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Blake and Safina Highlight Sony Ericsson Open Wildcards

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Black Tennis Pro's James Blake 2010 Sony Ericsson OpenMIAMI, Fla. (www.sonyericssonopen.com) – The 2011 Sony Ericsson Open announced its wildcard entries and this year it features former World No. 4 James Blake and former World No. 1 Dinara Safina. A total of five wildcard slots were granted to the men’s draw and also include Jack Sock, Ryan Harrison, Milos Raonic, and Bernard Tomic. While six were given on the women’s side which feature Heather Watson, Sorana Cirstea, Sabine Lisicki, Madison Keys, and Coco Vandeweghe.

Women’s main draw begins on Tuesday, March 22, while the men’s main draw kicks off the following day on Wednesday, March 23. The qualifying rounds will be held Monday and Tuesday, March 21 and 22.

Tickets to the 2011 Sony Ericsson Open are on sale now and can be purchased by phone (305-442-3367) or via internet at www.sonyericssonopen.com. An electrifying two weeks of tennis conclude with the women’s final on Saturday, April 2 and the men’s final on Sunday, April 3.

Blake will make his return to Miami, hoping to improve on his career-best quarterfinal showings in 2006 and 2008. Safina made her last appearance on the purple courts in 2009 as the No. 2 seeded player advancing to the third round. She recorded her career-best finish in 2008 when she advanced to the quarterfinals.

Blake, always a fan favorite, earned his first ATP win in 2002 becoming the fourth African American to win an ATP title in the Open Era. In 2005, Blake grabbed the national spotlight at the U.S. Open when he played a thrilling five-set match in the quarter finals against his idol, Andre Agassi. From there, Blake’s career blossomed tremendously as he reached his career-high of No. 4 in the world in 2006 becoming the first African American to crack the top-10 since his role model, Arthur Ashe.

Safina made her professional debut in 2002. The Russian star recorded a breakout season in 2008 winning a career-best four singles titles. In 2008, she was awarded the WTA Most Improved Player, and was the first player in history to defeat three reigning World No. 1s in the same season (Justine Henin, Maria Sharapova, and Jelena Jankovic). Safina reached a career-high rank of No. 1 in the world in 2009, and joined her brother Marat Safin as the first brother-sister combo to both achieve World No. 1 rankings.

In addition to Blake and Safina the tournament wildcards include many of the Tour’s next generation of tennis stars.

Men’s Main Draw Wildcards
James Blake
Jack Sock
Ryan Harrison
Milos Raonic
Bernard Tomic

Men’s Qualifying Wildcards
Gastao Elias
Filip Krajinovic

Women’s Main Draw Wildcards
Dinara Safina
Heather Watson
Madison Keys
Sabine Lisicki
Coco Vandeweghe
Sorana Cirstea

Women’s Qualifying Draw Wildcards
Michelle Larcher de Brito
Lauren Davis
Carina Witthoeft
Aleksandra Wozniak
Beatrice Capra
Sloane Stevens

Posted by Shelia

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