Official partner and timekeeper for the French OpenLongines strengthens its support to the young tennis talents
In line with the values it has always upheld, Longines, official partner and timekeeper for the French Open, strengthens its support to the young tennis talents. The famous Swiss watchmaker is looking to the future by organising the Longines Future Tennis Aces, a tournament aimed at promoting sport and encouraging the values of respect, fair play and tolerance which it holds dear.
The draw of the tournament has been made by tennis star and Longines Ambassadress of Elegance Francesca Schiavone on the rooftop of the Galeries Lafayette in Paris. The brand presented the Longines Rising Tennis Stars, a program that aims to support young tennis talents in the development of their careers.
Longines can boast a long-term commitment to the world of international top-class tennis. Apart from being the official partner and timekeeper for the French Open at Roland-Garros, Longines is also present at the Kremlin Cup in Moscow, as well as at the Rakuten Japan Open in Tokyo, the oldest tournament of the ATP tour in Asia. Longines is thrilled to count two of the most famous tennis legends among its Ambassadors of Elegance, namely Andre Agassi and Stefanie Graf, and to support their respective foundations. The involvement of the brand also includes a partnership with the new queen of Italian tennis, Francesca Schiavone, as a Longines Ambassadress of Elegance.
Longines is also looking to the future of tennis. As such, the brand is organizing the Longines Future Tennis Aces tournament and decided to sponsor promising youngsters from every corner of the world with Longines Rising Tennis Stars. This program aims to support young tennis talents aged between 17 and 21 years old in the development of their careers.
The Longines Rising Tennis Stars
Grigor Dimitrov is the number one tennis player from Bulgaria at 20 years old. Ranked No. 64 on the ATP Tour rankings, Grigor has won four ATP Challenger tournaments (three ATP Challenger tournaments back-to-back in 2010) and most recently reached the quarterfinals at the ATP 250 tournament in Munich (Germany). As a junior professional, Grigor was the Wimbledon Junior Champion (2008) and US Open Junior Champion (2008). He reached a career high junior ranking of No. 3 in the world. Born and raised in Haskovo (Bulgaria) Grigor learned to play tennis at the age of five. He trains at the Mouratoglou Academy outside of Paris, France and is coached by Peter McNamara. His ambition is to be No. 1 in the world.
Tiago Fernandes is the number one tennis player from Brazil under 21 years old. He is currently ranked ATP No. 392 at 18 years old and is internationally recognized as the next up-and-coming tennis sensation from South America. Tiago’s professional accomplishments include reaching the finals at the ATP Challenger in Recife (Brazil) in 2011 and the semifinals in three ITF Futures events in Brazil.
As a junior professional, Tiago reached a career high junior ranking of No. 1. Tiago was the first Brazilian player to be ranked ITF Junior No. 1 in the world. His junior career highlights include, Australian Open Junior Champion (2010), Roland Garros Junior Quarterfinalist (2010), US Open Junior Quarterfinalist (2009) and five ITF Junior titles. Tiago was born in Maceio (Brazil) and is coached by Larri Passos.
Tsung-Hua Yang (Taiwan) is the first player from Taiwan to be awarded with the title of number one junior player in the world. He is currently ranked ATP No. 302 at 20 years old. Yang competes on the ATP Challenger Tour and the ATP World Tour, both in singles and doubles. In 2008, he was the winner of the Junior Grand Slam at Roland-Garros and he was the first from Asia to win the 2008 Junior World Champion Award. Besides these achievements he defends his country as a member of the Chinese Taipei Davis Cup Team. Yang represented Chinese Taipei and won two gold medals at the 2010 Asian Games, in Guangzhou (China). Last year, he was awarded as Athlete of the year 2010 for Chinese Taipei.
Sabine Lisicki (Germany) was introduced to tennis by her father at the age of 7 and quickly realized she had a natural talent and love for the sport. After beginning her career on the ITF Circuit in 2004, Sabine rapidly established herself as a major force in the women’s junior game. Her breakthrough season came in 2008, and was highlighted by reaching her first WTA Tour final.
She made history during the 2009 Family Circle Cup, by becoming the lowest ranked player ever to win the title in Charleston (USA). Sabine, who is coached by her father Richard and trains at the Nick Bollettieri Tennis Academy in Bradenton (USA) is known for her tenacious spirit on the court. She reached a career high of WTA No. 22 in August 2009. An injury in March 2010 took her out for 7 months. She came back on track lately with good tournaments in Miami, Charleston and Stuttgart.
Ryan Harrison (USA) began playing at the age of 2. He is one of the youngest ever to win an ATP Tour match. He lives in Bradenton (USA) and trains at the Nick Bollettieri Tennis Academy. Ryan considers grass as his favorite surface. He reached a career-high No. 7 in world junior rankings in April 2008. Ranked No. 119 on the ATP Tour rankings, he reached the Fourth Round of Indian Wells this year where he beat Chardy, Garcia-Lopez and Raonic before losing to Federer. Ryan won the Singles and Doubles titles at the Honolulu Challenger in January 2011. This was his first singles title at the Challenger level.
Roberto Carballes Baena
Roberto Carballes Baena (Spain) is 18 years old. He is currently ranked ATP No. 446 and No. 11 in the world on ITF Junior World ranking. His favorite surface is clay. Roberto lives in Barcelona and his coach is Miguel Sanchez. So far this year, he played 11 tournaments and won 2 titles in Spain.
Sai-Sai Zheng (China) represented her country in the inaugural youth Olympic in Singapore in 2010 where she won the gold medal in the double and the silver medal in the single tournament. She considers hard as her favorite surface. She is currently ranked No. 275 on the WTA Tour, where as she was ranked No. 650 at the beginning of the year. She is currently one of the highest ranked at the age of 17.