Top-Ranked Top Seeds for ITHF Championships
NEWPORT, R.I. — The top eight seeds of the player field at the Campbell’s Hall of Fame Tennis Championships will be dominated by players ranked within the top 100 on the South African Airways 2010 ATP Rankings. New additions to the player field include No. 53 ranked Benjamin Becker; Nos. 1 and 2 Belgian players Olivier Rochus and Xavier Malisse; Nos 1. and 2 players from Columbia Santiago Giraldo and Alejandro Falla; American Michael Russell, currently ranked No. 82 and No. 85 Karol Beck of Slovakia. The 32-draw tournament will be held July 5 - 11 at the International Tennis Hall of Fame in Newport, R.I. The new commitments join a strong player field of top Americans already committed to compete, including No. 3 American Sam Querrey, No. 7 American and defending champion Rajeev Ram, No. 8 American Mardy Fish and No. 10 American Taylor Dent.
“We look forward to delivering a very exciting week of professional tennis on the Hall of Fame grass courts this summer,” said Mark L. Stenning, CEO of the International Tennis Hall of Fame. “With our top eight players coming from within the top 100 rankings, fans can certainly expect great competition and solid tennis.”
Benjamin Becker of Germany is currently ranked No. 53 on the South African Airways 2010 ATP Rankings. His career-best ranking is No. 38, which he attained in October 2009 and also in January of this year. Becker has a 12-15 record this season. With Leonardo Mayer, he captured the doubles victory in San Jose in February. Last year, Becker finished in the Top 50 for the first time in his career and won his maiden ATP World Tour title at s-Hertogenbosch in Holland. Becker was named 2006 ATP Newcomer of the Year. That same year, he qualified at the US Open and defeated Andre Agassi in the third round in what was Agassi’s last professional match.
Olivier Rochus is the No. 1 player in Belgium and is ranked No. 62 on the South African Airways 2010 ATP Rankings. Rochus won the 2004 French Open doubles title with countryman Xavier Malisse. Earlier this week, Rochus defeated Benoit Paire to advance to the second round at Roland Garros. Rochus has two singles titles to his name (Memphis, 2006 and Palermo, 2000) and two doubles victories as well. Last year, Rochus advanced to the semi-finals in Newport, where he was defeated by eventual champion Rajeev Ram.
No. 84 ranked Xavier Malisse of Belgium is a three-time winner on the ATP World Tour and a four-time doubles champion, including his 2004 French Open victory with Rochus. In 2007, Malisse won singles and doubles titles in two of his first three tournaments of the season (Chennai and Delray Beach). He has a 218-191 record on the ATP World Tour and a 4-9 record this season. This will be Malisse’s first appearance in Newport
No. 58 ranked Santiago Giraldo of Columbia will make his first appearance in Newport. Giraldo has steadily advanced through the rankings in recent years, achieving his career-best ranking earlier this month at No. 55. Giraldo has advanced to the semi-finals of four ATP Challenger events this year, winning the tournament in Pereira, Columbia. He is a member of the Columbian Davis Cup team and has a 5-3 singles record.
Alejandro Falla is the No. 2 Columbian player and is currently ranked No. 70. He attained a career-best ranking of No. 58 in April of this year. Falla will make his second appearance in Newport, after qualifying last year and falling to eventual champion Rajeev Ram in the first round. Last year, Falla finished in the Top 100 for the second time in three years, highlighted by a 25-11 record in Challengers with three titles. Falla has a 27-7 Davis Cup record for the Columbian team.
American Michael Russell, who is currently ranked No. 82, will make his third appearance in Newport. Russell, who is originally from Michigan and resides in Texas, closed out 2009 as the oldest American within the top 100 for the second time in three years. This year, he has a 7-10 ATP World Tour playing record and he won a Challenger title in Honolulu.
Slovakia’s No. 2 player Karol Beck will make his first appearance in Newport. Beck has had a solid season on the Challenger level, winning tournaments at Belgrade and Bergamo, Italy. Beck plays on the Slovakian Davis Cup team and has compiled an 8-10 match record.
The Campbell’s Hall of Fame Tennis Championships is an ATP World Tour event drawing 32 top male players to Newport direct from Wimbledon to compete for the Van Alen Cup and $442,500 in prize money. Tickets for the tournament are now available for purchase online through tennisfame.com or by calling the Tournament Office at 401-849-6053 or 866-914-FAME (3263).
Complementing another exciting week of ATP World Tour tennis will be the International Tennis Hall of Fame Class of 2010 Induction Ceremony. The Induction Ceremony will be held on Saturday, July 10 at 12:30 p.m., prior to the tournament’s semifinal matches. The Class of 2010 is dominated by doubles stars in the Recent Player and Master Player categories, with the inductions of Todd Woodbridge, Mark Woodforde, Gigi Fernandez, Natasha Zvereva and Owen Davidson. In the Contributor category, Brad Parks, the pioneering founder of Wheelchair Tennis, has been selected for induction, along with Derek Hardwick, who served as chairman of the British Lawn Tennis Association and was instrumental in the creation of Open tennis.
Additional special events during tournament week include Family Weekend, featuring tennis clinics, entertainment and Museum tours on July 3 & 4; an ATP World Tour Doubles Pro-Am on July 4, which offers the exclusive opportunity to play alongside the pros on the grass courts; free tennis lessons for all ages on July 5 & 6; and the Angela Moore Fashion Show on July 8.
For additional information, please call the Campbell’s Hall of Fame Tennis Championships at 866-914-FAME (3263) or visit tennisfame.com.
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