Military appreciation at Farmers Classic

July 19, 2012

LOS ANGELES — With successful players like Stan Smith and Vic Seixas on its list of champions, the Farmers Classic, presented by Mercedes Benz, has built a tradition of celebrating the American military and its veterans. The 86th edition of the popular event continues the tradition with Military Appreciation Celebration Sunday on July 29 at the Los Angeles Tennis Center-UCLA.

On July 29, active-duty military and military veterans will be honored in a special ceremony between the singles and doubles finals, and all military children 10-and-under can receive a free one-year junior SCTA membership at the Southern California Tennis Association booth. The first 50 children of military/veterans bringing the special military-appreciation flyer (available by visiting the ‘Special Events’ heading at to the SCTA booth on July 29 will receive a free T-shirt. Gates open at 11:30 a.m., with the singles final scheduled for 1 p.m.

The Farmers Classic takes pride in recognizing its veterans and their families by providing free tickets for all day and evening sessions throughout tournament week — July 23-29 — to active and reserve military, veterans and their families with proper military ID (limit six tickets per family per session). Additionally, the SCTA will be sending care packages to service members who are deployed in Afghanistan as part of the Adopt-a-Unit effort.

“This is an event that we take a great deal of pride in conducting,” Farmers Classic Tournament Director Bob Kramer said. “All of us in the tennis community owe a great deal to our military and our veterans and we see Military Appreciation Celebration Sunday as a way to give back some of what we owe these fine people.”

The Farmers Classic, presented by Mercedes-Benz, features a 28-player singles draw and a 16-team doubles competition. Los Angeles County’s only top-tier pro tennis event, and an ATP World Tour stop on the Emirates Airline US Open Series, awards total prize money of $700,000.

Proceeds from the Farmers Classic, held in conjunction with UCLA, benefit the grassroots programs of the non-profit Southern California Tennis Association (SCTA) and UCLA. In 2011, the tournament and associated special events raised more than $200,000 for the SCTA, the Grammy Foundation and other charities.

Veterans like Smith and Seixas, who served their country a generation apart, filled the precursor to the Farmers Classic, the Pacific Southwest Championships, memories and victories.

Drafted into the Army at the height of the Vietnam War in 1970, Smith brought his rocket serve-and-volley game into a different military venue. He spent his two-year duty (1970-72) visiting Army hospitals and bases and going on recruitment tours. Smith won the Pacific Southwest event for the first time in 1972, part of a memorable year in which he beat Ilie Nastase in a memorable, five-set match to capture Wimbledon. Smith would go on to win a doubles crown with Bob Lutz in 1976 and another LA singles title in 1977.

The likes of Shirley Temple, Doris Day, Clark Gable, Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn saw Seixas win singles titles in 1952, 1954 and 1957, the year in which Seixas won the U.S. Nationals – what is now known as the U.S. Open.

“My memories of that tournament were that I used to say it was the only tournament where the players watched the spectators, because all the movie people came out to watch,” said Seixas, who spent three-and-a-half years in the Pacific Theater during World War II, serving as an Army test pilot over New Guinea and Japan.

Two-time Farmers Classic champion and Southern California native Sam Querrey, fellow American James Blake, France’s Nicolas Mahut and Belgium’s Xavier Malisse, the tournament’s reigning doubles champion, are among the highlighted players entered in this month’s draw.

Daily tickets for the Farmers Classic, presented by Mercedes-Benz — the longest-running annual pro sporting event in Los Angeles — are available at, Ticketmaster, or by calling (310) 825-2101.

Farmers Classic season tickets, mini-plans, group tickets and VIP experiences are also available at or by calling (310) 824-1010, ext. 251. The Farmers Classic’s group entertainment program includes ticket discounts for groups of 10 or more, fundraising opportunities for organizations and reserved loge seating for select sessions in the intimate LA Tennis Center. Groups of 40 are eligible to participate in VIP experiences, which include the pre-match coin toss, High Five Kids Tunnel and Penn VIP On-Court Experience.

In addition to visiting the tournament’s official website,, fans can tap into social media channels to stay updated with the latest news and information surrounding the Farmers Classic, presented by Mercedes-Benz, by becoming a fan on Facebook (, a follower on Twitter (@FarmersClassic), and in joining the LA Text Club by texting “LA” to 25973 (message and data rates may apply).


The Farmers Classic, presented by Mercedes-Benz, has been played every year since 1927, making it the longest-running annual professional sporting event in Los Angeles. Played since 1984 at the LA Tennis Center on the campus of UCLA, the tournament is part of the Emirates Airline US Open Series, the six-week summer tennis season linking 10 ATP World Tour and Sony Ericsson WTA Tour events to the US Open, culminating each week with back-to-back men’s and women’s finals every Sunday afternoon. Players battle for $40 million, including a chance for bonus prize money at the US Open. Proceeds from the Farmers Classic Presented by Mercedes-Benz benefit the grassroots programs of the non-profit Southern California Tennis Association (SCTA) and UCLA. The SCTA offers programs, leagues, and tournaments involving 300,000 juniors and 50,000 adults and seniors. Information on tickets and the tournament can be found at or by calling 310-824-1010.


Farmers Insurance Group of Companies is a leading U.S. insurer of automobiles, homes and small businesses and also provides a wide range of other insurance and financial services products. Farmers Insurance is proud to serve more than 10 million households with more than 20 million individual policies across all 50 states through the efforts of over 50,000 exclusive and independent agents and nearly 24,000 employees.

Farmers is a trade name and may refer to Farmers Group, Inc. or the Farmers Exchanges, as the case may be. Farmers Group, Inc., a management and holding company, along with its subsidiaries, is wholly owned by the Zurich Insurance Group Ltd. The Farmers Exchanges are three reciprocal insurers (Farmers Insurance Exchange, Fire Insurance Exchange and Truck Insurance Exchange), including their subsidiaries and affiliates, owned by their policyholders, and managed by Farmers Group, Inc. and its subsidiaries. For more information about Farmers, visit its Web site at or at