The Winston-Salem Open announces 2014 player field and all 38 competitors are among top 76 in the world.
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – The Winston-Salem Open at Wake Forest University announced today the player field for the tournament, which will be held August 16-23, 2014 at the Wake Forest Tennis Complex adjacent to BB&T Field. The field of competitors announced today will occupy 38 of the slots in the tournament's 48-player singles draw.
In addition to previously announced fan favorites John Isner, Tommy Robredo, Sam Querrey and Marcel Granollers, other members of this year's field include defending champion Jurgen Melzer, 2013 Wimbledon semifinalist Jerzy Janowicz and this year's Wimbledon doubles champions Jack Sock and Vasek Pospisil. All 38 players currently slated to compete in the Winston-Salem Open are ranked in the top 76 in the world.
Four spots remain to be filled by wild card entries, which in the past have gone to players like Andy Roddick, Tomas Berdych and Lleyton Hewitt. Four spots will go to winners in the qualifying tournament, while two spots are saved in case players qualify for the field under the ATP's special exempt rule. There will be an additional field of 16 doubles teams to be named closer to the tournament.
"World-class players like John Isner, Tommy Robredo, Sam Querrey, Jerzy Janowicz and Jurgen Melzer are attracted to Winston-Salem year after year because of the outstanding hospitality, fan support and volunteers that our community offers," said tournament director Bill Oakes. "We're equally excited that this year an elite group of other young Americans like Jack Sock, Steve Johnson, Donald Young and Bradley Klahn will compete in the tournament."
The Winston-Salem Open announced the 2014 player field. WFMY News 2 interviewed Bill Oakes, the tournament director. WFMY News 2
"If you want to see the next generation of American tennis, the Winston-Salem Open will be the place to be this August," Oakes added. "It's incredible that every player we're announcing today is among the top 76 tennis professionals in the world. That speaks volumes about the Winston-Salem Open, which is just four years old. We will fill the remaining slots with other incredible players and look forward to having another blockbuster tournament this year at the Wake Forest Tennis Complex."
Highlights of the player field include:
Playing some of the best tennis of his career, John Isner will once again headline the Winston-Salem Open field. The champion of the 2011 and 2012 Winston-Salem Opens, Isner has been ranked as high as No. 9 in the world this year and currently sits at No. 12 in the ATP rankings. A former college standout at the University of Georgia, Isner has won eight career ATP singles titles including one earlier this year in Auckland. This spring he reached the Round of 16 at the French Open and the third round at Wimbledon, marking his best-ever showings at those Grand Slams.
Spaniard Tommy Robredo has been ranked as high as No. 14 in the world this year, completing a two-year comeback from injuries that dropped him out of the top 400. Robredo, 32, will be competing in the Winston-Salem Open for the third consecutive year. In 2013 he fell to eventual finalist Gael Monfils in a three-set thriller in the third round. A consistent veteran, Robredo has reached at least the third round of all three Grand Slams this year and owns 12 career ATP singles titles.
Sam Querrey has reclaimed his spot as the second-ranked American behind Isner in the ATP rankings thanks to strong performances this spring. The California native reached the semifinals at Eastbourne last month and also made a semifinal appearance at Houston in April. A winner of seven career ATP titles, Querrey will be returning to the Winston-Salem Open for the third year in a row after reaching the semifinals the past two years.
2013 Winston-Salem Open champion Jurgen Melzer, a competitor in every edition of the tournament, will return to defend his title in 2014. The 33-year old, who has been ranked as high as No. 8 in the world in his career, returned in April from a shoulder injury that had sidelined him for six months and immediately made an impact, putting on strong performances at Rome, Barcelona and Dusseldorf before reaching the semifinals on grass at s-Hertogenbosch. Melzer survived a difficult path to win his fifth career ATP singles title in Winston-Salem last year, beating Benoit Paire, Dmitry Tursunov and Sam Querrey before topping Gael Monfils in the final.
This year's Wimbledon doubles champions Jack Sock and Vasek Pospisil, both talented singles players as well, have joined the Winston-Salem Open field. The two teamed up for the first time at the All-England Club and beat the Bryan Brothers in a dramatic five-set final.
Sock, one of the most promising American prospects at age 21, cracked the top 75 in the world for the first time this spring thanks to quarterfinal appearances in Houston, Memphis and Auckland. In addition to his Wimbledon doubles title last week, Sock won the US Open Mixed Doubles championship in 2011, making him the youngest American to own two Grand Slam titles in more than 15 years.
Pospisil took his native Canada by storm last summer with a dramatic run to the semifinals of the ATP Masters 1000 event in Montreal, one week after winning a Challenger in Vancouver. The 24-year-old Pospisil has joined Milos Raonic and Eugenie Bouchard on the women's side to make up a Golden Generation of Canadian tennis.
A trio of young players, Steve Johnson, Donald Young and Bradley Klahn, will join Sock in giving Winston-Salem Open fans a look at the current generation of American prospects. All three have jumped in the rankings this year thanks to strong performances this spring.
Johnson, a two-time NCAA Singles Champion at USC, made a splash at last year's Winston-Salem Open by upsetting No. 2 seed Andreas Seppi. He has continued his strong play in 2014, beating Tommy Haas and Feliciano Lopez to reach his first ATP semifinal at Delray Beach and rising to a career-high No. 63 in the rankings.
Young, long heralded as the next American star, is still only 24-years old and has begun to resurrect his career this year thanks to strong performances on the Challenger circuit. His performance peaked at Roland Garros where he blasted Feliciano Lopez in straight sets in the second round before dropping a tough five-setter to Guillermo Garcia-Lopez. On the strength of his spring results, he returned to the top 60 in the world for the first time in two years.
Klahn is another player who took the college route to the pros, winning the 2010 NCAA Singles Championship while at Stanford. Thanks to strong results on the Challenger Circuit, Klahn rose as high as No. 63 in the ATP rankings this spring, briefly taking over the title of second-highest ranked American, but he is still looking for his first breakthrough at the tour level. The best result of his career so far came in 2012, when he qualified for the US Open and then upset Jurgen Melzer in five sets in the first round.
2013 Wimbledon semifinalist Jerzy Janowicz made his mark on the world stage last year with his dramatic run at the All England Club. The Pole, then only 22-years old, used his punishing serve to blast his way to the semis before falling to eventual champion Andy Murray. That result, among others, propelled him as high as No. 14 in the ATP rankings later in the summer, making him the youngest player in the top 25. Janowicz will be making his first appearance in the main draw at the Winston-Salem Open. He played in qualifying in 2012, but lost in the final round to Ernests Gulbis.
About the Winston-Salem Open:
The Winston-Salem Open, an ATP World Tour 250 event with a total purse of $625,000, will take place from August 16-23, 2014, with qualifying set for August 16. The tournament will be the final men's event of the Emirates Airline US Open Series and is the week prior to the US Open. For more information on the 2014 Winston-Salem Open, please go to WinstonSalemOpen.com.