LOS ANGELES -- Five top-30 players, including two former champions, are among the 20 players who are on the initial acceptance list for the 2010 Farmers Classic that will be held at the LA Tennis Center July 26-Aug. 1.
The projected top seed in the field is world No. 3 Novak Djokovic, the 2008 Australian Open champion. The Serbian star will be making his debut at Farmers Classic.
Two of the other projected top seeds are former champions of the event. This summer, Sam Querrey will be defending not only his Farmers Classic title but also his crown from the Olympus US Open Series. The 2007 tournament champion, Radek Stepanek, is returning to LA this summer, as is his opponent from that final, James Blake.
Other noteworthy players who are entered into the 2010 Farmers Classic include former Australian Open finalist Marcos Baghdatis, rising Latvian star Ernests Gulbis, Spanish Davis Cup champion Feliciano Lopez, former NCAA champion Benjamin Becker and Americans Robby Ginepri and Mardy Fish.
"The 2010 Farmers Classic player field is very strong," said Tournament Director Bob Kramer. "There will be Grand Slam champions, former Farmers Classic champions, American heroes and international stars. This strong lineup ,coupled with the special events we have added this year, will give us an incredible 11 days of tennis and entertainment at the LA Tennis Center."
Juan Martin del Potro, the reigning US Open champion, had committed to this year's tournament but has withdrawn after a recent wrist surgery. However, the Argentine has already committed to the 2011 Farmers Classic. The 2008 Los Angeles champion underwent treatment recently and expressed that his wrist problem might prevent him from defending his US Open title. It also means that he will miss the Olympus US Open Series summer season.
"I am very disappointed that I will not be able to play the Farmers Classic at UCLA," said del Potro. "I was really looking forward to playing where I won my first American and hardcourt events, but unfortunately my wrist injury does not allow me to. I will be back, fully fit to play in Los Angeles next year."
Here's a look at the first 20 entrants into the 28-player field for the 2010 Farmers Classic:
|Marcos Baghdatis (CYP)
||Santiago Giraldo (COL)
||Sam Querrey (USA)
|Benjamin Becker (GER)
||Ernests Gulbis (LAT)
||Ranier Schuettler (GER)
|James Blake (USA)
||Lukas Lacko (SVK)
||Dudi Sela (ISR)
|Novak Djokovic (SRB)
||Feliciano Lopez (ESP)
||Radek Stepanek (CZE)
|Alejandro Falla (COL)
||Xavier Malisse (BEL)
||Janko Tipsarevic (SRB)
|Mardy Fish (USA)
||Leonardo Mayer (ARG)
||Kristof Vliegen (BEL)
|Robby Ginepri (USA)
|Horacio Zeballos (ARG)
In addition to these singles stars, the doubles field will be headlined by five-time Farmers Classic champions Bob and Mike Bryan. The Bryans are tied for the Open Era record with 61 career titles heading into Wimbledon.
ESPN2 will broadcast eight hours of live coverage of this year's Farmers Classic, including singles quarterfinal, semifinal and championship matches. Tennis Channel will again provide significant additional broadcast coverage, including singles quarterfinal and doubles championship matches.
In addition to the 84th edition of the Farmers Classic, the LA Tennis Center will be very busy this summer with a series of special events.
Keith Urban and the Avett Brothers will perform at the LA Tennis Center on Friday, July 23, as part of the Starry Night Benefit Concert Presented by the GRAMMY Foundation.
On Saturday, July 24, Andre Agassi and John McEnroe will return to the LA Tennis Center as part of Stars Under the Stars, an evening of tennis and entertainment to benefit the Andre Agassi Foundation for Education.
Following the completion of the Farmers Classic, on Monday, Aug. 2, the LA Tennis Center will play host to KLOS Rocking the Net Starring Bret Michaels to benefit the Southern California Tennis Association. Tesla will also perform as part of the concert that evening.
Tickets for Farmers Classic, Stars Under the Stars, Starry Night KLOS Rocking the Net Starring Bret Michaels are on sale now through Ticketmaster. Additional ticket information can be found at www.FarmersClassic.com or by calling 310-824-1010, ext. 251.
ABOUT THE FARMERS CLASSIC
The Farmers Classic has been played every year since 1927, making it the longest-running annual professional sporting event in Los Angeles. Played since 1984 at the LA Tennis Center on the campus of UCLA, the tournament is part of the Olympus US Open Series, the six-week summer tennis season linking 10 ATP World Tour and Sony Ericsson WTA Tour events to the US Open. Proceeds from the Farmers Classic 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. Information on tickets and the tournament can be found at www.FarmersClassic.com or by calling 310-824-1010.