• Verdasco headlines roster at SAP Open

    2/7/11 8:38 PM | Kelli DeMario
    Verdasco headlines roster at SAP Open Fernando Verdasco will make his US hard-court debut this week, as the ATP World Tour moves to San Jose, California for the SAP Open. The defending champion leads the 32-player field as the number one seed.

    World No. 9 Fernando is 5-0 at the SAP Open, looking to successfully defend his 2010 title. The 27-year-old Spaniard added ATP World Tour title No. 4 to his resume, following his victory over American No. 1 Andy Roddick in the final.

    Verdasco heads back to work after reaching the Australian Open round of 16, where he fell to Tomas Berdych in three sets.

    The defending champion sits atop a tricky half of the draw that includes: (3) Sam Querrey, (5) Denis Istomin and (7) Lleyton Hewitt. He is set to open against American wildcard Rajeev Ram. Passage through the first round could set a possible meeting with big server Ivo Karlovic. The nearest seed is Istomin, who looms as a likely quarterfinal-round opponent.

    Located in the same half of the draw is former World No. 4 Juan Martin Del Potro, who continues his comeback after a serious right wrist injury. The 2009 US Open champion, now ranked World No. 484, reached the SAP Open quarterfinal in 2009.

    Leading the bottom half of the draw is second seed Gael Monfils, set to take part in his San Jose debut. The World No. 12 has been place in a favorable part of the draw that hosts: (4) Xavier Malisse, (6) Benjamin Becker and (8) Kei Nishikori.

    The closest seed to the Frenchman is Nishikori, whom he would take on for a spot in the semifinal. The 24-year-old will commence his SAP Open bid against American wildcard Bradley Klahn.

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1. Djokovic 12 500 pts
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