LOS ANGELES – Andy Roddick, the youngest American ever and the second youngest man in history to finish No. 1 in the year-end ATP Rankings, has committed to the 2005 Mercedes-Benz Cup presented by Countrywide at the Los Angeles Tennis Center-UCLA. Also among the early entries are defending singles champion Tommy Haas and defending doubles champions Bob and Mike Bryan.
Roddick won four singles titles in 2004 and led the U.S. to its first Davis Cup final since 1997. He also reached four other singles finals, including his first title match at Wimbledon. He was the co-leader on the ATP circuit with a career-high 74 match wins. He became the first American to win 70 or more matches in back-to-back seasons since Pete Sampras from 1992-95). He recorded the fastest serve ever of 155 miles per hour in the Davis Cup semifinal vs. Russia. He owns 16 ATP career singles titles, including six in 2003, when he won the U.S. Open. He won at San Jose this year, and he reached the semifinals at the Australian Open, Memphis and Indian Wells. This is his third appearance in the Mercedes-Benz Cup. He reached the semifinals in 2002.
Haas defeated fellow German Nicolas Kiefer to win the 2004 Mercedes-Benz Cup. Haas defeated three-time Los Angeles champion and top-seeded Andre Agassi in the quarterfinals. Haas also won in Houston last year, giving him seven ATP career singles titles. He advanced to the quarterfinals at the U.S. Open. Last year was Haas’ best since 2001, when he captured four singles titles. He reached the gold medal match at the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney. He was a semifinalist at the Australian Open in 1999 and 2002. He recently took part in the “Serving for Tsunami Relief” exhibition, which raised more than $500,000 for relief efforts.
Twins Bob and Mike Bryan of Camarillo won their second Mercedes-Benz Cup doubles title last year over Australians Wayne Arthurs and Paul Hanley, 6-3, 7-6(6). The Bryans combined to win an ATP-best seven titles in 11 finals last year. They also won in L.A. in 2001. In 2003, they teamed to become the first brother duo to finish No. 1 in the ATP Doubles Race with five titles in eight finals. It was the second year in a row they won five titles. They won the Roland Garros doubles title in 2003 without dropping a set. They hold the record for most doubles titles by a brother team with 22, including this year at Scottsdale.
The Mercedes-Benz Cup presented by Countrywide features a 32-player singles draw and a 16-team doubles competition. Entering its 79th year, the landmark Southern California tournament is the longest running annual professional sporting event in Los Angeles, and offers total player compensation of more than $1 million.
For the second consecutive year, the Mercedes-Benz Cup presented by Countrywide will be a part of the US Open Series, a historic breakthrough for the sport that links 10 summer hard-court tournaments to the US Open, creating a cohesive, six-week summer tennis season for ATP and WTA Tour professional tournaments in North America.
Previous winners of the Mercedes-Benz Cup, whose history dates to 1927, include Andre Agassi, Michael Chang, Pete Sampras, Jim Courier, Michael Stich, Boris Becker, Richard Krajicek, Stefan Edberg, John McEnroe, Jimmy Connors, Arthur Ashe, Rod Laver, Ken Rosewall, Pancho Gonzalez, Jack Kramer, Don Budge, Ellsworth Vines and Bill Tilden.
Proceeds from the Mercedes-Benz Cup, held in conjunction with UCLA, benefit the grassroots programs of the non-profit Southern California Tennis Association (SCTA) and UCLA. The SCTA offers programs, leagues, and tournaments involving 300,000 juniors and 50,000 adults and seniors. Inquiries regarding tickets and information may be directed to the Mercedes-Benz Cup tournament office on the UCLA campus. For information, please call 310-824-1010 or visit online at www.mercedes-benzcup.com.