Tournament Director Michael Luevano said today that former world No.1, Grand Slam champion and winner of the season-ending championship, Lleyton Hewitt has been awarded the first wild card to the 2012 Shanghai Rolex Masters.
The award-winning Shanghai Rolex Masters will be played at the Qi Zhong Tennis Center, 7 to 14 October.
Currently ranked 101, 31 year old Hewitt has made yet another tremendous come back from surgery and continues to show his great fight and determination on the world’s tennis courts.
“We had no hesitation in awarding Lleyton a wild card when he asked for it,” Michael Luevano said. “Shanghai tennis fans will remember the outstanding run he had here in 2002 when he won the year-end championship which was then known as the Tennis Masters Cup.
“That year he defeated Albert Costa, Marat Safin, Roger Federer in the semis and then Juan Carlos Ferrero in a gripping five set final. That incredible spirit has never left him no matter how many times he has been forced to make comebacks after injuries and surgeries.
“Lleyton held the world No.1 ranking for 80 weeks and was a winner of Wimbledon and the US Open, and I have no doubt fans at the Shanghai Rolex Masters will be thrilled to see Lleyton in action once again at Qi Zhong Tennis Center.”
This will mark the third time Hewitt will be playing in Shanghai. Other than in 2002, he was also at the first Shanghai Rolex Masters in 2009 when he defeated John Isner in the first round before being stopped by Gael Monfils.
The Shanghai Rolex Masters voted the last three years the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 “Tournament of the Year”, is the only such event in Asia. It will once again be hosting the best of the best including two time defending champion, Olympic Gold medallist and new US Open champion Andy Murray, winner of a record 17 Grand Slam titles Roger Federer, five time Grand Slam winner Novak Djokovic and last year’s finalist and Davis Cup hero David Ferrer.