Indianapolis: July 14-20

July 13, 2008 06:26 PM

Canadian Frank Dancevic - 2007 Finalist, Spaniard Feliciano Lopez and Japanese teen sensation Kei Nishikori will join previously announced players James Blake, Andy Murray, Dmitry Tursunov and others at the 2008 Indianapolis Tennis Championships Presented by Lilly, July 12-20, at the Indianapolis Tennis Center on the campus of IUPUI.

“With the balance of American and international players we will deliver some of the best sporting entertainment in town,” said Indianapolis Tennis Championships Tournament Director Kevin Martin. “Tennis is a global sport and each and every year we have been able to attract world-class tennis talent from all over the world to Indianapolis for one week and this year’s tournament is no exception.”

Last year, the 23-year-old Canadian Frank Dancevic, currently ranked No. 95 on the ATP Rankings, was the surprise finalist in 2007 (l. Tursunov). En route to the finals he defeated No. 5 Roddick in semifinals to register his first career Top 10 victory. The Indianapolis finals was his first ATP final, earning him the distinction of being the first Canadian citizen to advance to an ATP final since Greg Rudedski captured the Seoul title on April 30, 1995. Followed up with first career AMS QF, in home country tournament in Montreal (l. to Nadal), and made US Open debut as qualifier (l. to Safin). Dancevic finished 2007 as the top Canadian for third time in four years and achieved personal-best record of 18-19 and career-high ranking of No. 65 on Sept. 10.

Feliciano Lopez, the veteran Spaniard from Madrid, will be making his second appearance in Indianapolis and first since 2002. He is currently ranked No. 35 on ATP Rankings with 2008 being highlighted by reaching finals at Dubai (l. Roddick). En route to the finals he defeated three top 10 players: No. 10 Berdych, No. 4 Ferrer and No. 5 Davydenko in consecutive matches. In 2007 he returned to year-end top 40 ranking for fourth time in five years with strong performances in the second half of the season. Lopez defeated Henman in five sets in the2nd RD match at All England Club - the Briton's last match at Wimbledon - before losing to Tsonga. He then advanced to the semifinals in Stuttgart, posting wins over No. 10 Berdych (3rd RD) and Ferrero (QF) before losing to Nadal. Lopez achieved his best US Open result by advancing to 4th RD, where he pushed Federer to four sets, going on to reach quarterfinals at consecutive events in Tokyo (l. to Ferrer), Vienna (l. to Wawrinka) and AMS Madrid (l. to Federer).

The 18-year-old Kei Nishikori, a qualifier and ranked No. 244 at the time, became the first Japanese ATP title winner in almost 16 years when he stunned top seed James Blake in the final of the 2008 Delray Beach International Tennis Championships. Playing in his sixth ATP tournament, Nishikori rallied from a set down to win 3-6, 6-1, 6-4. After qualifying he defeated No. 5 seed Florian Mayer and Americans Amer Delic, Bobby Reynolds, No. 3 seed Sam Querrey (saving four match points) and top seed and World No. 12 James Blake in the final. At 18 years, 1 month, 19 days old, Nishikori is the youngest player to win an ATP title since Lleyton Hewitt (16 years, 10 months, 18 days) in Adelaide on January 11, 1998. Additionally, he is the first Japanese ATP singles titlist since Shuzo Matsuoka won Seoul in April 1992.

2008 Indianapolis Tennis Championships Official Player Acceptance List

Becker, Benjamin GER
Lu, Yen-Hsun TPE
Bellucci, Thomaz BRA
Mahut, Nicolas FRA
Blake, James USA
Murray, Andy GBR
Bolelli, Simone ITA
Nishikori, Kei JPN
Dancevic, Frank CAN
Odesnik, Wayne USA
Falla, Alejandro COL
Querrey, Sam USA
Ginepri, Robby USA
Reynolds, Bobby USA
Guccione, Chris AUS
Sela, Dudi ISR
Isner, John USA
Simon, Gilles FRA
Kunitsyn, Igor RUS
Tursunov, Dmitry RUS
Lee, Hyung-Taik KOR Young, Donald USA
Lopez, Feliciano ESP