PETE SAMPRAS RETURNS TO PRO TENNIS WITH WTT DEBUT THIS SUMMER [Archive] - MensTennisForums.com

PETE SAMPRAS RETURNS TO PRO TENNIS WITH WTT DEBUT THIS SUMMER

almouchie
03-02-2006, 12:37 PM
PETE SAMPRAS RETURNS TO PRO TENNIS WITH WTT DEBUT THIS SUMMER

http://www.worldteamtennis.com/news/news_info.asp?news_id=220

Pete Sampras will make his World TeamTennis Pro League debut this
July when the 14-time Grand Slam Champion returns to professional
tennis for the first time since 2002. Sampras is expected to play
six or seven matches this summer during the WTT Pro League regular
season, July 6-26. Sampras' team and match schedule will be
determined at the WTT Player Draft, March 28 in Miami.

For WTT co-founder Billie Jean King, Sampras' participation has
always been at the top of her wish list. Last year King was asked in
an interview who is the one player she always wanted to play World
TeamTennis but hadn't been able to get. The answer was simple – Pete
Sampras. "I guess I'll have to update my list," said King.

"The timing is right," said Sampras of his agreement to play
WTT. "I've been busy with my family and enjoying retirement but this
feels like the right time to get back on the court and play World
TeamTennis. I respect what Billie Jean has done for the sport and
her support of me throughout the years so I'm glad it finally worked
out that I can play WTT this summer."

"This is an exciting day for World TeamTennis," said WTT
CEO/Commissioner Ilana Kloss. "Pete is a great champion and fans
have really missed his talent and character since he retired. His
WTT matches will be the hottest ticket in tennis this summer."

Sampras closed out his brilliant career by winning the 2002 U.S.
Open title over longtime rival Andre Agassi. During his 15-year pro
career, Sampras won 64 singles titles and more than $43 million in
prize money. His legacy was his success at winning the "big ones",
14 Grand Slam singles titles including five U.S. Opens and seven
Wimbledon championships.

Although Sampras has never played in the WTT Pro League presented by
Advanta, he is familiar with the format after participating in the
WTT Smash Hits charity event for several years. "World TeamTennis
gives me an opportunity to play singles, doubles and mixed doubles
and that's something I didn't get to do during my career," Sampras
said.

The regular season runs July 6-26 with the top two teams from the
Eastern Conference and the top two from the Western Conference
advancing to the WTT Finals, July 28-30.

Now in its 31st consecutive year of play, World TeamTennis is well
known for introducing innovative elements to tennis. Instant replay,
which debuted at WTT matches in 2005 as the WTT Coaches Challenge
and marked the first time the technology had been used in a
professional tennis match, will return to select WTT matches in
2006. Other WTT firsts include co-ed format, cumulative and no-ad
scoring, on-court coaching, Supertiebreakers, multi-colored courts
and player names on back of their shirts.

The unique gender-balanced team concept for WTT was created in the
early 70s by League co-founders Billie Jean King and Larry King. The
format used for a WTT Pro League match features teams comprised of
two men, two women and a coach. Each match consists of five sets,
with one set each of men's and women's singles, men's and women's
doubles and mixed doubles.

almouchie
03-02-2006, 12:38 PM
AP Exclusive: Sampras calls Federer comparisons 'very valid'

All those comparisons between Roger Federer and Pete Sampras are
right on the mark. Sampras himself says so.

"They're all very valid: Not only is he winning majors, but the way
he's winning them -- with pretty much ease. He's pretty much the
favorite in every major for the rest of his career," Sampras said in
a telephone interview with The Associated Press.

"Clearly, he's head and shoulders above the rest. I don't see anyone
pushing him over the next three or four years."

Sampras knows his record of 14 Grand Slam tournament titles could
very well be threatened by Federer, who has seven so far. Time for
the 34-year-old Sampras to come out of retirement and try to add to
his total? Not quite.

Sampras is returning to the tennis court, though, signing up for the
World Team Tennis Pro League more than three years after his last
match.

"This is more about just getting myself a little busier and focused
on something I used to be good at," he said ahead of Wednesday's
announcement by the league. "It's time this year to do a little
more. Last year, I was kind of floating along."

His last professional match was the 2002 U.S. Open final, when he
beat longtime rival Andre Agassi. As much as he says he's looking
forward to playing in the WTT, Sampras made one thing quite clear:
Don't call it a comeback.

"I miss playing the game. I miss the majors. I miss competing. But
to play at the level I used to play is a whole other animal. I've
done that, and I know what it takes," he told the AP. "Me playing a
little tennis this year is something I can control; there isn't any
pressure. I can relax and have a little fun. Coming back is not
something that crossed my mind."

