Tampa Bay Sports Day

FTF, USTA Join To Bolster Red Clay Tennis

The French Tennis Federation (Federation Française de Tennis – FFT), organizers of the world’s premier clay court event, Roland-Garros (known as The French Open), with the support of the United States Tennis Association (USTA) today announced that the French Tennis Federation’s successful “Rendez-vous à Roland-Garros in partnership with Longines” event will be coming to the U.S. for the first time. This junior tennis event is a U.S.-only junior tennis invitational, providing for the first time a chance for a wild card entry to the French Open Junior Tournament for American juniors.

Rendez-vous à Roland-Garros USA, in partnership with Longines, will be held from April 19 – 22 at the Boca West Country Club in Boca Raton, Florida, the world class tennis center including state of the art facilities and newly laid red clay courts to simulate the Roland-Garros atmosphere. Some of the top U-18 American players (boys and girls) will compete for a chance to enter the Roland-Garros Junior draw in Paris in May 2017.

The Rendez-vous à Roland-Garros program brings together top junior tennis players in the boys and girls categories at the national level in six countries, who face off against each other from February to April for the privilege of taking part in the Junior tournament at Roland-Garros. The winners of the U.S. leg will go on to face competitors from Brazil, China, Japan, South Korea and India in the playoffs in Paris and the eventual champions will get a wild card entry to the French Open Junior Tournament.

“We are very pleased to bring Rendez-vous à Roland-Garros to the United States and strengthen the relationship between our nations and among the exceptional youth athletes,” said Bernard Giudicelli, President of FFT. “Roland-Garros fosters a spirit of international competition and respect that will continue to grow with the next generation of tennis champions through this unique program.”

“We see this as a collaboration that is beneficial for everyone,” said USTA President Katrina Adams. “Not only is this a valuable opportunity for some of our American juniors to get experience playing on red clay, it’s a unique way to promote the sport of tennis ahead of the French Open with what figures to be an exciting competition for both players and fans.”

As part of the inaugural event, the iconic Trophies from the French Open, the Coupe des Mousquetaires and the Coupe Suzanne Lenglen, will travel to South Florida, allowing fans the opportunity to pose for photos with the Trophies at multiple locations in Miami and Boca Raton during the tournament.

“Longines takes a special interest in the youth of today, who represent tomorrow’s future,” said Juan-Carlos Capelli, Longines Vice President and Head of International Marketing, which has been the Official Partner and Timekeeper of Roland-Garros since 2007. “We are proud to support and organize competitions that are intended to promote sporting activities among young people, along with the values of fair play, respect, integrity and enjoyment, which Longines holds dear.”