The announcement comes just days before the start of the second Grand Slam of the tennis season, the French Open. This group enjoyed great success in Paris, with Wilander pacing the group with three titles and two other finals at Roland Garros. Courier is a two-time French Open winner, and also had one runner-up finish, as did McEnroe.
Together, McEnroe, Wilander and Courier combined for 18 career Grand Slam singles titles, with McEnroe and Wilander winning seven each and Courier claiming four. That trio also spent a total of 248 weeks as the No. 1 player in the world. Wilander is the only player among the six Legends who will compete in 2008 who never won the prestigious Countrywide Classic title. McEnroe is the only two-time winner of the group, claiming the title in 1981 and ’86. Perfors and Krickstein claimed the title in 1988 and ’89, respectively. Courier won in Los Angeles in 1997, while Ferreira, who holds the record for consecutive Grand Slam tournaments played at 56, was the champion in 2003.
"We’re very pleased with the group of players we have in our 2008 Legends field," Tournament Director Bob Kramer said. "In addition to being very accomplished during their careers, they have all proven to be fan favorites and among the greatest entertainers in the sport. They will be a great addition to this year’s Countrywide Classic."
Beginning this weekend at the Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif., the future of tennis will be on display with the unique combined USTA Pro Circuit event featuring the Countrywide Classic Challenger. American Alex Bogomolov, Jr., returns to defend his 2007 title. In last year’s final he defeated Japanese teenager Kei Nishikori, who in the past year has claimed his first career title and reached the Top 100 of the ATP Rankings. Twelve Americans are on the original acceptance list for the event, which will be held in conjunction with the East West Bank Classic Women’s Challenger.
The Countrywide Classic Challenger will begin with qualifying on Saturday, May 24, and main draw matches will start Monday, May 26. Admission is free to this event. More information is at www.usta.com/carsonchallenger.
ANDY RODDICK RETURNING TO COUNTRYWIDE CLASSIC
Top American Headlines Field for August Event at UCLA
|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 5, 2008
LOS ANGELES – Former World No. 1 Andy Roddick will headline the player field for the 2008 Countrywide Classic which will be contested Aug. 4-10 at UCLA. This will mark the fourth appearance in Los Angeles for Roddick, the 2003 US Open champion.
"I’m excited to play LA," Roddick said. "It’s a great tournament to play, and a fun city to be in. I’m looking forward to heading there in August."
Roddick made his Countrywide Classic debut in 2001, but fell in the opening round to World No. 2 Marat Safin in the first round. The following year, Roddick posted his best result in the tournament, advancing to the semifinals before falling to fellow American Jan-Michael Gambill. In 2006, Roddick won two matches before having to withdraw due to injury prior to his quarterfinal match against eventual finalist Dmitry Tursunov. In doubles, Roddick reached the finals in 2001 with Gambill.
"Andy is not only the top American tennis player, but one of the top sports personalities in the world," Tournament Director Bob Kramer said. "We are thrilled to have a great champion like Andy headlining our tournament field in 2008. We are very excited for this year’s event to get underway in August."
Roddick is 24-5 in 2008, and is ranked No. 6 in the World. In 2007, Roddick was undefeated in singles rubbers to lead the United States to its first Davis Cup title since 1995, and will carry a nine-match Davis Cup winning streak into the semifinals this September against Spain. Roddick stands fourth among active players for ATP titles won in the Open Era with 25, including 2008 championships in San Jose and Dubai. He trails only Roger Federer (54), Rafael Nadal (26) and Lleyton Hewitt (26).
A two-time Olympus US Open Series champion, Roddick owns nine ATP titles during the summer hardcourt season. In addition to claiming the 2003 US Open title, Roddick has appeared in the 2006 US Open final as well as the Wimbledon final in both 2004 and 2005. Roddick spent 13 weeks ranked No. 1 in the World in late 2003 and early 2004.
Roddick will be one of four former World No. 1s appearing at the 2008 Countrywide Classic. Former No. 1s John McEnroe, Jim Courier and Mats Wilander, who together own 18 career Grand Slam singles titles, will take part in the Legends Event during this year’s tournament along with former Countrywide Classic tournament champions Wayne Ferreira, Aaron Krickstein and Mikael Pernfors.