While it's tough for him to watch Wimbledon, where he won seven
championships, Sampras keeps tabs on the game.

And he's impressed by the top-ranked Federer.

"He moves great, does everything very well. He's gotten to a point
that when he's not at his best, he's finding ways to win, and that
separates him from the rest," Sampras said, a moment before making
sure to bolster his own credentials a tad.

"There are less great players today than there was when I was
playing," he continued. "I just see him carrying on with what he's
been doing. He's got the whole package. He doesn't have any holes in
his game."

Federer has won Wimbledon three years in a row, and he's won the
past three majors: Wimbledon, the U.S. Open and the Australian Open.
The Swiss star heads to the French Open in May with a chance to
complete a Grand Slam, albeit not in a calendar year.

The French Open is the only major Federer hasn't won; Sampras never
made it past the semifinals at Roland Garros.

"Clay will be the toughest surface for Roger," Sampras said. "If
things go right, if the weather's right, I think he can win it."

Sampras has never played in the WTT, a 12-team league that in recent
years has featured such stars as Agassi, Steffi Graf, John McEnroe,
Martina Navratilova, Andy Roddick and Venus Williams. Sampras will
be chosen by a team in the March 28 draft and expects to play about
a half-dozen matches during the July 6-26 regular season.

WTT co-founder Billie Jean King unsuccessfully tried to persuade
Sampras to participate in the league while he was on tour.

"He's definitely someone that we wanted," WTT commissioner Ilana
Kloss said. "We're just thrilled that Pete's going to be back out
there, and fans will get an opportunity to see him again."

Sampras also will be appearing in an exhibition match at Houston in
April. He said he's thought about working as a TV commentator, but
he's not interested in coaching.

"When you retire, you take time away, you don't want to have
anything to do with tennis. After two years of having fun and not
doing much in the sport, you get a little bored and want to know
what's the next chapter in your life. Last year was a turning point -
- 'What am I going to do next?' -- and I had to make a decision,"
Sampras said.

"Playing in front of some people -- you kind of look forward to it a
little bit."

almouchie
03-02-2006, 12:40 PM
Sampras returns

Tennis: Pete Sampras is returning to the court, signing up for the World Team Pro League more than three years after his last match, a victory over Andre Agassi in the US Open final. “This is more about just getting myself a little busier and focused on something I used to be good at,” Sampras said. “I miss competing. But to play at the level I used to play is a whole other animal. I’ve done that and I know what it takes.”

almouchie
03-02-2006, 01:11 PM
Pete Sampras is returning to the game, signing up for the World Team Tennis Pro League more than three years after his last match. "This is more about getting myself a little busier and focused on something I used to be good at," Sampras said.

His last professional match was the 2002 US Open final, when he beat Andre Agassi for his record 14th Grand Slam title. Now 34, Sampras has never played in WTT, a 12-team league that in recent years has featured big names such as Agassi, Steffi Graf, John McEnroe, Martina Navratilova, Andy Roddick and Venus Williams.



Sampras: Don't call it a comeback


Pete Sampras returns to Sjeng Schalken, of the Netherlands, during their men's semifinal match at the U.S. Open in New York, in a Sept. 7, 2002 photo. All those comparisons between Roger Federer and Pete Sampras are right on the mark. Sampras himself says so.
Pete Sampras is returning to the tennis court, signing up for the World Team Tennis Pro League more than three years after his last match.

"This is more about just getting myself a little busier and focused on something I used to be good at," Sampras said in a telephone interview ahead of Wednesday's announcement by the league. "It's time this year to do a little more. Last year, I was kind of floating along."

Sampras' last professional match was the 2002 U.S. Open final, when he beat longtime rival Andre Agassi for his record 14th Grand Slam title. Sampras held a news conference a year later at the U.S. Open to say he was retiring.

As much as he says he's looking forward to playing in the WTT, he made one thing quite clear: Don't call it a comeback.

"I miss playing the game. I miss the majors. I miss competing. But to play at the level I used to play is a whole other animal. I've done that, and I know what it takes," he told the AP. "Me playing a little tennis this year is something I can control; there isn't any pressure. I can relax and have a little fun. Coming back is not something that crossed my mind."

The 34-year-old Sampras has never played in the WTT, a 12-team league that in recent years has featured such stars as Agassi, Steffi Graf, John McEnroe, Martina Navratilova, Andy Roddick and Venus Williams.

Sampras will be chosen by a team in the March 28 draft and expects to play about a half-dozen matches during the July 6-26 regular season.

WTT co-founder Billie Jean King unsuccessfully tried to persuade Sampras to participate in the league while he was on tour.



