Four outstanding ATP World Tour players have committed to playing in Atlanta.
John Isner, USA’s top-ranked player, just jumped to No. 20 in the world following his run to the final at the Regions Morgan Keegan Championships in Memphis. The former University of Georgia All-American has won more than $1,180,000 in his career and has just reached his highest ranking ever, rising 123 places in the last 12 months.
With a dominating first serve, the towering 6’9” native of Greensboro, N.C. captured his first tournament win in Auckland. Isner was recently named by Captain Patrick McEnroe to the U.S. Davis Cup team for the first time.
Former No. 1 player Lleyton Hewitt recently put the Atlanta Tennis Championships on his calendar. The two-time Grand Slam winner reached the pinnacle of tennis in November 2001 and reigned atop the ATP World Tour rankings for 75 weeks. Hewitt won the 2001 US Open, 2002 Wimbledon and the 2001 and 2002 Tennis Masters Cups. The hard-working Australian has captured 27 tour titles, the most recent coming last year in Houston.
Known for his fiery personality and nickname “Rusty,” the redheaded Hewitt brings his distinctive fist pump and bravado to Atlanta for the first time. Hewitt is often labeled the ultimate counterpuncher, scoring with penetrating ground strokes, quick court coverage and a scrappy, do-or-die personality. He has been ranked as high as No. 19 this year.
James Blake, the long-time American tennis star, has been ranked as high as No. 4 in the world. Blake has won 10 ATP titles, including the 2006 Indianapolis tournament, which the Atlanta tournament is replacing. He started his career in 2000 and has been a Davis Cup stalwart for the American team.
Included in People Magazine’s 2006-2007 “Sexiest Man Alive” issue, Blake is also known for off-court accomplishments. He played tennis for two years at Harvard University and co-wrote the autobiography "Breaking Back: How I Lost Everything and Won Back My Life" that reached 15th on The New York Times Best Seller list. The book chronicles Blake’s accident where he ran into a net post and broke his back.
Robby Ginepri is the local guy in the mix as he hails and still lives in the Atlanta suburb of Marietta. Interestingly enough, he’s had his most success at the Indianapolis tournament that was replaced by Atlanta. He won the title in 2005 and 2009 on hard courts. Ginepri’s other ATP title came on the grass lawns of Newport in 2003.
With a hot summer run in 2005, Ginepri topped off his success with three straight five-set victories at the US Open. His big moment came when he reached his first Grand Slam semifinal. Later that year he rose to his highest ranking of No. 15.
The first male to appear at Wimbledon in a sleeveless shirt, the handsome Georgian is also known for his dark good looks and mentions on celebrity gossip pages.