions. Levy was recently named one of the 10 most innovative companies in sports in the world by Fast Company magazine. The company’s diverse portfolio includes award-winning restaurants such as James Beard-winning Spiaggia and Bistro 110 in Chicago, Fulton’s Crab House, Portobello and Wolfgang Puck Grand Café at Walt Disney World Resort, renowned sports and entertainment venues like Lambeau Field in Green Bay, STAPLES Center in Los Angeles, and American Airlines Arena in Miami, and events including the Super Bowl, World Series, Kentucky Derby, NHL and NBA All-Star Games and the Grammy Awards. For details, visit www.levyrestaurants.com.

Zvonareva Goes To Finals After Darkening Sunshine

FLUSHING MEADOWS, NY – It was fitting the clouds started to cover the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center after Vera Zvonareva whisked Caroline Wozniacki out of the tournament, because Sunshine set.

The Russian’s 6-4 6-3 win over the No. 1 seed raised a few eyebrows – especially the CBS executives who wanted to see the rising star in the finals – but it didn’t surprise the hardcore tennis fans, who saw Zvonareva lost to Serena Williams in the Wimbledon finals. Much like Wozniacki, she is also a rising star, who went from the 21st seed at Roland Garros to No. 7 here in Flushing.

“I always believe in myself,” Zvonareva said.  “I always believe I can beat anyone on the other side of the net if I’m able to play my best tennis.  There is nothing really changed for me, you know.  I know I’m not gonna play perfect tennis all the time, like most of the players, but that’s what we all trying to do.

“I know if I’m doing it, if I’m playing well, I can beat anyone.”

Today she proved just that. Controlling the match from the outset, the 26 year-old was able to break and then hold Wozniacki during the third game of the first set to easily cruse to a 6-4 win.  Zvonareva was able to control the match from the baseline, putting her younger opponent on heels, running from side to side, trying to track down balls.

“I think it’s the same probably as the previous match, very similar,” Zvonareva said. “It’s the right balance between being patient and being aggressive.  You know, with those windy conditions you have to play sometimes ugly, you know.  You don’t have to expect to play your best tennis.”

“That’s what I did well.  I was not expecting to play my best tennis, but, you know, I was trying to be patient when I needed, and step up when I got the chance.”

She got chances also early in the she when she went up a break, but Wozniacki broke back to show some fight. Yet, that game was the last the Pilot Pen winner won, as Zvonareva was able to break back and then serve for the win.

“She played a really good game, definitely,” Wozniacki said.  “You know, she was not missing a lot.  She was going for her shots.  Most things were going in.  You know, I had chances, and I don’t know, I made some mistakes today that I usually don’t do.

“Yeah, it was a tough day for me in the office, and unfortunately it was today.  That’s the way tennis is sometimes.”

Now Zvonareva will look for her first Grand Slam win by taking on Kim Clijsters tomorrow night. It will be a very interesting matchup as Clijsters is undefeated in Flushing Meadows since her comeback last year and leads the head to head matchup 5-2, but the two losses came this year. One at Wimbledon and then later this summer in Montreal.

“Any match with Kim will come down to the tough challenge, you know,” Zvonareva said.  “She’s a great mover on the court.  She has a lot of experience.  She won here last year.  You know, it’s going to be tough.  You know, we played a couple of matches for the past couple of months, but those matches are in the past.

“I will think about what worked the best for me, and I will try to take it with me tomorrow, and, you know, do it again.  Those things that didn’t work well for me, I tried to avoid them.  That’s it.”

And as for Wozniacki, it’s back to the drawing board for her Grand Slam, but as Annie once sung, “The sun will come out tomorrow.”

That means Sunshine as well.

Jan Kodes Hosts Book signings During Open

1971, 1973 US Open Finalist To Sign Copies of “JAN KODES: A JOURNEY TO GLORY FROM BEHIND THE IRON CURTAIN” at US Open Bookstore and Czech Restaurant “Café Prague” During 2010 US Open

Coffee Table Book Provides Narrative and Illustrated History of Czech Tennis

NEW YORK – Former Wimbledon champion and two-time U.S. Open finalist Jan Kodes of the Czech Republic will host two additional signings for his new book “JAN KODES: A JOURNEY TO GLORY FROM BEHIND THE IRON CURTAIN” during the 2010 US Open.

