Long-retired Lendl to pop up in Jersey

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. -- Andy Roddick has signed on to participate in the Caesars Tennis Classic that will take place April 10 and feature an All-Star lineup of tennis greats such as Ivan Lendl, Mats Wilander and Marat Safin.

Lendl has not played competitive tennis since his retirement in 1994.

"I think we're all going to be curious to see how Ivan is hitting the ball," said Roddick, who has been battling a shoulder injury after losing to Marin Cilic in the semifinals of the Australian Open last month. "We haven't seen that in a while, so there will be a little bit of excitement over that. I grew up watching Ivan Lendl and Mats Wilander when I was a kid, so when I heard of this opportunity, I couldn't wait to be a part of it.

"I think it's going to be a blast."

Venus Williams will also be a part of the event as the hostess, but it has not been determined whether she will play.

Joe Domenico, the senior vice president and general manager of Caesars Palace in Atlantic City, said that he was happy to bring competitive tennis back to Atlantic City, even if it is just an exhibition.

"Caesars has a great history in sports and we're just ecstatic to be bringing this event to Atlantic City," Domenico said. "It's just a dynamic event, having all these tennis greats together."

Roddick will face off against Safin in the event and Wilander will play Lendl at Boardwalk Hall.

"My shoulder is getting better from Australia," Roddick said. "It's not perfect though. It's a little bit of a battle for me right now. If we can use an exhibition like this to stay in shape, then I see the benefit of it physically. I'd rather have exhibitions like this in April, rather than cramming them all in during December. It's definitely a good way to stay in shape without the pressure and expectations of competition."

Roddick said he expects to make a run at a Grand Slam title this season.

"I don't think I can have two consecutive comeback years," Roddick laughed. "I definitely think this is the best shot I have of getting one of the Slam events, based on the conditions and the competition."

Roddick said that he's never been to Atlantic City, so that's another reason why he's excited about the event.

"Now, between tennis and blackjack, I just hope to break even," Roddick said.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.