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2008 Sony Ericsson Open Announce Wildcards

KEY BISCAYNE, Fla. - The Sony Ericsson Open today announced the wildcards for the 2008 tournament which includes a former University of Miami All-American, one of the youngest players to win a first round match at the Sony Ericsson Open and the first Japanese player in nearly 16 years to win an ATP event.
 
On the men’s side, the impressive list of main draw wildcards is highlighted by Gustavo Kuerten and Kei Nishikori.
 
Kuerten, the former world No. 1 and three-time French Open champion will be playing the Sony Ericsson Open as part of his farewell tour. Remembered by most Sony Ericsson Open fans for his hard-fought performance against Pete Sampras in the 2000 Finals.
 
Nishikori is coming off of his first career title with a win at Delray Beach upsetting 12th-ranked James Blake in the final. In what was a tournament of firsts for Nishikori, he not only won his first single’s title in the first ATP tournament of the season, but became the youngest player at 18 years, 1 month and 19 days old to win an ATP title since Lleyton Hewitt in 1998; and the first Japanese player to win an ATP title since Shuzo Matsuoka won in Seoul in 1992. Rounding out the list of main draw wildcards are Jesse Levine (USA), Mario Ancic (CRO) and John Isner (USA).
 
Receiving main draw wildcards on the women’s side are Michelle Larcher de Brito (POR), Sorana Cirstea (ROU), Sabine Lisicki (GER), Anastasia Pivovarova (RUS), Stephanie Dubois (CAN) and Coco Vandeweghe (USA).
 
Larcher de Brito made a splash at last year’s Sony Ericsson Open winning her first round match against Meghann Shaughnessy and in doing so became the seventh-youngest player at 14 years, 1 month and 3 days old, to win a Sony Ericsson WTA Tour singles main draw match.
 
Highlighting the list of qualifying draw wildcards is former University of Miami All-American Audra Cohen. Cohen enjoyed tremendous success at the collegiate level earning All-America honors three consecutive seasons and concluding her UM career by winning the 2007 NCAA National singles title.
 
Joining Cohen as wild cards into the women’s qualifying draw are Sloane Stephens (USA), Marina Erakovic (NZL), Tammy Hendler (BEL) and Anna Tatishvili (GEO). Wildcard qualifiers on the men’s side include Ricardas Berankis (LTU), Gastao Elias (POR), Rhyne Williams (USA), Philp Bester (CAN) and Ryan Sweeting (USA).
 
Tickets to the Sony Ericsson Open are on sale now and can be purchased by phone (305-442-3367) or via internet at www.sonyericssonopen.com. An amazing 12 days of tennis conclude with the women’s final on Saturday, April 5 and the men’s final on Sunday, April 6.
 
ABOUT THE SONY ERICSSON OPEN: The 2008 Sony Ericsson Open will be played March 26- April 6 at the Tennis Center at Crandon Park in Miami. The 12-day combined event, founded by Butch Buchholz in 1985, is owned by IMG. The Sony Ericsson Open is one of nine ATP Masters Series events on the ATP calendar, a top tier event on the Sony Ericsson WTA TOUR calendar, and features the top men's and women's tennis players in the world.  In 2007, Novak Djokovic defeated Guillermo Canas for his first Sony Ericsson Open title, while Serena Williams defeated Justine Henin to win her fourth title in Miami. For ticket information, call (305) 442-3367 or visit the website at http://www.SonyEricssonOpen.com.
 
ABOUT SONY ERICSSON: Sony Ericsson Mobile Communications was established as a 50:50 joint venture by Sony and Ericsson in October 2001, with global corporate functions located in London. The company serves the worldwide communications market with innovative and feature-rich mobile phones, accessories and PC-cards, and it has R&D sites in Europe, Japan, China, India and America. Sony Ericsson is the title sponsor of the Women's Tennis Association, and works with the Association to promote the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour in over 80 cities during the year. For more information, please visit www.sonyericsson.com.

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