Kodes will host a signing on Sunday, September 5 at 5 pm at the US Open Bookstore on site at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. Kodes will also sign copies of his book at Café Prague, an authentic Czech coffee house in mid-town Manhattan at 2 West 19th Street at Fifth Avenue on Friday, September 10 at 3 pm. Kodes hosted his first book signing at the US Open bookstore on Thursday.

The coffee table book, originally published in Czech, provides a narrative and illustrated history of Czech tennis through the eyes of Kodes and author Peter Kolar. The book, filled with hundreds of unique and personal photographs, documents the successful journey of Kodes from political turmoil of the Cold War to international tennis fame, detailing the early days of darkness and family persecution in communist Czechoslovakia and the complexities of becoming a professional tennis player under a totalitarian regime. Entertaining anecdotes featuring Czech tennis legends Ivan Lendl and Martina Navratilova are also featured as well as the stories behind Kodes’ victories at Wimbledon and the French Open and his two runner-up finishes at the U.S. Open.

“I am very pleased that this book is now available in English so fans outside of the Czech Republic can learn about my story and some history of tennis in my country,” said Kodes. “I am happy to share stories of my triumphs and failures as well as stories about Martina Navratilova, Ivan Lendl and other Czech tennis greats.”

“JAN KODES: A JOURNEY TO GLORY FROM BEHIND THE IRON CURTAIN” is available for $49.95 in bookstores and retail outlets across the United States and Canada. It is a deluxe glossy photo and text hard cover that fills 548 pages.

Kodes is considered the most under-rated tennis champion of the Open Era, reaching five major singles finals, winning the French Open in 1970 and 1971 and the men’s singles title at Wimbledon in 1973. He also reached the U.S. Open final in both 1971 and 1973, losing to Stan Smith and John Newcombe, respectively. Kodes played Davis Cup for Czechoslovakia for 15 years, leading his country to the final in 1975, where it lost to Sweden in Stockholm. His Davis Cup finale came in representing the team in 1980 when it won the championship over Italy in the final. Kodes has served as his country’s Davis Cup captain, president of the Czech Tennis Association, and tournament director of ATP Czech Open tournament.

“I believe that, in his time, Jan was one of the best players in the world,” said five-time Wimbledon champion Bjorn Borg. “He earned his place in tennis history as a great champion.”

Peter Kolar is a Czech writer, who has written for Basket, Sports Plus, and Xantypa. He is the author of several Czech books profiling the NBA, the Winter Olympics, and three-time world decathlon champion, Tomas Dvorak.

“JAN KODES: A JOURNEY TO GLORY FROM BEHIND THE IRON CURTAIN” is published by New Chapter Press – also the publisher of The Roger Federer Story, Quest for Perfection by Rene Stauffer, The Bud Collins History of Tennis by Bud Collins, The Education of a Tennis Player by Rod Laver with Bud Collins, Acing Depression: A Tennis Champion’s Toughest Match, by Cliff Richey with Hilaire Richey Kallendorf, Tennis Made Easy by Kelly Gunterman, Boycott: Stolen Dreams of the 1980 Moscow Olympic Games by Tom Caraccioli and Jerry Caraccioli, The Lennon Prophecy by Joe Niezgoda, Bone Appetit, Gourmet Cooking For Your Dog by Susan Anson, The Rules of Neighborhood Poker According to Hoyle by Stewart Wolpin, People’s Choice Cancun – Travel Survey Guidebook by Eric Rabinowitz and Weekend Warriors: The Men of Professional Lacrosse by Jack McDermott, among others. Founded in 1987, New Chapter Press is an independent publisher of books and part of the Independent Publishers Group. More information can be found at www.NewChapterMedia.com.

USTA Announces Green Initiatives

FLUSHING, N.Y., September 1, 2010 – The USTA announced today a further expansion of its environmental initiatives, now in their third year, at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, home of the US Open, which annually hosts more than 700,000 fans during the two weeks of the event.  Emmy-award winning actor Alec Baldwin once again joins the tennis facility’s namesake, Billie Jean King, as spokespeople for the USTA’s awareness campaign to encourage US Open fans and others to help preserve the environment.  New PSAs featuring Baldwin will be shown throughout the grounds.

“For the past two years, the US Open Green Initiatives have been among the most successful environmental endeavors of any sports property,” said Lucy S. Garvin, Chairman of the Board and President, USTA, and Chairman of the US Open.  “The continued expansion of the green initiatives will help keep the USTA, the US Open and tennis fans worldwide at the forefront of the global effort to preserve the environment.”