"He's definitely someone that we wanted," WTT commissioner Ilana Kloss said. "We're just thrilled that Pete's going to be back out there, and fans will get an opportunity to see him again."

Sampras also will be appearing in an exhibition match at Houston in April. He said he's thought about working as a TV commentator, but he's not interested in coaching.

"When you retire, you take time away, you don't want to have anything to do with tennis. After two years of having fun and not doing much in the sport, you get a little bored and want to know what's the next chapter in your life. Last year was a turning point - 'What am I going to do next?' - and I had to make a decision," Sampras said.

"Playing in front of some people - you kind of look forward to it a little bit."

angiel
03-02-2006, 09:15 PM
:kiss: :kiss: :drool: :bowdown: :bowdown: :dance: :dance: :banana: :banana: :sport: :sport: great news my dear - hooooooorrrrrrraaaaaayyyyyy :worship: :wavey:

angiel
03-09-2006, 10:39 PM
Posted March 9, 2006


Newport Beach to host TeamTennis finals

Associated PressNEWPORT BEACH,

NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. - The top teams in the World TeamTennis Pro League will play in the finals July 28-30 at Palisades Tennis Club in Newport Beach.

The Newport Beach Breakers won the league title in 2004 and was runner-up last season.

The league's regular season runs July 6-26 with the top two teams from the Eastern and Western conferences advancing to the finals. The winner receives the King Trophy, named for WTT co-founder Billie Jean King.
The New York Sportimes, led by Martina Hingis, won last year's title.

The 12-team league will put together its lineups at the March 28 player draft in Miami. Pete Sampras will make his WTT debut this summer.
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Greg-Pete fan
03-22-2006, 07:17 PM
Posted Monday, March 13, 2006

Sampras still in the rackets - petepage

By KEN HOFFMAN
Copyright 2006 Houston Chronicle

TENNIS legend Pete Sampras, quite possibly the GOAT (greatest of all time), promises that he will look pretty much the same when he comes out of retirement for an exhibition match at River Oaks Country Club next month as he did when he was winning all those Wimbledon titles in the '90s.

OK, maybe he's a little thicker in the middle and a little thinner up top.

"Hey, I was losing my hair when I was still playing," he said, laughing. "That's the result of heredity and stress."

Tennis fans will notice one big difference: Sampras has ditched the Wilson Pro Staff mid racket he used his entire career.

"I'm actually trying a bigger racket. I used a small racket my whole time on tour. But now I'm an old guy, I need some extra power. I'm using the racket that (current No. 1 player) Roger Federer uses. I don't even know the name of it — I know it's red, that's all."

Federer's (and now Sampras') racket is the Wilson nCode nSix-One Tour 90.

Source: Houston Chronicle

Greg-Pete fan
03-22-2006, 07:19 PM
Posted Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Sampras couldn't say no to River Oaks


By DALE ROBERTSON

Pete Sampras could have launched his competitive comeback in a lot of places. River Oaks Country Club won out because of its ... golf course.

Well, maybe that's an overstatement. Truth to tell, Sampras liked everything about the River Oaks proposal. But he definitely had fond memories of his first visit to the club when IMG dispatched him here as a gawky, unknown 17-year-old.

"I remember the old wood stadium and this great golf course there," Sampras said.

The stadium's gone, replaced by a modern concrete and metal structure a number of years ago, but the River Oaks layout has only become lovelier than what Sampras remembers. As part of his deal, Sampras, 34, will play a round or two with the tournament's sponsors the morning after his best-of-three match April 6, probably against Robby Ginepri or Taylor Dent.

Sampras has practiced with Dent in the past and even played him once on the ATP Tour, winning two tiebreaker sets at Cincinnati in 2000. He never has faced Ginepri in a match but has hit with him.

Until he signed off on his first foray back into the game since he won the U.S. Open in 2002, Sampras said he had not struck a tennis ball seriously in 3 1/2 years.

"I need to get serious about it again," he said. "I've got to get my body back into tennis shape, and my arm into shape for serving again. I've been hitting three, four times a week for the last few weeks.

"It's less about hitting the ball and more about getting used to the starting and stopping. I don't want to hurt myself straight away."

This might not be the only time we see Sampras on a tennis court in Houston this year. Because he is going to play World Team Tennis, there is always a chance he will face off against the Houston team at Westside Tennis Club, and "it's not out of the question" that he'll return to play in Jim Courier's Stanford Financial Cup event at River Oaks in November.

Sampras is trying to put together a senior tournament of his own for the Los Angeles area, where he lives, or Scottsdale, Ariz., during the fall. But if he can't get that together this year, he becomes a candidate for the Houston tournament field.

