It’s a pretty typical cast of characters for the men’s hard court season, with Americans Blake, Roddick, Spadea, Reynolds, and Gimelstob in da house. The field features a strong group of outsiders too, including Tursunov, whose game seems perfectly suited for hard courts, and the debut of 21 year old Canadian Frank Dancevic, who is working his way into the ATP Tour after his start at the Challengers. Be on the lookout for Sam Querrey in Indy, who was given a wild card into the tournament a couple of weeks ago. Also drawing the big wc was Tommy Haas, while Andre Agassi, Marcos Baghdatis, Tommy Robredo and Donald Young are possibilities for the remaining one.
Based on Newport, a few notable injury pulls from the Indy show could include Rusedski, defending champion Robby Ginepri, and Taylor Dent. Dent is a pretty reliable force on the summer tour, and it’s sad to hear that he has not yet made his arrangements for any of the stops.
There’s also an interesting new comer going after the cool 2 millie prize this summer: Marat Safin. He got a wild card a couple of weeks ago, and is playing a bunch of the stops leading up to the U.S. Open this summer. According to his official website, he’s currently practicing in Valencia and should have landed in Indianapolis on Thursday. Safin had previously really only played Cincinatti and Toronto as his hard court lead ups, so his run is an interesting one. Safin is also confirmed to play LA, DC, the Natty, and Toronto, which only leaves Pilot left to enter.
Could Marat take the prize? We’ll see.
I scoped out the ticket situation, and while sales are apparently up over last year, there are still plenty of good seats up for grabs. Remember that this year’s Series will feature Hawk-Eye, and all of the stops (besides San Diego) are going to be rigged with jumbotrons for maximum viewing pleasure. Main draw begins Monday, with the qualies held on Saturday and Sunday.
Budget minded? Keep in mind that your $8 ticket to the qualies could be the best money you spend since many of the players come down to the venue to hit and check it out. This allows fans to see them up close and personal hitting on outer courts. Plus you get to see smokin’ locals fighting their way in. What could be better? You may get a glimpse of Roddick and Blake duking it out.
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