WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – Wake Forest University today held a ceremonial groundbreaking for the new tennis complex that is being constructed to serve as the venue for the Winston-Salem Open at Wake Forest University, an ATP World Tour event, as well as the new outdoor home for the Wake Forest men’s and women’s tennis teams.
The complex, which is nestled between BB&T Field and the Wake Forest Indoor Tennis Center, will feature 13 courts with the same Deco-Turf II surface as the courts used at the US Open, illuminated by a state-of-the-art lighting system. Temporary seating will be brought in for the first year of the tournament, but future plans call for the construction of a permanent stadium.
While construction on the site officially began in February, today’s ceremony, which was attended by Wake Forest President Nathan O. Hatch, Wake Forest Director of Athletics Ron Wellman, Winston-Salem Mayor Allen Joines and Don Flow, Chairman of Winston-Salem Professional Tennis, marked the beginning of a new phase of the project, which is scheduled to be completed in July.
"This will be as fine of a facility as there is in the ACC and maybe in all of college tennis. Our tennis coaches Jeff Zinn and Jeff Wyshner are extremely excited about what these courts will do for our tennis programs," said Wake Forest athletics director Ron Wellman. "With the tennis complex now joining our football, basketball and baseball stadiums on Deacon Boulevard, we are making significant progress towards our goal of making this area the sports entertainment capital of Winston-Salem."
The Winston-Salem Open, which will be held from Aug. 20-27, is part of the Olympus US Open Series and is the last ATP event before the US Open. Top American players Mardy Fish and John Isner have already signed on for the inaugural tournament. Tickets will go on sale to the public on May 10.
"I am incredibly excited that the first Winston-Salem Open is only months away, and the progress that has been made on the new facility is a tangible reminder of that," said tournament director Bill Oakes. "Having a tennis complex of this caliber will allow us to draw some of the best players in the world to Winston-Salem every summer."