Showtime for Pro Tennis in Atlanta

┬áThis is it!!! Curtains up on the long awaited Atlanta Tennis Championships. The stars of the ATP tour are in Atlanta for first time in almost 10 years. Last week’s adddition of Andy Roddick was just the right injection of star power , and area sports fans have responded by making a run on tickets. The blazing heat of Georgia in July didn’t keep spectators away from the Atlanta Athletic Club on the first day of play in the main draw. We media folks were getting a chance to huddle with Lleyton Hewitt, and Roddick, who raised a few eyebrows when he practiced wih no shirt on. Meanwhile the guys were keeping their eyes peeled for Roddick’s wife, Sports Illustrated Swinsuit Model Brooklyn Decker. Even I was keeeping and eye out for Mrs. Roddick. If she shows up this week, you will hear it here first..After the opening ceremonies American Mardy Fish made short work of James Ward 6-1, 6-2. Ward is a young British player who got a Wild Card into the Atlanta tournament, and it getting dashed by Fish wasn’t bad enough, the public address announcer called him JOHN Ward..The young Brit smiled and waved the crowd as he walked toward the gate.. See you in L.A, James, er John.. The other two Wild Cards for this event went to Roddick and Atlanta resident Donald Young, who is coming home to play with some momentum. Last week he made the final of a USTA Pro Curcuit event in California..His ranking is now up to 105 in the world and he will play Tuesday evening against Dudi Sela . Also in action Tuesday will be Kennesaw resident Robby Ginepri, who faces Nick Lindahl in the first match of the day at 4pm. The first evening match on stadium court will feature James Blake and Taylor Dent in an All-American showdown. The late match of the evening will feature the doubles team of Mardy Fish and Andy Roddick..Roddick, who relaxed with a round of golf, will begin singles play Wednesday, as will John Isner.. We also Taped segments for this week’s Matchpoint show.. Be sure to watch Thursday on Sportsouth, and Sunday Morning at 11:30 on 11Alive…

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