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  • Isner, defending champ Roddick headline Memphis

    2/20/12 3:46 AM | Ricky Dimon
    Isner, defending champ Roddick headline Memphis Memphis will once again have an American feel as top-seeded John Isner and defending champion Andy Roddick lead the field. San Jose champion Milos Raonic is back in action and looks to go one step further than he did last year.

    Already plagued by multiple injuries in 2012, Andy Roddick returns to the Regions Morgan Keegan Championships looking for some much-needed good luck.

    If there is any good news for the defending Memphis champion, it's that his 2011 winner's points have already come off the board so perhaps he will not feel as much pressure. The tournament was held one week earlier last year; thus Roddick plummeted 10 spots to No. 27 in the world on Sunday night.

    Roddick headlines this field as the No. 2 seed behind countryman John Isner. The 6'9'' American, a former Memphis runner-up, has climbed to a career-high ranking of No. 13 in the world. Isner did not play particularly well in Australia, but he is always at his best on U.S. hard courts and he is armed with confidence from a huge Davis Cup upset of Roger Federer in Switzerland.

    Milos Raonic heads to Memphis just as he did last season--fresh off a title in San Jose. Roddick has the misfortune of being in the bottom half of the draw with the big-serving Canadian; of course, Roddick would have to make it that for it to come into play. Raonic, who will open against Ernests Gulbis, is part of a relatively weak third section so he could be in line for another trip to the Memphis title match.

    Roddick will begin his campaign against fellow veteran Xavier Malisse, who has been playing dismal tennis ever since Wimbledon last summer. Trouble for Roddick could come in the quarterfinals in the form of Julien Benneteau, who reached the Sydney final and the San Jose semis.

    Isner leads the way in an interesting top section of the bracket. The No. 1 seed will face Gilles Muller before a possible matchup with one of two youngsters; either Donald Young or Grigor Dimitrov. Isner is also on course for a quarterfinal meeting with either Bernard Tomic or San Jose runner-up Denis Istomin.

    Seeds Radek Stepanek and Kevin Anderson will be looking to make the semifinals out of the draw's second quarter. They will be challenged by a host of veteran Americans including James Blake and qualifiers Robby Ginepri and Bobby Reynolds.

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