"Last year, I got a little bored," he said. "My competitive juices are flowing again.

"But I just want to have some fun on the court. This isn't a comeback. This is my 'I'm-still-retired' comeback."

Copyright 2006 Houston Chronicle

Source: Houston Chronicle

almouchie
03-27-2006, 10:17 AM
yeaaaaaaaaaaaaah
the bset news
to PETE SAMPRAS fans around the globe
lucky who will be able to see him in action

Greg-Pete fan
04-11-2006, 09:15 PM
Pete`s schedule in 2006:

6 April 2006 River Oaks R.Ginepri 3:6,6:7 (10-12)
June-July 2006 World Team Tennis 6-7 matches (???)
October 2006 an exhibition for victims of Catherina one match (probably)
December 2006 an exhibition against Roger Federer (???) Who knows? :p

angiel
04-11-2006, 09:36 PM
Pete`s schedule in 2006:

6 April 2006 River Oaks R.Ginepri 3:6,6:7 (10-12)
June-July 2006 World Team Tennis 6-7 matches (???)
October 2006 an exhibition for victims of Catherina one match (probably)
December 2006 an exhibition against Roger Federer (???) Who knows? :p


Yeppppppyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy greg. :awww: :dance: :dance: :crazy: :crazy:

I read somewhere yesterday, that if he want they will let him play next year, at Oak Rivers, in the main draw. :wavey: :wavey: :wavey:

the_natural
04-14-2006, 08:55 AM
Yeh I hope Federer accepts and the money goes towards the Victims of the Tsunami :) Itll be the biggest tennis match of the past... Well probably the biggest since Billie Jean King beat Bobby Riggs, I cant imagine any less than 10s of millions of people watching it if its well promoted.

angiel
04-14-2006, 10:08 PM
Yeh I hope Federer accepts and the money goes towards the Victims of the Tsunami :) Itll be the biggest tennis match of the past... Well probably the biggest since Billie Jean King beat Bobby Riggs, I cant imagine any less than 10s of millions of people watching it if its well promoted.


I think so too, millions would pay to see both of them play and millions more would watch - know I would for sure. :worship: :worship: :worship: :D :wavey:


Pete match wsn't even on TV, but ESPN pick one of his shot as their top ten for that evening - that his how good the man is - win lose or draw. :wavey: :cool: :wavey:

the_natural
04-15-2006, 08:28 AM
Wat do u mean they picked his shot as one of their top ten for that evening?

angiel
04-15-2006, 06:41 PM
Wat do u mean they picked his shot as one of their top ten for that evening?


Every day ESPN would pick the best top 10 play of the day, and highlight them during their evening sport news, do you have ESPN any at all? :wavey: :wavey:

the_natural
04-16-2006, 12:35 PM
Well... yeh we do... but I think the aussie broadcast is a bit different maybe... they dont show the tennis and stuff cos we get tennis on our own sports channels... neways i dont really watch it because well its not like its mainly tennis its mostly other sports i find boring

angiel
04-17-2006, 11:13 PM
Well... yeh we do... but I think the aussie broadcast is a bit different maybe... they dont show the tennis and stuff cos we get tennis on our own sports channels... neways i dont really watch it because well its not like its mainly tennis its mostly other sports i find boring


But do you get Amercian sports news down there?? :wavey: :worship: :wavey: on ESPN any at all??? :D

almouchie
04-29-2006, 11:28 PM
thats our pete
the most beautiful plays are his

angiel
05-09-2006, 12:45 AM
Updated: May 6, 2006, 4:40 PM ET

Multicolored courts return for World Team Tennis

Associated Press


NEW YORK -- Pete Sampras, Martina Navratilova and Anna Kournikova will play on throwback multicolored courts at World Team Tennis events this summer.

The 12-city venues will sport multicolored DecoTurf courts, the official surface for the July 6-26 matches. Sampras is making his WTT debut with the Newport Beach Breakers. Navratilova will play for the Boston Lobsters and Kournikova will compete with the Washington Capitals.

The multicolored WTT court design was popular in the 1970s, when the league was co-founded by Billie Jean King and Larry King. The patchwork of colors include blue, green, brown and maroon.

"We brought the multicolored court back for last year's WTT finals and received rave reviews from the fans and players," said Jason Spitz, WTT vice president of marketing.

The coed format with four players on each team features no-ad scoring, on-court coaching and instant replay. Each match is five sets, with one set each of men's and women's singles, doubles and mixed doubles.