The USTA will continue to work with top environmental agency, Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), as well as Billie Jean King’s GreenSlam and Eco Evolutions to develop ongoing initiatives to further reduce the US Open’s carbon footprint and overall environmental impact.

In addition to the new Alec Baldwin PSAs, new initiatives for 2010 will include site-wide composting on the grounds at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, and the employment of two area undergraduates as part of Billie Jean King’s GreenTernship program.

In 2007, Billie Jean King founded and launched GreenSlam, an environmental initiative for the sports industry aimed at inspiring sports venues, promoters and manufacturers to make positive environmental impacts. In 2009, GreenSlam launched its GreenTernship program, designed to involve youth with green job training and the opportunity to gain hands-on experience in the eco-sports movement.  The US Open will employ two GreenTerns from New York University to assist with the Green Initiatives. For more information, go to www.greenslam.net.

Green Initiatives at the 2010 US Open

Fan Awareness

  • Alec Baldwin and Billie Jean King once again serve as spokespeople for the awareness campaign to promote environmental consciousness among US Open fans, players, vendors, partners and sponsors, and two new PSAs featuring Baldwin will air on the JumboTron/videoboards throughout the grounds.
  • 2010 US Open Green Initiatives are featured in the official US Open program.
  • USOpen.org will feature an interview with Billie Jean King about the GreenTernship program.
  • NRDC’s Simple Steps (environmental tips) will be featured in the Daily Drawsheet.

Recycling

  • A consumer waste recycling program for plastic and cans and an operational recycling program for cardboard and glass cover 100% of the grounds of the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center.
  • Following the US Open, approximately 20,000 Wilson tennis ball cans are recycled.  The 60,000 Wilson tennis balls used during the US Open are reused for NTC programming and then donated to community/youth programs.

Energy Management

  • Constellation Energy, the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center’s electricity supplier, will supply Green-e Certified wind Renewable Energy Certificates to match the Center’s electricity consumption during the 2010 US Open.
  • IBM, which powers USOpen.org, will continue to utilize just six servers, down from 60 in 2008.  Their energy consumption has been reduced by 40% and their cooling demand reduced by 48%.

Transportation

  • Hybrid vehicles are 55-60% of the Mercedes-Benz player transportation fleet, up from 40% in 2009.
  • Each day during the two-week event, Esurance, the car insurance company, is distributing daily 125 MetroCards worth $4.50 to encourage the use of mass transit to and from the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center.

Paper Procurement

  • The 2.4 million napkins used by US Open patrons in the general concession area during the tournament are comprised of 90% post-consumer waste, while Grey Goose napkins are comprised of 100% recycled content.
  • The Daily Drawsheet and US Open marketing material are printed on paper comprised of 30% post-consumer waste and printed by companies certified by the Forest Stewardship Council – guaranteeing environmentally-responsible forest management.
  • US Open tickets are printed on paper comprised of 30% post-consumer waste, and parking books, parking visors and coupon books are printed on paper comprised of 10-15% post-consumer waste.
  • 100% of paper towel dispensers have been replaced with motion-sensor dispensers and all paper towels are comprised of 40% post-consumer waste.

US Open Merchandise

  • The US Open collection will feature hats comprised of 50% post-consumer waste – each hat will contain the equivalent of two one-liter plastic bottles.
  • US Open merchandise stores will feature a souvenir-style shopping bag designed for multiple uses with a “recycle and reuse” message printed on the bottom.  In addition, a reusable tote bag will be available for $5.
  • A $10,000 donation from US Open merchandise proceeds will go to Unisphere, Inc., the non-profit organization that maintains and preserves Flushing Meadows Corona Park.

Food & Serviceware

  • Utensils, plates, cups, etc. are comprised of bio-based materials.
  • The Stonyfield Café is added to the Food Village and will feature a grab-and-go dining option serving healthy food, fast – options are all-natural and/or organic, and locally grown.

