| By New York Tennis Magazine Staff

ATP World Tour tennis is headed to Rio de Janeiro, host city to the 2016 Olympic Games and co-host of the 2014 FIFA World Cup. The ATP Board of Directors last week in Monte-Carlo approved the sale of the Memphis membership to IMX to stage an ATP World Tour 500 event from 2014 in Brazil’s iconic city of nearly six million people. IMX is a joint venture between Brazilian company EBX and IMG, the global sports, fashion and media company.

“We were presented with a fantastic opportunity to further strengthen the ATP’s presence in South America and Brazil, in particular, a country with a great tradition in tennis. Rio de Janeiro is a vibrant world city that will offer an excellent platform for the ATP World Tour and men’s tennis,” said ATP Executive Chairman and President Brad Drewett.

Memphis will continue to operate as an ATP World Tour 500 event in 2013, and then as a 250 event from 2014 onwards. San Jose, like Memphis part-owned by Sharks Sports & Entertainment, will be held for the final time in 2013.

"We are pleased to continue the long-standing tradition of bringing world-class tennis to the Racquet Club of Memphis," said Mike Lehr, EVP of business development, Sharks Sports & Entertainment. "Memphis has always been a strong market for professional tennis with tremendous community support and fan interest. We look forward to hosting the tournament again in 2013 and for many years to come."

As part of its normal process, the ATP will later this year determine a calendar and format for 2014 and 2015.