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Verdasco Joins Hewitt and Fish at 2011 SAP Open

Three former SAP Open tennis singles champions will descend on HP Pavilion at San Jose Feb. 7-13, 2011, in search of the same thing: another SAP Open championship.

Fernando Verdasco returns to the 2011 SAP Open as the tournament's defending champion. In last year's final, Verdasco used an overpowering serve late in the third-set to defeat three-time champion Andy Roddick 3-6, 6-4, 6-4 to become the first Spaniard to capture the tournament singles championship since Manuel Santana did so in 1964. Verdasco is currently ranked ninth in the South African Airways 2010 ATP singles rankings (as of Aug. 13) and is the second-ranked Spanish player on the ATP World Tour behind the world's top-ranked player, Rafael Nadal. The 2011 SAP Open will be Verdasco's second career appearance in San Jose.

A native of Adelaide, Australia, Lleyton Hewitt has captured 28 singles titles, including two Grand Slam championships (2001 U.S. Open and 2002 Wimbledon), in his career. In 2002, Hewitt captured the SAP Open singles title over American Andre Agassi with a thrilling three-hour 4-6, 7-6 (6), 7-6 (4) victory in what many considered to be the year's best final on the ATP World Tour. He also reached the final in 2006, when he lost a tight three-set thriller to eventual champion Andy Murray 6-2, 1-6, 6-7(3). Hewitt who finished as the No. 1 player in 2001-2002, and finished 2005 at No. 4, has won more than $18 million in his 12-year career.

Returning to the 2011 SAP Open for the ninth time in his career is fan favorite Mardy Fish. Fish, 28, is a former SAP Open Doubles champion, having captured the title in 2004 with friend and partner James Blake as they defeated the third-seeded team of Rick Leach and Brian MacPhie 6-2, 7-5. Fish, who had to withdraw from the SAP Open singles field of players last year due to injury, has amassed more than 200 singles victories in his career and is currently ranked No. 34 in the South African Airways 2010 ATP Singles Rankings (as of Aug. 13).

The SAP Open is the second-oldest men's professional tennis tournament in the U.S. In its 122-year history, the tournament has been won by virtually every tennis superstar, including Arthur Ashe, John McEnroe, Rod Laver, Jimmy Connors, Stefan Edberg, Ivan Lendl, Michael Chang, Pete Sampras, Andre Agassi, Lleyton Hewitt, Andy Murray, Andy Roddick and, most recently, Verdasco, the 2010 SAP Open champion. The SAP Open is one of 63 tournaments in 33 countries on six continents on the ATP World Tour.

The SAP Open is owned and operated by Silicon Valley Sports & Entertainment (SVS&E). SVS&E is the parent company that manages business operations for the San Jose Sharks of the National Hockey League, HP Pavilion in San Jose, the Regions Morgan Keegan Championships, the Cellular South Cup and Strikeforce Mixed Martial Arts, as well as other properties.

Ticket packages to the 2011 SAP Open are on sale now by calling 408-ACE-2121. Individual session tickets will go on sale in January and can be purchased online at, or charge by phone at 800-745-3000.