The WTT begins its 31st season, and the top two teams from the Eastern and Western conference advance to the semifinals. The finals are July 30.

angiel
06-08-2006, 04:01 AM
Updated: June 6, 2006, 5:06 PM ET


By Bonnie DeSimone
Special to ESPN.com



Speaking of comebacks

Scott Gwartz, general manager of the Newport Beach Breakers of World Team Tennis, said tickets are almost sold out at the 2,000-capacity venue for the July 10 WTT debut of Pete Sampras.




Sampras will play in six other cities (Sacramento, Philadelphia, New York, Hartford, St. Louis and Houston) and return to Newport Beach for the WTT's final four weekend. As hosts, the Breakers are assured a spot at the very least in a play-in match if they don't make the semis outright.

Gwartz said that Martina Hingis' return to the WTA after a stellar season with the WTT's New York Sportimes has prompted people to ask him whether Sampras is plotting a similar course. Sampras quashed that theory in a conference call with reporters this spring, saying he just wanted to bat it around a little bit.

He made his first on-court appearance since his September 2003 retirement in April in an exhibition match in Houston against Robby Ginepri.

Todd Martin also will play WTT ball for the first time this season and is scheduled to appear in three matches for the Boston Lobsters.

angiel
06-22-2006, 12:32 AM
WTT matches to air on OLN and The Tennis Channel
06/21/06 - World TeamTennis (WTT)



NEW YORK (June 21, 2006) --- Pete Sampras' return to professional tennis with the Newport Beach Breakers will be the centerpiece of the 2006 World TeamTennis Pro League television package, with WTT matches scheduled to air on OLN and The Tennis Channel throughout July and August, League officials announced today.

OLN will carry two of Sampras' WTT matches, including the early season contest with Newport Beach and five-time WTT champions the Sacramento Capitals, and Newport Beach's late season face - off against the Houston Wranglers. OLN will air the Boston Lobsters match against the reigning WTT champions, the New York Sportimes, which w ill feature last year's WTT Finals MVP Martina Hingis for the Sportimes and WTT newcomer and men's tennis standout Todd Martin competing for Boston.

OLN will also feature a match with the Philadelphia Freedoms, led by Venus Williams, taking on Houston. OLN will air the championship match from this season's WTT Finals with the top two teams in the League battling for the King Trophy.

In addition to matches on OLN, The Tennis Channel will carry three WTT matches, including the New York Sportimes traveling to Boston to face Martina Navratilova and the Lobsters, and the Springfield Lasers contest with Anna Kournikova and the Sacramento Capitals. The Tennis Channel also will carry the Newport Beach match against Houston which features Sampras.

As in previous seasons, The Tennis Channel will complement its 2006 WTT coverage with a classic WTT match each week during the season. This year's weekly classic matches take place Wednesdays, at 8 p.m. Eastern Time.

WTT veteran Luke Jensen will lead the commentating team for all WTT matches. Former tour standout Katrina Adams will join him for several telecasts.

"We are thrilled to be part of the growing collection of quality sports programming on both OLN and The Tennis Channel," said Ilana Kloss, WTT CEO/Commissioner. "Like World TeamTennis, OLN has continued to push the envelope and we feel the WTT brand of tennis is a perfect fit for the new direction of the network. The Tennis Channel has been a great partner with WTT for years and is a champion for our sport."

Comcast-owned OLN is currently available in almost 70 million households and is considered one of the hottest sports cable networks in America. The network just concluded its first season as the national cable home of the National Hockey League and covers best-in-class events like the Tour De France, The America's Cup, The Professional Bull Riders and Davis Cup tennis. The network is also the home of "Survivor" in syndication.

The Tennis Channel is the only cable television network devoted to tennis both on and off the court, with unparalleled coverage of the game, its elite championships and its superstar athletes. The network's extensive tournament rights include 43 of the top 50 competitions in the world. A combination of live sports and passionate lifestyle programming offers viewers instruction from the finest teachers and the latest on equipment and tennis getaways, along with in-depth player profiles, news and analysis, and the chance to relive the game's legendary matches.

• Discuss this story on the World TeamTennis message board...

angiel
06-27-2006, 10:27 PM
World TeamTennis Heads to Newport Beach, California
Jun 27, 06 | 9:31 am



Visitors to Newport Beach will have the opportunity to bask in the warm Southern California sunshine, catch a wave or two at the beach and watch many of the world’s top men and women tennis legends when the Newport Beach Breakers season begins Saturday, July 8. Legend Pete Sampras returns to the pro tennis competition on July 10 and the Breakers welcome the New York Sportimes featuring John McEnroe on July 25.