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The USTA is the national governing body for the sport of tennis in the U.S. and the leader in promoting and developing the growth of tennis at every level — from local communities to the highest level of the professional game.  A not-for-profit organization with 750,000 members, it invests 100% of its proceeds in growing the game. It owns and operates the US Open, the highest attended annual sporting event in the world, and launched the Olympus US Open Series linking 10 summer tournaments to the US Open. In addition, it owns the 90 Pro Circuit events throughout the U.S., is a minority owner and promotional partner of World TeamTennis, and selects the teams for the Davis Cup, Fed Cup, Olympic and Paralympic Games. The USTA philanthropic entity, USTA Serves, provides grants and scholarships and through tennis, helps underserved youth and people with disabilities to improve academics, build character and strive for excellence. For more information on the USTA, log on to usta.com.

The History of Grand Slams On Exhibit at the Open

FLUSHING MEADOWS, NY – With all the live tennis going on at the US Open, some of the attractions at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center are often overlooked.

Yet, every fan needs to check out the US Open Gallery in Louis Armstrong Stadium.

Run by the International Tennis Hall of Fame, this year’s exhibit is entitled “The Grand Slam: Tennis’ Achievement” and showcases the winners of the four majors in a calendar year.

According to the press release, “These stories include singles (Don Budge, 1938; Maureen Connolly, 1953; Rod Laver 1962 and 1969; Margaret Court Smith, 1970; and Steffi Graf, 1988), doubles (Frank, Sedgman and Ken McGregor, 1951; Maria Bueno, 1960; Martina Navratilova and Pam Shriver, 1984; and Martina Hingis, 1998), mixed doubles (Margaret Smith and Ken Fletcher, 1963; Margaret Smith, 1965; Owen Davidson, 1967), and junior singles level (Stefan Edberg, 1983).

In the exhibit you will find an explanation of the four tournaments, various trophies and players’ equipment and also a short video.

All of this is put on by the International Tennis Hall of Fame, which is located in Newport, RI, a non profit organization dedicated to preserving the history of tennis. The location in Newport was where the 1881 US National Tennis Championships took place, which evolved into the US Open. For more information call 401-849-3990 or visit the website www.tennisfame.com.

A Roof Is Not Needed On Arthur Ashe

FLUSHING MEADOWS, NY – Here we are just sitting and waiting for the rain to stop at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. Today, three matches need to take place and will concurrently when the weather gets better.

And with these delays come questions. Now that Wimbledon has a roof and Roland Garros has one coming in five years, should the US Open follow suit and cover Arthur Ashe with some sort of retractable covering?

Every time it rains this question will come up. But with the cost being about $100 million, the location of the stadium, the amount of time its in use, the answer should be no.

Back when the city built Shea Stadium in 1964, the original plans called for a roof to go over the big bowl and the outfield area to be enclosed. Unfortunately, when the Mets, Jets, and the city did a feasibility study it was found out that it would be impossible to cover Shea. The weight would force the stadium to collapse.

But Arthur Ashe was built in 1997, and is more is more of a stable structure. Yet, you have to wonder if the land it’s built upon that was part of the same garbage dump back in the day could handle the weight of a roof.

Even if it can, though, it’s still not worth it. The US Open occurs two weeks out of the year. For the other 50, the place is pretty much dormant, with the exception of the occasional event or two. To spend money on rain insurance for something that may happen once every five or so years is just foolish.

The funds would be better off spent to keep expanding the Tennis Center or use for other purposes that may have a year round purpose. For example, could the USTA build a tennis hall of fame somewhere on the grounds? How about putting the money into the eyesore that was on the New York Pavilion from the World’s Fair? This would be something that can be used year round, promoting the sport of tennis and can be enjoyed by fans from around the world.

If you want insurance, then play some of the matches at the indoor facility. Make sure they are up to the championship code. That way you can continue the Rafael Nadal match inside rather than hoping the Mother Nature is kind to the sport.

And if you want a location where a large crowd can watch an important match, one of the soon to be five arenas in the area should be available. Imaging playing at Madison Square Garden, Nassau Coliseum or even the new Brooklyn arena, if its built. Now, remember this is a last resort situation, but still better than shelling out millions for a roof that may not be able to be built.

Rain is unfortunate, but only occurs every few years. If the USTA wastes money on a roof for Arthur Ashe it’s their business, but it’s something that they don’t need, and should be pressured into it.

Ashe Ceremony Moved to Sunday

Because of the threat of rain, the ceremony to induct Arthur Ashe into the Wall of Fame has been postponed until Sunday. It will take place before the Men’s Finals. President Bill Clinton, who was supposed to attend tonight will now be at the event on Sunday.

