Jeanette Owusu, Louisville International Open
American Sloane Stephens will participate in the Louisville International Open.
Stephens, the first WTA player to win two titles this year, is coming off an impressive win at Abierto Mexicano Telcel in Acapulco where she knocked off the defending champion Dominika Cibulkova in a thrilling third-set tie breaker. Currently ranked 23rd in the world, Stephens got off to a hot start in 2016, claiming her third career-title in Auckland at the ASB Classic.
“I am really looking forward to playing in the inaugural Louisville International Open this summer,” Stephens says. “It will be exciting to play at a new event in front of some new fans and I think it will be great preparation for the US Open. I hope I can sneak in a visit to Churchill Downs!”
Ready to show Stephens, the entire player field and the rest of the world what Louisville has to offer, the Louisville International Open starts August 20-27, 2016 at the Louisville Boat Club. Tickets are on sale now and can be purchased online or by calling 1.844.LOU.OPEN (1.844.568.6736).
The American, will bring not only her tennis game, but her commitment to community outreach this summer. Teaming up with Soles4Souls, Stephens will collect shoes and clothing for the not for profit global social enterprise in an effort to fight poverty. There will be several drop-off locations throughout Louisville as well as onsite during the tournament where fans can donate lightly worn shoes and clothing.
Stephens, who achieved a career-high ranking of 11 in 2013, finished 15-4 at majors the same year. Making her first semifinals appearance at a grand slam, she lost to Victoria Azarenka who went on to win the Australian Open. Stephens had another exciting run at Wimbledon that year; falling to eventual champion Marian Bartoli in the quarterfinals.
“We are extremely excited to have Sloane Stephens headlining our player field,” tournament director Whitney Collins-Thompson said. “Sloane, along with Lauren, Nicole and Irina, are the future of American tennis and we are thrilled to not only have them play the Louisville International Open, but to showcase their talent along with our city to the rest of the world.”
Fellow Americans, Lauren Davis, Nicole Gibbs, and Irina Falconi will join Stephens in August.
Davis, an Ohio native, has seven ITF singles titles and is a rising star. She cracked the top-100 in 2012 and hasn’t looked back. Davis’ best year came in 2014 with a career high 57 world ranking. She advanced to the third round at two grand slams including the Australian Open and Wimbledon.
“It’s exciting to have a new tournament in the US and I’m really looking forward to playing in Louisville,” says Davis.
Gibbs, a decorated college star at Stanford, is from nearby Cincinnati, Ohio. With four ITF singles titles, she looks to compete for her first WTA title.
“I am extremely excited to be a part of the inaugural Louisville International Open,” says the Ohioan. “Having grown up nearby in Cincinnati, I’m hoping for a little sense of home-court advantage. I look forward to spending the week in Louisville and getting to know the fans!”
Falconi, another young American, is thrilled to play at the LIO. “Louisville is an absolutely gorgeous city, the tennis history is extremely rich and the culture is amazing! I can’t wait to play and hope to see everyone there!” Falconi, who is coming off her best year after making her first career appearance in the third round of a grand slam at the 2015 French Open, has five ITF titles to her name.
Stephens, Davis, Gibbs and Falconi join what is shaping up to be an impressive player field. They join two-time singles grand slam champion Svetlana Kuznetsova, World No. 10 Roberta Vinci and 2013 Wimbledon finalist Sabine Lisicki.
About the Louisville International Open
The 2016 Louisville International Open will be played August 20-August 27 at the Louisville Boat Club in Louisville, Kentucky. The one-week WTA event is leased and operated by Louisville Professional Tennis LLC. The Louisville International Open is an International event on the WTA calendar, held the week before the U.S. Open; and will feature some of the top women’s tennis players in the world. Louisville has a rich tennis history, unwavering love & dedication to sports, five-star hotels and restaurants; and a reputation for hosting the greatest two minutes in sports. For ticket information call 1.502.694.9429 or visit www.louisvilleinternationalopen.com.
About Louisville Professional Tennis, LLC
The Louisville Professional Tennis, LLC (LPT) established in 2013 by Dr. Michael Bewley to initially bring an exhibition match to Louisville. Based on its success, the LPT has dedicated itself to reinvigorating the greater Louisville tennis community through various initiatives and includes members Dr. Michael Bewley, Landra Blackwell and Jeffrey Levine. In 2015, LPT saw its mission materialize when the WTA awarded Louisville an International tournament, the Louisville International Open.