ATLANTA -- For the second straight year, Georgia Tech's Kevin King has been extended a wild card invitation to participate in the BB&T Atlanta Open, the first event in the summer Emirates Airline U.S. Open Series which will be held July 14-22 at Atlantic Station.
In a repeat of the unique Yellow Jacket-Bulldog pairing which debuted last year, a main draw doubles wild card will go to King, a Peachtree City, Ga., native who recently completed his Georgia Tech career, and Ignacio Taboada of the University of Georgia. The tournament also has extended singles qualifying wild cards to King and Nathan Pasha of Georgia.
Last year the enthusiastic local crowd encouraged King and Georgia's Drake Bernstein to a first-round upset of No. 1 seeds and defending champions Scott Lipsky and Rajeev Ram. The college duo fell in the second round to the eventual finalists Matthias Bachinger and Frank Moser.
King was named an All-American in doubles by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) and earned All-Atlantic Coast Conferences honors for the second consecutive year. King and Georgia Tech teammate Juan Spir finished 2012 with a No. 4 national doubles ranking. In singles, King was ranked as high as No. 7 and was named to the Capital One Academic All-America Men's At-Large team.
King will team up for doubles with Taboada, who finished ranked No. 48 in singles in the ITA this year. Atlanta native, Taboada, who was also a senior this past year, tied for the most wins on Georgia's squad with a 35-11 record. He clinched the SEC Tournament final with a victory against Kentucky and was named tournament MVP, along with being named to the second All-SEC team.
"Kevin has earned the honor to represent Georgia Tech in both singles and doubles. His doubles victory last year over the top seeds was a highlight for the Yellow Jackets," Georgia Tech coach Kenny Thorne said. "We're pleased to be a part of the BB&T Atlanta Open as it brings together Georgia-based players for a chance to test themselves against world-ranked pros."
Rising sophomore Pasha, of Atlanta, finished with a 34-8 record in singles and 23-2 in dual matches. He was named SEC Freshman of the Week four times, along with being selected ITA Southeast Region Rookie of the Year. Pasha was also named a member of the SEC All-Freshman Team and the ITA National Indoors All-Tournament Team.
"For the second year, we are excited to add a local college connection to the BBT Atlanta Open," said tournament director Bob Bryant. "All three of our college players are from metro Atlanta and are highly talented tennis players. It is not often you can bring Tech and UGA fans together, but last year's pairing showed the Atlanta tennis community proudly supports this unique doubles pairing."
Weeklong tickets and individual tickets are on sale now at www.BBTAtlantaOpen.com and through our Facebook page, www.facebook.com/ATChampionships.