Former US Open champion Lleyton Hewitt, current Top 20 player Kevin Anderson and former Top 10 player Radek Stepanek are joining a host of promising young Americans in committing to the BB&T Atlanta Open, the first event of the 2014 Emirates Airline US Open Series season.
Stepanek, of the Czech Republic, becomes the third European who is former Top 10 player to head to Atlanta, joining Gael Monfils (who peaked at No. 7) and Richard Gasquet (also No. 7). Other commitments for 2014 who have reached the Top 10 include defending champion John Isner (carrer-best No. 9, currently No. 11) and former No. 8 Marcos Baghdatis, who is currently scheduled to play qualifying.
With the addition of Anderson, along with Isner, Gasquet and Monfils, four players currently ranked in the Top 20 will be in the field.
“This is the strongest field in tournament history, especially considering the influx of outstanding European players.” said Eddie Gonzalez, tournament director and chief development officer. “We have notably expanded our presence to have a diverse mix of players from up and comers to proven pros competing in our tournament.”
BB&T Atlanta Open regulars Donald Young and Jack Sock will also be playing again this year, bolstering the young American contingent. They are joined by fellow Americans Bradley Klahn, who is making his first appearance in Atlanta. Sam Querrey is playing Atlanta for the first time this year. Ryan Harrison has signed up to play and is projected to be in qualifying. Robby Ginepri has registered for qualifying but is not a direct entry.
Promising American junior Francis Tiafoe has accepted his first tournament qualifying wild card. Tiafoe, 16, rose to No. 2 in the world junior rankings this spring. Georgia Tech’s Nathan Rakitt and Alabama’s Becker O’Shaughnessey have accepted qualifying wild cards. Rakitt, an All-ACC selectee, is competing again for the second year. O’Shaughnessey
Weekend Ticket Packages for the BB&T Atlanta Open are also on sale, with packages starting at $228. The packages cover Friday, July 25, through Sunday, July 27, and provide fans with tickets to the singles and doubles quarterfinals, semifinals and finals.