2011 SAP Open announces wild card selections

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2011 SAP Open announces wild card selections

Feb. 3, 2011TENNIS PAGE

SAN JOSE The SAP Open announced today its wild card selections for the 2011 tournament to be played February 7-13 at HP Pavilion at San Jose. Playing in the Singles Main Draw will be James Blake (USA), Milos Raonic (CAN) and Bradley Klahn (USA). Theses wild card selections join an already impressive field of players which includes 2010 SAP Open champion Fernando Verdasco (ESP), top-15 talent Gael Monfils (FRA), 2009 U.S. Open champion Juan Martin Del Potro (ARG), former SAP Open champion Lleyton Hewitt (AUS), American Sam Querrey and top-Japanese player Kei Nishikori and many more.In the Doubles Main Draw Americans Travis Rettenmaier (USA) and Robert Kendrick (USA) have accepted one wild card while Bradley Klahn (USA) and Ryan Thacher (USA) have accepted the second wild card.
RELATED: Mardy Fish withdraws from San Jose's SAP Open
James Blake returns to the 2011 SAP Open for the first time since 2009 when he reached the tournament semifinals. In his career, Blake, 31, has been ranked as high as 4 in the world and has earned more than 7 million in prize money since turning pro in 1999. He has captured 10 ATP singles titles and five doubles titles in his career including the 2004 SAP Open doubles title with partner Mardy Fish. In Davis Cup play, Blake owns a 21-12 record. He was named 2005 ATP World Tour Comeback Player of Year and was featured in People Magazines 2006-2007 Sexiest Man Alive issue. This native of Yonkers, New York who now resides in Tampa, Florida will be playing the SAP Open for the tenth time in 12 years. Coming to the SAP Open for the first time in his career is 20-year old Milos Raonic (CAN). Raonic captivated the tennis world just last month as he advanced through three rounds of qualifying to earn a spot in the main draw at the Australian Open where he advanced through to the round of 16. Along the way, Raonic defeated two top-25 players in Michael Llodra and Mikhail Youzhny before losing to world 7 David Ferrer in four sets. A native of Podgorica, Montenegro, Raonic now resides in Toronto, Canada.Also making his debut at the 2011 SAP Open is 20-year old Bradley Klahn of Poway, Calif. Klahn, a student-athlete at Stanford University, reached the Round of 16 at the Junior Australian Open, Wimbledon, and US Open in 2008. He won the NCAA Singles Championship as a sophomore, and reached the doubles semifinals with partner Ryan Thacher. In 2009, Klahn won the Pac-10 singles and doubles championship as a freshman. He is the two-time defending Sherwood Collegiate Cup Champion and has also represented the USA in Junior Davis Cup play in 2006. The 2011 SAP Open schedule of play for Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday night has been announced. The Pete Sampras vs. Gael Monfils charity exhibition singles match will be played at 7 p.m. on Monday, February 7 followed by a second main draw match to be announced. On Tuesday, February 8, Sam Querrey will play his first-round singles match at 7 p.m. followed by Juan Martin del Potros first-round singles match. On Wednesday, February 9, defending champion Fernando Verdasco will play his first-round singles match at 7 p.m. followed by Gael Monfils first-round match. Opponents for each of the featured tournament matches will be determined at the SAP Open draw event to be held Friday, February 4 at 12 noon at the Fairmont Hotel in downtown San Jose.Courtesy HP Pavilion media services

Azubuike: Paul George 'definitely put in a call to Klay Thompson'

Azubuike: Paul George 'definitely put in a call to Klay Thompson'

Paul George can become a free agent in 2018.

Klay Thompson is scheduled to hit free agency a year later.

Might they be future teammates with the Lakers?

"He's (George) definitely put in a call to Klay Thompson, and obviously he feels like Klay Thompson is a guy that he would love to play with in the Lakers," NBC Sports Bay Area Warriors analyst Kelenna Azubuike said on 95.7 The Game on Tuesday morning. "Now, for all we know, Klay could have said, 'Buzz off, I'm staying with the Warriors.' It doesn't really mean much that he put in a call. They probably had a nice conversation.

