Hewitt, Blake and Haas Commit to Houston


(February 28, 2013) HOUSTONFormer champions Lleyton Hewitt (2009) and Tommy Haas (2004) as well as former finalist James Blake (2008) are among the players added to the field for the 2013 US Men’s Clay Court Championship as the preliminary entry list was released this week. Twenty-three players, including six ranked within the Top 25 on the ATP World Tour, have committed to the 28-player field for the tournament at River Oaks Country Club April 8-14.

Hewitt, a two-time Grand Slam champion from Australia, and Germany’s Haas headline a list of international stars in the event that includes defending champion Juan Monaco from Argentina, France’s Gael Monfils and Spaniard’s Nicolas Almagro and Fernando Verdasco.

Blake, a former Top 5 player, is among a group of seven Americans that includes 2012 River Oaks runner-up John Isner, 2010 finalist Sam Querrey, Ryan Harrison, Tim Smyczek, Houston resident Michael Russell and wild card recipient Jack Sock.

“Getting the entry list always gives everyone around River Oaks a little energy boost because it means the tournament is now less than six weeks away,” said Tournament Director Van Barry. “With the players that has signed up for the 2013 tournament, I anticipate a lot of excitement for this tournament. It’s such a deep field, I think every day of the week will have plenty of stars and quality matches.”

Here are the first 22 entries for the 213 US Men’s Clay Court Championship, with their nationality and ranking as of Monday, Feb. 25:
Nicolas Almagro (Spain) 12
Martin Alund (Argentina) 91
Ricardas Berankis (Lithuania) 87
Carlos Berlocq (Argentina) 75
James Blake (USA) 99
Flavio Cipolla (Italy) 100
Somdev Devvarman (India) 85*
Tommy Haas (Germany) 19
Ryan Harrison (USA) 76
Lleyton Hewitt (Australia) 98
John Isner (USA) 15
Jesse Levine (Canada) 95
Paolo Lorenzi (Italy) 57
Leonardo Mayer (Argentina) 77
Juan Monaco (Argentina) 14
Guido Pella (Argentina) 88
Sam Querrey (USA) 23
Ruben Ramirez Hidalgo (Spain) 96
Michael Russell (USA) 72
Tim Smyczek (USA) 101
Jack Sock (USA) 130
Fernando Verdasco (Spain) 24
*Protected Ranking

One more player will join the field as wild cards while four more players will advance into the main draw through the qualifying tournament that will be held begin April 6 at River Oaks.

In addition to these singles players, four-time doubles champion the Bryan Brothers will return to River Oaks. The twin brothers Bob and Mike are the World No. 1 doubles team. They own the record for Grand Slam titles with 13 together as well as total career titles together with 85.