Americans headline wildcard entries at the Pacific Life Open
Indian Wells, Calif. — An impressive group of American players, including veterans Mardy Fish, and Robby Ginepri and rising stars Donald Young, John Isner, Vania King, Asha Rolle, Bethanie Mattek, Angela Haynes, Madison Brengle, and Melanie Oudin have been granted wild cards for the 2008 Pacific Life Open, to be held March 10-23 at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden, it was announced today by tournament director Steve Simon.
Three other players that have been granted wildcards into the event are former top ten player Mario Ancic and outstanding Juniors Urszula Radwanska from Poland and Anastasia Pivovarova from Russia.
This year marks the seventh time that Fish will be playing the Pacific Life Open. He started the 2008 season with quarterfinal showings at San Jose and Delray Beach and scored a sensational upset of Tommy Robredo at the Australian Open. Last year he was a finalist at Pilot Pen Tennis in New Haven and reached the quarterfinals or better four other times. Ginepri, a close friend of Fish, has started to turn his tennis fortunes around with two impressive semifinal efforts in the last month at San Jose and Delray Beach.
Teenager Donald Young broke through the top 100 for the first time last year and is currently ranked No. 85 in the world. A former World No. 1 ranked Junior, Young was a quarterfinalist in Memphis recently and last year won the Challenger in Aptos, California and reached the final of another four Challenger events. Isner meanwhile started to make his mark on the tour last summer when he was the runner-up to Andy Roddick in Washington and took a set off Roger Federer at the US Open. He won the Challenger in Lexington and reached the quarters or better of five other Challengers. So far this year, the 6’9” star’s best result is a quarterfinals appearance at San Jose.
King, from Southern California, won her first career title in 2006 at Bangkok and last year was a quarterfinalist at Quebec City and Bangkok. Rolle was a quarterfinalist at the Futures event in Clearwater, Florida this year while Haynes made the final of the Futures tournament at Sunrise, Florida. Mattek ended the 2007 season in the top 100 for the second straight year and recently upset World No. 13 Tatiana Golovin in Memphis. Brengle and Oudin both have won a number of ITF Junior titles over the course of their young careers. Last year, Brengle won the Belgian International Juniors and was the runner-up at the Junior Wimbledon, while Oudin won the Eddie Herr Junior Title in Bradenton, Florida and was the runner-up at the Orange Bowl.
Croatian Mario Ancic is one of the more charismatic young players in tennis. Previously ranked as high as No. 7 in the world, he struggled with illness and injury in 2007, missing six months of action. He now seems to be well and reached the finals at Marseille and the semifinals at Zagreb earlier this year.
Seventeen year old Urszula Radwanska, currently the No. 1 ranked Junior in the world and sister of World No. 19 Agnieszka Radwanska, is still playing a limited schedule on the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour, but last year had the thrill of her young career when she won the Junior Wimbledon title. Pivavorva is also a future star and earlier this year won a Challenger event at Tampa Bay, Florida. In addition, she added three Challenger titles to her resume last year on the circuit.
Wildcards for the men’s qualifying draw were awarded to Michael McClune, Ryan Thacher and Jesse Levine. Wild cards for the women’s qualifying draw were awarded to Riza Zalameda, Anne Yelsey, Coco Vandeweghe, Gail Brodsky and Amber Liu. Two other wildcards (one man, one woman) will be given to the winners of the Pacific Life Open Pre-Qualifying tournament, to be held March 8-9 at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden.
For more information about the Pacific Life Open and the wildcards, visit pacificlifeopen.com.
About the Pacific Life Open
The first major tennis event of the season on U.S. soil, the Pacific Life Open features more than 250 of the world’s best men and women tennis players. Last year, more than 300,000 people attended the event, which is held at the second largest tennis stadium in the world and located just outside of Palm Springs.
About Pacific Life
Founded in 1868, Pacific Life provides life insurance products, individual annuities, and mutual funds, and offers a variety of investment products and services to individuals, businesses, and pension plans. Pacific Life counts more than half of the 50 largest U.S. companies as clients&sub1; and is a member of Insurance Marketplace Standards Association (IMSA), whose membership promotes high ethical standards for the sale of individual life insurance and annuities. For additional information about Pacific Life, including its current financial strength ratings from A.M. Best, Fitch Ratings, Standard & Poor’s, and Moody’s, visit the company Web site at PacificLife.com.
&sub1; Data compiled by Pacific Life using the FORTUNE 500 list as of April 2007.
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