Here’s the original release:

FLUSHING, N.Y., September 7, 2009 – The USTA announced today that Arthur Ashe, the first African American US Open men’s singles champion and one of tennis’ greatest ambassadors, has been named the 2009 inductee into the US Open Court of Champions, a US Open and USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center attraction honoring the greatest singles champions in the history of the 128 years of the U.S. Championships/US Open.  Ashe will be inducted during a ceremony on Thursday evening, September 10, and President Bill Clinton will participate in a tribute to this tennis icon and humanitarian, to be broadcast live on ESPN2.

The US Open Court of Champions salutes the tournament’s all-time greatest champions with an individual permanent monument that serves as a lasting tribute. Ashe will join prior inductees Don Budge, Maureen Connolly, Jimmy Connors, Margaret Court, Chris Evert, Althea Gibson, Steffi Graf, Billie Jean King, Jack Kramer, Rod Laver, Ivan Lendl, Molla Bjurstedt Mallory, John McEnroe, Martina Navratilova, Pete Sampras, Bill Tilden and Helen Wills. A panel of international print and broadcast journalists selected the 2009 inductee from the roster of U.S. champions based on their performances at the tournament and their impact on the growth of the event.

“Arthur Ashe is one of the greatest champions to ever compete at the US Open and we are proud to honor his remarkable legacy,” said Lucy Garvin, Chairman of the Board and President, USTA.  “Arthur was a great humanitarian and his legacy and his performance helped the tournament become one of the world’s premier sporting events.”

Following his tenure in the White House, President Clinton established the William J. Clinton Foundation with the mission to strengthen the capacity of people in the United States and throughout the world to meet the challenges of global interdependence.  The Foundation has grown into a global 501(c)(3) nongovernmental organization with 1,400 staff and volunteers in more than 40 countries working to combat the HIV/AIDS pandemic, fight climate change, develop sustainable economic growth in Africa and Latin America, tackle the childhood obesity epidemic, and help expand economic opportunity.

The Clinton Global Initiative, established by President Clinton in 2005, has brought together more than 100 current and former heads of state; 14 Nobel Peach Prize winners; hundreds of leading global CEO’s, heads of foundations, and major philanthropists; and directors of the most effective nongovernmental organizations to identify and implement innovative solutions to the world’s most pressing challenges.  CGI’s Fifth Annual Meeting will take place September 22-25, 2009 in New York City.

Ashe was the US Open singles champion in 1968, and reached the final again in 1972.  In his career, he captured 33 singles titles and 18 doubles titles, including three Grand Slam championships. Prior to that, he was the first African-American to win the NCAA singles title (for UCLA in 1965), and he represented the United States in the Davis Cup every year from 1965 to 1970, helping his country to the title from 1968 to 1970. Ashe also worked extensively off the court to end poverty and racism worldwide. In 1969, Ashe founded the USTA National Junior Tennis League, now the National Junior Tennis & Learning (NJTL) network. Ashe envisioned NJTL as a way of developing the character of young people through tennis and education. Celebrating its 40th anniversary this year, NJTL has grown to more than 550 chapters nationwide, serving more than 220,000 youths each year. It has become one of USTA’s largest community- based offerings.

The US Open Court of Champions, a 9,000-square foot outdoor pavilion bounded by the South Entry Gate and the Arthur Ashe Commemorative Garden and Sculpture, celebrates the event’s greatest champions with an individual permanent monument to serve as a lasting tribute.  The attraction also features a complete listing of all U.S. singles champions since the competition began in 1881.

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The USTA is the national governing body for the sport of tennis in the U.S. and the leader in promoting and developing the growth of tennis at every level — from local communities to the highest level of the professional game.  A not-for-profit organization with 730,000 members, it invests 100% of its proceeds in growing the game. It owns and operates the US Open, the highest attended annual sporting event in the world, and launched the Olympus US Open Series linking 10 summer tournaments to the US Open. In addition, it owns the 94 Pro Circuit events throughout the U.S., is a minority owner and promotional partner of World TeamTennis, and selects the teams for the Davis Cup, Fed Cup, Olympic and Paralympic Games. The USTA philanthropic entity, USTA Serves, provides grants and scholarships and through tennis, helps underserved youth and people with disabilities to improve academics, build character and strive for excellence. For more information on the USTA, log on to usta.com.