SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- One of the biggest American names in tennis will represent Springfield this summer.
The Springfield Lasers announced the selection of Andy Roddick with the first overall pick in the Mylan World TeamTennis 2013 Marquee Player Draft. Also, the Lasers said 19-year-old rising star Sloane Stephens will play a match in Springfield for an opposing team. [An earlier version of this report said Stephens would play for the Lasers.]
Roddick will play one home match at Cooper Tennis Complex, according to the World TeamTennis website.
Roddick finished in the ATP's Top 10 rankings for 10 straight years, according to a news release. He won the 2003 U.S. Open and has 32 professional titles.
Springfield will fill out the rest of its roster on Tuesday, March 12, during the WTT Roster Player Draft. They will once again pick first because of their poor record last year.
Edited news release from the Lasers:
SPRINGFIELD, MO. -- The Mylan World TeamTennis presented by GEICO completed its 2013 Marquee Player Draft earlier today. The Springfield Lasers, with the first overall pick of the draft, selected former World #1 and American tennis icon, Andy Roddick, to play for the Lasers with the upcoming 2013 season. The Lasers also selected a marquee visit from America’s top young female tennis phenom, 19-year-old Sloane Stephens.
One of the world’s most recognizable athletes, Andy Roddick has been the face of American men’s tennis over the past decade. Winner of the 2003 U.S. Open and 32 professional titles, Roddick finished in the ATP’s Top 10 Rankings for nine straight years (2002-2010). Featuring one of the greatest serves the professional game has ever seen, Roddick’s serve has been clocked as high as 155 mph. He also led the United States team to the Davis Cup Title in 2007. His 33 singles wins for the United States team through the years is second only to John McEnroe’s 41.
“I first played World TeamTennis when I was just starting out and have played throughout my career, so I’m excited to be back,” Roddick told WTT officials. “I've always liked the competition and the fan energy. I love being on a team and am looking forward to playing for the Springfield Lasers this July.”
The Lasers also selected a visit from rising American female, Sloane Stephens. Stephens is ranked #17 in the world and just recently defeated Serena Williams in the quarterfinals of the Australian Open. Stephens represented the United States as a part of its 2012 Fed Cup Team and previously played Mylan World TeamTennis in 2009 as part of an all-amateur USTA team. Most notable during that run was her defeat of Serena’s older sister, Venus Williams.
“Obviously, this is an incredibly exciting draft for our Springfield Lasers franchise,” said Bob Belote, Lasers ownership representative. “It’s not every day that you get a chance to draft an iconic player like Andy Roddick to play for your team, so we are absolutely thrilled to have him leading our Lasers team this summer. Plus, our fans will also get a chance to catch the next great American female player on the way up in Sloane Stephens. Best way to sum it all up from our Lasers perspective is - WOW!”
The 2013 Mylan WTT Roster Player draft is scheduled for Tuesday, March 12. The Lasers will pick first overall, coming off of a 4-10 season in 2012. Pro teams in eight U.S. markets will again compete for the 2013 King Trophy over the duration of the upcoming 38th WTT season, scheduled for July 7-28. All seven Lasers home matches are played in the Mediacom Tennis Stadium at Cooper Tennis Complex, 2331 E. Pythian St., 417-837-5800.
Complete results from today’s marquee draft are available at wtt.com. A complete bio of Andy Roddick is available at atpworldtour.com. A complete bio of Sloane Stephens may be found at wtatennis.com.
Season tickets for the Lasers’ seven-match home season, including the Andy Roddick and Sloane Stephens marquee matches, will be available for online purchase beginning the week of March 18 at springfieldlasers.com. Individual match tickets will go on sale to the general public beginning May 6 at the CooperTennis Complex. Ticket prices for both season tickets and individual match tickets will be announced in early March.