"Maybe they even talked about something other than basketball, and didn't talk about basketball at all. Who knows. It doesn't really mean much, but he's definitely put in calls to Klay Thompson; he's talked to LeBron James and he's trying to see if he can figure out who can come with him to the Lakers."

George reportedly told the Pacers he isn't going to stay with the franchise long-term and Indiana is currently looking to trade him before he has the opportunity to walk.

George -- who grew up in Los Angeles -- wants to suit up for the Lakers.

Klay is entering Year 3 of a 4-year, $69 million deal.

If he continues to play at his current level, he will absolutely be in line for a max deal when his contract is up.

A lot can change between now and then, but one thing is clear at this point: Klay doesn't want to go anywhere.

“At the end of the day, I’ve tasted winning,” Klay told Marcus Thompson of the Bay Area News Group at the championship parade. “No stats can ever overcome that. I’d rather win these championships and score no points than have 60-point games and 37-point quarters. These championships are everything to me...

"It’s so much more to being part of a team and being part of something special. You can build a legacy ... the thing with basketball these days, there’s a lot of individuality with stats, numbers, Who’s the greatest, he’s a better player than him, he put up this many points.

"But Steve (Kerr) helped me a lot with that. He said nobody is going to remember how many points you put up. They are going to remember how many championships you win."

Klay was born in Los Angeles, grew up rooting for Kobe Bryant and went to high school in Southern California.

His father, Mychal, won two titles with the Lakers.

"But I doubt, I highly doubt that Klay Thompson will end up leaving the Warriors," Azubuike added.

Drew Shiller is the co-host of Warriors Outsiders and a Web Producer at NBC Sports Bay Area. Follow him on Twitter @DrewShiller

Dorell Wright knew Steph and Klay would be this good because...

Dorell Wright knew Steph and Klay would be this good because...

Dorell Wright played for the Warriors in 2010-11 and 2011-12.

He spent a lot of time with Steph Curry and Klay Thompson. 

Did he think they would end up being this good?

"Yeah. I seen it because they put the time in, they put the work in," Wright told Alex Kennedy on the HoopsHype Podcast. "Sometimes we'd have to go talk to Steph like, 'Yo, you know we got a game tonight? You're going pretty hard.'

"He's a little different, man. He takes coaching and advice from everybody. If you're telling him something that's gonna better him and help him, he's gonna sit there and listen to you. He's not gonna be one of those guys that thinks he knows everything.

"I'm happy for his success ... I'm just happy he's back and being healthy."

And what about Klay?

"A guy that I had to shoot with every day in different 3-point drills that Mark Jackson used to have us doing," Wright explained. "And I'm always going first because I'm the starter, and then it would be Klay and B-Rush. I'm making 20 shots in a drill and Klay would come right behind and hit like 26, and it's like, 'Dang, this dude really is a dead-eye knockdown shooter.'

"So that was a great experience being around another good shooter and a guy that puts the time in to get better each and every day."

During the 2010-11 season, Wright set the Warriors' single-season franchise record with 194 3-pointers (Curry made 151).

The following year, he made 105 in 61 games.

Wright, who will turn 32 in December, has not played in a regular-season NBA game since April 1, 2015.

He spent the 2015-16 season in China, before returning to the Heat for the playoffs.

He was in training camp with the Clippers last October, but was waived during the preseason.

Wright enjoys watching the Warriors play and wants to make an NBA comeback.

Perhaps with his former squad...

"They play well with each other, they move the ball and they take good shots ... that's pretty hard to guard," Wright said. "I didn't get a chance this year to play them so I can't really, really tell you how hard it is (laughing), but they make it look real easy out there.

"Hopefully I can get back out there next year so I can be either on their side or on the side of trying to dethrone them."

Wright also made sure to give some love to Warriors fans.

"Some of the most loyal fans that you will ever encounter -- rowdy, loud and just love their Bay Area teams ... I'm still a resident of the Bay Area and they still show me love like I'm a current Warriors player everywhere I go...

"The fan love is crazy."

Drew Shiller is the co-host of Warriors Outsiders and a Web Producer at NBC Sports Bay Area. Follow him on Twitter @DrewShiller