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Tipsarevic, Hewitt Claim Houston Wild Cards

After testing out his footwork on the doubles court in Miami, Serbia’s Janko Tipsarevic will make his return from an 17-month absence on the singles court at next week U.S. Men’s Clay Court Championships in Houston.

Tipsarevic, a former world No. 8, will be playing his first singles match since the end of the 2013 season. He was sidelined with fibromatosis, a benign soft tissue tumor, on his left foot that required two surgeries during 2014.

“I am very excited,” Tipsarevic said. “It’s been a long and painful 17 months and I cannot wait to get my career and life back on track.”

Lleyton Hewitt will also take a wild card into next week’s loaded field in Houston, which boasts 13 Top 50 players.

Hewitt joins Fernando Verdasco and John Isner as former champions at the event. The Aussie won the title in 2009, defeating Wayne Odesnik in the final.

In addition to Hewitt’s wild card, the tournament announced that two other players, Teymuraz Gabashvili and Marinko Matosevic, have gained entry into the field as the two special exempt spots from Miami will go unused.