Washington’s Legg Mason Tennis Classic has lost its marquee player, three-time champion Andy Roddick, who was forced to withdraw Thursday with an injured abdominal muscle.
With the 12th-ranked Roddick out, that leaves five top-20 players in next week’s annual hard-court classic in Rock Creek Park, led by world No. 7Gael Monfils of France and top-American Mardy Fish, who is currently ranked ninth.
David Nalbandian of Argentina will be back to defend his title against a field that includes last year’s finalist Marcos Baghdatis and Americans John Isner and James Blake.
Also returning: The world’s No. 1 doubles team, Bob and Mike Bryan, three-time Legg Mason champions who won their 11th Grand Slam title at Wimbledon earlier this month.
Roddick’s injury, suffered during a recent practice, is the second physical setback for the hard-serving American this season. In May, a shoulder injury forced him to pull out of the French Open.
This year’s Legg Mason was to be Roddick’s first ATP tournament since Wimbledon, where he lost in straight sets to the tricky left-hander, Feliciano Lopez of Spain. Lopez out-aced Roddick in the match, which included tiebreaks in two of the three sets.
It was to be Roddick’s 10th appearance in the Legg Mason and his first competition of any kind since a Davis Cup match earlier this month against Spain in Austin, where he lost to David Ferrer.
Roddick, who turns 29 in August, was a teenager when he won his first Legg Mason title in 2001. He also won in 2005 and 2007. After his third-round ouster to Gilles Simon of France in last year’s event, he had mononucleosis diagnosed.
But his 2011 campaign got off to a better start until the shoulder injury in May. He won his 30th career tour-level title in February in Memphis, joining Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal as the only active players on the men’s tour to have won at least 30 titles.
The Legg Mason, an ATP World Tour 500 event and part of the U.S. Open Series, will be held Saturday through Aug. 7 at the William H.G. FitzGerald Tennis Center in Rock Creek Park.