Roddick back as Atlanta event re-emerges on ATP Tour

Last Updated: Jul 19, 2010, 14:03 PM IST

Atlanta: Andy Roddick returns to Atlanta nearly a decade after winning the title as the event re-emerges onto the ATP calendar after a long hiatius to start the summer hardcourt run to the US Open.

The American world number nine received a wild card for the hardcourt event nine years after winning its previous incarnation as a teenager in 2001.

Belgian Xavier Malisse, the man he beat for that first career ATP title, is also in the field, taking the eighth seeding and starting with a qualifier.

Roddick will be testing his game on his favourite surface three weeks after crashing out of Wimbledon fourth round to Taiwan’s Lu Yen-Hsun.

The leading seed and the rest of the top four receive first-round byes at the Atlanta Athletic Club.

Roddick heads the field with Wimbledon marathon man John Isner on second, former number one Lleyton Hewitt of Australia third and Argentine Horacio Zaballos seeded fourth.

Atlanta rose from the ashes after the USTA bought the Indianapolis tournament sanction as financial troubles and a lack of sponsors hit the midwestern US event last year.

As might be expected with six weeks to go before the start of the US Open and a European summer clay season also on the boil, Americans dominate the entry list, with nine directly into the field.

Isner, who won the longest match in tennis history with his first-rounder at Wimbledon - 70-68 in the fifth set over Frenchman Nicolas Mahut - is competing in his first outing since making making history on the grass.

Mardy Fish, winner of the Newport grass event a week ago, is seeded sixth while former top ten player James Blake is entered, his ranking now down to 115.

Robby Ginepri, who won the Indianapolis event twice including last season, faces a qualifier in the first round while Blake tackles USA compatriot Taylor Dent.

Bureau Report