Each of the seven Breakers home matches will be played at the Palisades Tennis Club (1171 Jamboree Road, near P.C.H.) -- beginning on July 8. All matches start at 7 p.m. and in addition to the spectacular tennis, attendees will enjoy music, player receptions, autograph sessions, tennis clinics, contests and games. Tickets for regular season matches start at $15. To purchase tickets or more information on the Newport Beach Breakers, call (877) NB TENNIS or visit www.newportbeachbreakers.com

Watching the Breakers just got easier with a variety of Newport Beach hotel accommodations close by. The host hotel, Hyatt Regency Newport Beach provides the perfect location to relax, dine and cheer on Sampras and the others. With 403 luxurious guestrooms and three pools, visitors can relax and enjoy pre-match meals poolside or at Sol Restaurant, featuring a unique blend of Island Cuisine. For more information on the Hyatt and other accommodations, visit www.visitnewportbeach.com

The Newport Beach Breakers 2006 Home Schedule:

Saturday, July 8 Kansas City Expolores
Monday, July 10 St. Louis Aces (Match Featuring Pete Sampras)
Tuesday, July 11 Houston Wranglers
Thursday, July 13 Sacramento Capitals
Saturday, July 15 New York Buzz
Sunday, July 16 Springfield Lasers
Tuesday, July 25 New York Sportimes (Match Featuring John McEnroe)

The Newport Beach Breakers will also host the 2006 World TeamTennis Finals July 28-30. Tickets start at $150 and can be purchased by calling (877) NB TENNIS or visiting www.newportbeachbreakers.com

World TeamTennis League Background

World TeamTennis was created in the early 70s by Billie Jean King and Larry King. The format used for a WTT Pro League match features teams comprised of two men, two women and a coach. Each match consists of five sets, with one set of men’s and women’s singles, men’s and women’s doubles and mixed doubles.

Advanta is the presenting sponsor of the WTT Pro League and the official business credit card of World TeamTennis. For more information on WTT, visit www.WTT.com

About the Newport Beach Conference & Visitors Bureau

Newport Beach epitomizes the true essence of Southern California living with a wide variety of visitor accommodations, attractions, world-class dining and shopping, one of the largest small yacht harbors in the world and inviting year-round weather. John Wayne/Orange County Airport offers more then 290 flights daily with short transfers to area hotels. For additional information, contact the Newport Beach Conference & Visitors Bureau at (800) 94- COAST or log on to www.visitnewportbeach.com

angiel
06-30-2006, 02:44 AM
Around the league
06/29/06 - World TeamTennis (WTT)

Sacramento Capitals: The Caps' sponsor radio station KHTK 1140AM is once again rebranding themselves for the summer as KHTKournikova, a tribute to Sacramento's marquee player Anna Kournikova. The homage earned the station's morning show - The Rise Guys - an exclusive interview with Kournikova last week.

Kournikova will also join her Caps teammates at a fundraiser benefitting the Sacramento Community Tennis Association on July 18 in Sacramento. For tickets to the charity event, visit www.sacramentocapitals.com for more information.

New York Buzz: The Buzz has renamed their stadium in Central Park (Schenectady) as CDPHP Tennis Complex, a nod to new sponsor Capital District Physicians' Health Plan. CDPHP is also giving 200 New York Buzz tennis tickets to the Boys and Girls Club of Schenectady for their use during the 2006 season.

Philadelphia Freedoms: If you were waiting to buy your tickets to see Pete Sampras and his Newport Beach teammates take on the Freedoms on July 18 - too late! The match is the first sellout of the 2006 season for the Philadelphia franchise. There are still a few tickets remaining for Venus Williams' July 21 match at Cabrini College.

Delaware Smash: Recreational doubles players in the Delaware area will have the chance to learn from the best in the world. Mike and Bob Bryan of the Kansas City Explorers will host a pre-match Q & A session with local doubles players before their July 17 visit in Delaware. Tickets for the Bryan Brothers' session and match are available at 866-WTT-TIXS.

Kansas City: The Explorers move downtown to their new venue this summer. The KC squad christens the Barney Allis Plaza on July 7 when they host St. Louis.

almouchie
07-12-2006, 03:15 PM
a sampras fan friend
gave this link
for Sampras first WTT match
U would love it
I did
this has tons of pictures & a few videos
http://www.stirringinmysoul.com/pete/

lulu :)

Greg-Pete fan
07-12-2006, 04:38 PM
I will do it almouchie soon ;)

angiel
07-12-2006, 09:43 PM
a sampras fan friend
gave this link
for Sampras first WTT match
U would love it
I did
this has tons of pictures & a few videos
http://www.stirringinmysoul.com/pete/

lulu :)


What is this link about??? :worship: :D

angiel
07-13-2006, 12:55 AM
Sampras happy to have fun on court in WTT debut

Tue Jul 11, 2006 7:53 AM BST


NEWPORT BEACH, California, July 10 (Reuters) - Driven by victory during his glittering ATP career, Pete Sampras settled on having some fun in his World TeamTennis (WTT) debut on Monday.

