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Join Date: Oct 2003
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Andre and Courier to play doubles!!!
Agassi, Courier team up
Earlier pairing prompts decision to play doubles in Clay Court event
By DALE ROBERTSON
Copyright 2005 Houston Chronicle
Jim McIngvale, the Westside Tennis Club owner, has always been a huge doubles fan, so the announcement he made Thursday doubly warmed his heart.
Andre Agassi and Jim Courier, who own 12 Grand Slam singles titles between them, have decided to play together in the U.S. Men's Clay Court Championships, which begin April 18 at Westside. They apparently had so much fun in a pro-am celebrity event in Tampa, Fla., recently, defeating the defending Houston champions, James Blake and Mardy Fish, that they decided to reprise the partnership for the first time in an ATP event.
"A very pleasant surprise for us," said McIngvale, who worked with Courier to put on the Serving for Tsunami Relief tennis fund-raiser at the Toyota Center on Jan. 31.
Courier, 34, retired from the tour in 2000. His last ATP doubles victory came with Jonathan Stark in the U.S. Clay Court finals in 1999, when the tournament was held at Disney World. They defeated the Bryan brothers, U.S. Davis Cuppers Bob and Mike, in the Bryans' first ATP final.
For Agassi, it will be only his second doubles match in five years. He and Andy Roddick teamed up at the Queens Club Wimbledon tuneup last summer, losing in the second round.
Agassi, also 34, is 40-41 lifetime in doubles. Courier, who also won the Italian Open with Pete Sampras when they were teenagers in 1989, is 122-101. But they impressed Blake in that just-for-fun match in Tampa.
"They're really good," he said. "Andre returns unbelievably, same as he does in singles, and he stays back and rips passing shots from the baseline. They'd told us afterwards they were thinking about this."
But, Blake added that he and Fish are planning to enter as well, and they will welcome the opportunity for a rematch.