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  • Roddick, Verdasco highlight hard-court talent at SAP Open

    2/8/10 1:34 AM | Kelli DeMario
    Roddick, Verdasco highlight hard-court talent at SAP Open The ATP World Tour begins its U.S. hard-court swing this week, as Andy Roddick and Fernando Verdasco lead the field of players at the SAP in San Jose, California.

    Indoor hard-court competition will be on tap during the second week of February as a talented group of players head to the SAP Open. Thirty-two combatants are set to battle for the San Jose crown, with action commencing early Monday.

    Former world No. 1 and 14-time Grand Slam champion Pete Sampras is set to help kick off the festivities at the SAP Open on opening day. The 38-year-old, who won the SAP Open in 1996 and 1997, will take on World No. 12 Fernando Verdasco in a charity exhibition match Monday evening.

    Sitting atop of the player pool is world No. 7 Andy Roddick. The top-ranked American returns to the court after a quarterfinal-round finish at the Australian Open. Roddick begins the tournament with a 9-1 season mark, aided by his title-winning run in Brisbane. The 27-year-old bids for his fourth SAP Open trophy, having taken home high honors in 2004, 2005 and 2008.

    Verdasco enters his first SAP Open as the second seed. The 26-year-old Spaniard sees action for the first time since his fourth-round loss to Nikolay Davydenko in Melbourne. Verdasco looks for his second ATP World Tour hard-court title, adding to a 2009 triumph in New Haven (def. Querrey). The Madrid native will battle Yen-Hsun Lu in the opening round.

    Defending champion Radek Stepanek, former semifinalist Tommy Haas, Tomas Berdych, Philipp Kohlschreiber, Sam Querrey and Jeremy Chardy comprise the list of remaining seeds.

    Additional competitors include former finalist Mardy Fish, Ernests Gulbis, Xavier Malisse, Leonardo Mayer and Rajeev Ram. Malisse faces a difficult opening bout with defending champion Stepanek, as does hometown talent Ram, who has drawn sixth seed Kohlschreiber as his first-round opponent.



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