The 34-year-old won his doubles match but lost his singles encounter to world number 211 John Paul Fruttero as his Newport Beach Breakers team were beaten 22-20 by the visiting St Louis Aces at the Palisades Tennis Club.

Sampras, who produced a mix of vintage serve-and-volley form with some rusty backhands, took great delight in entertaining a capacity crowd of 2,000.


"The atmosphere was great," the former world number one told reporters after making his Pro league debut.

"The crowd really got behind the team. I didn't know how it was going to be tonight but I actually enjoyed it. I'm looking forward to playing some more.

"When you practise you can get away with things, here you feel a little more pressure playing in front of people.

"You want to put on a good show and I thought I did pretty good. I missed a few here and there and I had a hard time getting my backhand going. That was really the key.

"But I'm going to have some fun the next couple of weeks, hopefully play some good tennis and entertain some people." Continued...

LOW-KEY RETURN

Sampras, who retired after winning the 2002 U.S. Open final against American compatriot Andre Agassi in his last professional match, decided to make a low-key return to the game after admitting he wanted something to focus on.

He does not plan to return to the ATP circuit and has set his sights on playing as well as he can in the relaxed atmosphere of WTT without doing his body any harm.

"All things considered, I played okay," he said after losing his singles match to Californian Fruttero on a tie-break.


"My body held up fine and I was serving pretty hard.

"It's not easy when you haven't played a match under the lights in years and I had a hard time picking it (the ball) up. But I think I'll play a little better as we go along."

Sampras, who won 14 grand slam titles and more than $43 million in prize money during his 15-year career, will play six more matches for the Beach Breakers over the next two weeks.

The WTT Pro League consists of 12 teams and past players include Agassi, Bjorn Borg, Jimmy Connors, Chris Evert, Billie Jean King, John McEnroe, Martina Navratilova, Andy Roddick and Venus Williams.

The league, created by Billie Jean and then husband Larry King, ran for five years from 1974. After a two-year break it returned in 1981 and has since been a feature of the U.S. calendar.

angiel
07-13-2006, 01:07 AM
In His Return to Tennis, Sampras Puts the Focus on Grinning


By KAREN CROUSE
Published: July 8, 2006


LOS ANGELES, July 7 — The tennis player who once likened himself to the reclusive Howard Hughes, who accumulated major titles the way Hughes did phobias, was practicing in plain view, wearing a smile as his disguise.




http://www.sportstaronnet.com/tss2652/images/20031227002300601.jpg

Vincent Laforet/The New York Times
Pete Sampras announced his retirement in 2003 after winning a record 14 major singles titles. He is back playing tennis because he wants to win something he never had before: admiration of the fans.


"Let's see if I can still do this," Pete Sampras said, laughing. After walking to the baseline of the Bel-Air Country Club court Wednesday morning, Sampras uncorked a serve that blew past his hitting partner, Kris Kwinta, like a Porsche in high gear. Earlier, Sampras hit a textbook running forehand that froze Kwinta, then exclaimed, "That's how I built my house!"

Sampras's playful side was the doubles alley of his personality during his 15-year professional career. He tried not to go there, willfully working around it when he was accumulating a record 14 major singles crowns and maintaining a white-knuckle grip on the world No. 1 ranking.

Four years after his last match on Tour, a four-set victory against Andre Agassi in the 2002 United States Open final, Sampras is returning to the competitive arena this month for a limited engagement with the Newport Beach Breakers of World Team Tennis. He is coming back for a handful of reasons, not the least of which is that he wants his alter ego, Smiley, to take a bow.

"It's maybe my way of giving back a little to the sport, doing a lot more interaction with the fans, with the media, with sponsors," Sampras said.

There is a tennis court in the backyard of the Beverly Hills home where he lives with his wife, Bridgette Wilson-Sampras, and sons Christian, 3, and Ryan, 11 months. But Sampras wanted to get out of the house, mingle with the public after a self-exile that, in truth, began long before he announced his retirement in June 2003.

"I always felt uncomfortable on the pedestal," Sampras said. That was why he spent a lot of energy over the years trying to avoid those who might exalt him, why he was forever running around praise the way he might a ball to his backhand side.

His monastic approach won him 64 singles titles but not many casual sports fans. It became a vicious cycle: Sampras bottling his feelings in order to win and the public holding back its affection because he was not effervescent enough.

"As I got older, as I started to dominate, I think I maybe could have lightened up a little bit," Sampras said. In his defense, he added, "People talked about me being robotic and mechanical, but the majors is when most people would see me and that's when I was at my most focused."

