ATLANTA TO BE FIRST TOURNAMENT BACK FOR MARDY FISH
ATLANTA – The BB&T Atlanta Open main draw player field includes five former world top 10 players: John Isner, Mardy Fish, Lleyton Hewitt, James Blake and Radek Stepanek, announced Tournament Director Bob Bryant. The tournament is part of the Emirates Airline US Open Series and will be played at Atlantic Station July 20-28.
Two-time BB&T Atlanta Open champion Fish will be making his first appearance on the ATP World Tour since March as he has been recovering from lingering health issues. "We are very excited about our field this year which includes a tremendous contingent of both US players and international stars," said Bryant. "We are particularly thrilled to host our former champion Mardy Fish for his first event to kick off his return to the ATP World Tour and the start of the Emirates Airline US Open Series. The field has definitely been enhanced by the positive reactions from tour players to the Atlantic Station site as we will host several players for the first time."
Isner is projected to be the top seed with a current ranking of world No. 21 in the Emirates ATP Rankings. He hit No. 9 in 2012. Among the other notable players is Fish, who rose to No. 7 in the world in 2011. Hewitt was world No. 1 in 2001-03 after winning Wimbledon and the US Open. Blake rose to a career high of No. 4 in 2006. South Africa's Kevin Anderson is projected to be the No. 2 seed as he is at his all-time high of No. 23.
Two Americans will also appear. World No. 83 Ryan Harrison will play in the main draw and Jack Sock has also committed to play.
Three players coming to Atlanta for the first time will be among the projected seeds. Veteran Czech player and former No. 8 Stepanek has five career ATP World Tour singles and 16 doubles titles. He has been a year-end top-50 player for nine of the last 10 years. Another Top 50 player is Uzbekistan’s Denis Istomin, who has recorded a win over No. 4 David Ferrer and advanced to the fourth round of Wimbledon.
Rising Dutch player Igor Sijsling has just hit his career-high ranking of 60. He reached this year's Australian Open doubles final with countryman Robin Haase. They lost to Mike and Bob Bryan, who will also be playing this event for the first time. The Bryans just won their 14th Grand Slam at the French Open.
Ivan Dodig won the 2011 Zagreb title and is currently No. 54. He has played singles and doubles on the Croatian Davis Cup team. Other competitors in this year’s draw include Edouard Roger-Vasselin who reached the Delray Beach final. 2012 ATP Most Improved Player Marinko Matosevic will be returning to Atlanta along with last year’s quarterfinalist Yen-Hsun Lu.
Other players who have entered the event and will have the ability to play in qualifying include Atlanta’s Donald Young, Marietta’s Robby Ginepri, Croatia’s Ivo Karlovic and Americans Michael Russell, Denis Kudla Tim Smyczek and Rhyne Williams of Knoxville, Tenn.
All ATP rankings listed are of June 10. Final seeds will be assigned according to rankings on July 15.