MIAMI, Feb. 22, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- 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."
Based in St. Imier, Switzerland, since 1832, the watch producer Longines boasts a know-how forged out of tradition, elegance and performance. With its long experience as a timekeeper for world championships and the partner of various international sports federations, Longines has, over the years, established close and lasting links with the world of sport. Renowned for the elegance of its timepieces, Longines is a member of the Swatch Group Ltd., the world's leading manufacturer of horological products. With its famous winged hourglass logo, Longines has outlets in over 150 countries.
Both committed sports fans and the general public alike have come to love Roland-Garros. Some 455 621 spectators flocked to the highly prestigious French Open in 2016, and the tournament was also broadcast on over 220 territories across the world, making it an event of truly global significance. Roland-Garros is run by the French Tennis Federation and held every year at the Porte d'Auteuil in Paris. It is the only Grand Slam to be played on clay – one of the oldest and most noble surfaces in the history of tennis.
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 more than 715,000 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 US Open Series, linking seven summer WTA and ATP World Tour tournaments to the US Open. In addition, it owns approximately 90 Pro Circuit events throughout the U.S. and selects the teams for the Davis Cup, Fed Cup, Olympic and Paralympic Games. The USTA's philanthropic entity, the USTA Foundation, provides grants and scholarships and helps under-resourced youth and individuals with disabilities, and supports wounded, ill and injured service members, veterans and their families. For more information on the USTA, log on to usta.com, "like" the official Facebook page, facebook.com/usta, or follow @usta on Twitter.
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SOURCE French Tennis Federation