Los Angeles Tennis Open
Los Angeles, U.S.A.
May 15, 2009
SAMPRAS RETURNS TO UCLA FOR US OPEN FINAL REMATCH ON JULY 27
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LOS ANGELES - Pete Sampras, the 14-time Grand Slam Champion who held the No. 1 ranking for a record 286 weeks, will return to the LA Tennis Center at UCLA this summer for the "Millennium Challenge" as part of the 83rd annual LA Tennis Open.
Sampras, a two-time LA Tennis Open champion, will take the court on opening night, July 27, for the "Millennium Challenge," a rematch of the 2000 US Open final against Russian Marat Safin. Safin claimed the first of his two career Grand Slam titles with that win over Sampras in New York, and holds a 4-3 edge over the American in professional matches. Safin won their last meeting, which came in the fourth round of the 2002 Australian Open.
"We're thrilled that Pete Sampras, perhaps our greatest champion, is coming back to the LA Tennis Open," Tournament Director Bob Kramer said. "This will be an outstanding way to kick off our event in 2009. Pete had a great fan following when he played here during his career, and this will be a great way for tennis fans to get to see him play again. It's hard to believe it's been nine years since he and Marat played in the US Open final. The rematch on July 27 should be some great tennis."
In 2002, Sampras won his final tournament, the US Open, giving him a record 14 Grand Slam titles. In his career, Sampras was 762-222, including 64 titles in 88 finals. He held the year-end No. 1 ranking for a record six consecutive years (1993-98). In seven appearances at the LA Tennis Open, Sampras was 19-5, with two titles in three finals. He was enshrined at the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 2007.
During the Monday evening session, a ceremony will be held to recognise Sampras as the 2009 LA Tennis Open Tournament Honoree. This distinguished award has been given annually since 1985 to a person who has greatly influenced the growth of tennis through their playing career and other contributions to the sport.
In addition to this Monday night match against Sampras, Safin will play in the main draw of the LA Tennis Open. It will be the sixth appearance for the Russian in the tournament, having gone 6-5 with two quarter-finals in his previous efforts in LA. A former World No. 1, the 2000 US Open and 2005 Australian Open are among Safin's 15 career titles. Safin, who has said he will retire at the end of the 2009 season, is the first of the 28-player field to be confirmed, with additional entrants to be announced in the coming weeks.
ABOUT THE LA TENNIS OPEN
The LA Tennis Open has been played every year since 1927, making it the longest-running annual professional sporting event in Los Angeles. Played since 1984 at the LA Tennis Center on the campus of UCLA, the tournament is part of the US Open Series, the six-week summer tennis season linking 10 ATP World Tour and Sony Ericsson WTA Tour events to the US Open that in 2008 drew a record of more than 50 million television viewers. Proceeds from the LA Tennis Open benefit the grassroots programs of the non-profit Southern California Tennis Association (SCTA) and UCLA. The SCTA offers programs, leagues, and tournaments involving 300,000 juniors and 50,000 adults and seniors. Information on tickets and the tournament can be found at www.LATennisOpen.com
or by calling 310-824-1010.