Agassi to Play in Delray Beach
The Delray Beach International Tennis Championships snagged the biggest prize in its 14-year history today when Andre Agassi requested a wild card to play in the ATP tournament, which will be held in the Delray Beach Tennis Center & Stadium January 30-February 5.
Agassi, the winner of eight Grand Slam titles and 60 ATP tournaments, will open his 2006 season— his 21st season in pro tennis—in Delray Beach.
“We’re ecstatic that Andre is coming to Delray Beach,” said tournament director Mark Baron. “This is the first time in the last 14 years that circumstances have allowed him to play in this event. It’s a great opportunity for South Florida fans to enjoy the incredible level at which he plays in a stadium as intimate as ours. He’s such a wonderful personality.”
Agassi finished the 2005 season ranked No. 7 in the world. It was the 16th time in his career that he finished in the Top 10, tying him with Jimmy Connors for the top spot on that all-time list. America watched and cheered as the 35-year-old tennis icon made a spectacular run to the finals of the U.S. Open last fall with consecutive five-set wins over Xavier Malisse, James Blake and Robby Ginepri.
Agassi joins what arguably is already the best draw in Delray Beach ITC history, one that features Ginepri, Blake, seven-time ATP winner Tommy Haas and Olympic silver medalist Mardy Fish. Also entered are 2005 Delray Beach ITC champion Malisse and runner-up Jiri Novak as well as Boca Raton’s Vince Spadea, who finished No. 19 in the world in 2004. Ginepri and Blake finished the 2005 season No. 16 and No. 24, respectively, after their strong U.S. Open performances.
The Delray Beach ITC is the first of 15 ATP tournaments that will be held in the United States in 2006. Box seats, reserved series seats and individual session tickets to see Agassi and his fellow pros are on sale through YellowTennisBall.com (the official tournament website) or through the Delray Beach ITC Ticket Office (561-330-6000). Single session grandstand tickets range from $10 to $20 while box seats are $50 to $75.
Championship packages that include preferred seating for all 11 sessions are $220 while the Weekender package (quarterfinals through finals) is $150. Box seat packages begin at $930 for two seats and range up to $2,000 for four premium courtside seats. Box seats include premier parking and an array of amenities.