LOS ANGELES – Andy Roddick, the No. 1 seed and the No. 3 ranked player in the world, was forced to withdraw from the 2005 Mercedes-Benz Cup presented by Countrywide Friday due to soreness in his right knee. The tournament is July 25-31 at the Los Angeles Tennis Center-UCLA.
“I am deeply disappointed I will be unable to compete in the Mercedes-Benz Cup due to soreness in my right knee,” Roddick said in a statement. “After consulting with my coach and trainer, we feel that it is critical that I have some recovery time. I have always been fortunate to have great support from southern California over the last few years and I look forward to playing there in the near future.”
“We were very sorry to learn of Andy’s injury,” said Tournament Director Bob Kramer, “and we wish him a speedy recovery. “Led by Andre Agassi, we have a very strong draw, and we’re looking forward to a tremendous tournament.”
Roddick, the 2003 U.S. Open champion and a two-time Wimbledon finalist, has played twice at the Mercedes-Benz Cup, reaching the semifinals in 2002.
Three-time Los Angeles champion and eight-time Grand Slam king Agassi is now the No. 1 seed at the Mercedes-Benz Cup. Other seeded players are Dominik Hrbaty, 2004 finalist Nicolas Kiefer, defending champion Tommy Haas, Taylor Dent, Mario Ancic, Sebastien Grosjean and Greg Rusedski.
Wild cards were extended to James Blake, Cecil Mamiit and Paul Goldstein. Mamiit earned his wild card by winning Friday’s All-American Shootout.
Agassi and twins Bob and Mike Bryan will appear at the event’s charitable opening night gala, “Gibson Baldwin Night at the Net” on Monday, July 25, along with Jon Lovitz, Gavin Rossdale, Randy Jackson, Steve Harvey, Kool & The Gang, Angie Stone and KEM.
Barry MacKay, the 1960 tournament champion who has gained acclaim as a player, coach, tournament director and television commentator, is the tournament honoree and will be recognized at ceremonies following the July 31 singles final.
Daily tickets are available. To purchase tickets, call 310-825-2101 or 877 LA TENNIS. Tickets can also be purchased in advance at Ticketmaster and at the UCLA Central Ticket Office.
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, the cohesive, six-week summer tennis season of 11 North American tournaments linked to the US Open. The Series launched in 2004, and resulted in record attendance, TV viewership and live broadcast hours for the sport. Television viewership was up more than 50%, with regularly scheduled broadcasts on ESPN, CBS, NBC Sports, and The Tennis Channel. In total, the US Open Series events – including the US Open – generated a record 1.5 million attendees, 126 million TV viewers and more than 15 million website visits, making it the strongest summertime property in sports. Lindsay Davenport and Lleyton Hewitt won the inaugural US Open Series.
Previous winners of the Mercedes-Benz Cup, whose history dates to 1927, include 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.