World Team Tennis, with its team format and its panoramic focus on entertainment and excellence, is the perfect stage for the 34-year-old Sampras to let down his wall. The seed to play in the summer league was planted in Sampras's mind years ago by Billie Jean King, a W.T.T. founder and somebody close enough to Sampras to be aware of Smiley's existence.

When Sampras was a child, everybody at the Jack Kramer Club courts in Rolling Hills Estates, Calif., knew Smiley. That was the nickname bestowed upon Sampras by the older kids because he wandered around the courts in a constant state of good cheer. As his game matured, he seemed to grow out of the nickname. In his late teens, after deciding that being in the top 10 in the world was not good enough, that only No. 1 would do, Sampras embraced a new stage presence. He became tennis's Buster Keaton, the Great Stone Face.

"When I was competing and out there on the court, it wasn't a time for fun and games," said Sampras, who won his first major title, at the United States Open, in 1990 at the age of 19. "I was very businesslike. That was my deal."

Between 1993 and 1998, when Sampras was stringing together his record six-year season-ending run at No. 1, King tried to recruit him every summer to join her band of merry players. She did not let his polite rejections deter her. She recognized years before Sampras did that he needed World Team Tennis perhaps even more than World Team Tennis needed him.

"He's funny as heck," King said in a recent telephone interview, "and I always thought it was a shame that the public didn't see that side of him. He's just a great guy, but you have to take time with him. You can't know him right away."

Sampras would never break character to show it — he was far too disciplined in his craft — but it did bother him that his recipe for excellence was so unappetizing to the general public. "I never understood it," he said.


He remembered John Newcombe once saying that Sampras needed to "lighten up" and thinking, "If I did, I'd lose my edge."

In 1999, Sampras was paired with the golf legend Arnold Palmer in a pro-am at the Bob Hope Classic in Palm Springs, Calif. As he watched the charismatic Palmer turn the gallery ropes into a receiving line that ran from the first hole to the last, Sampras grew wistful. "I wish I could do that," he remembered thinking as Palmer shook one fan's hand after another. "I wish I could smile and look people in the eye."

The warmth Palmer invested in his fans was returned with interest, which did not go unnoticed by Sampras. After years in the public eye, Sampras saw the light while in Palmer's shadow. "All fans want to do is have a connection with the athlete," he said.

All Sampras wanted in retirement was a structure to his days. He was playing golf five or six times a week and he had his weekly poker night, but Sampras, bless his blue-collar soul, believed those things should be a reward for a day fruitfully spent, not a reason to get out of bed.

King's annual invitation gave him a reason to resurrect his practice routine. He could have his structure and reach out to the fans, too.

During Wednesday's 80-minute practice, Sampras's strokes were sharp, but his face was soft.

His hitting partner, Kwinta, a former U.C.L.A. player from Poland, clearly wanted to impress Sampras, who was his idol growing up. Every time he pushed a backhand into the net, Kwinta upbraided himself. "This game," Sampras said at one point, his words landing as gently as drop shots, "say nothing negative."

Kwinta nodded earnestly. His next few strokes were winners. Later, Kwinta said it was a privilege to hit with Sampras. "I always wanted to be calm like Pete on the court," he added.

Toward the end of their hitting session, a BMW sedan pulled up to the parking lot and a gangly teenage boy emerged from the driver's seat. He had a noon lesson on the far court, and rather than walk alongside the fence on the outside to get to the waiting pro, he waited until Sampras and Kwinta were finished with a point, then loped across their court.

He seemed oblivious that he was showing poor etiquette, never mind putting himself squarely in the potential path of one of Sampras's 120-mile-an-hour serves. Perhaps he simply did not recognize the player waiting to serve, the one with the big forehand and the broad smile.

angiel
07-13-2006, 01:19 AM
'Bored' Sampras Back in Action


Friday, 7 July, 2006


Seven-time Wimbledon champion Pete Sampras is making a comeback in the World Team Tennis competition next week after admitting he is "bored" of retirement.

The 34-year-old legend will dust the cobwebs off his racquet on Monday when he plays for the Newport Beach Breakers in California.

Sampras will play seven matches in the low pressure event which sees teams playing sets of singles and doubles in a relaxed atmosphere.

In a press conference, Sampras, who retired in 2002 after winning the US Open, said he hopes a return to tennis will add a bit of structure to his life.

"At the end of last year, I was getting a little bit restless, maybe a little bored trying to figure out what was next for me,” he said.

"I kind of opened myself up to playing this year, just to give me a little bit of a structure and focus in my day. It's not the cut-throat tennis that I used to be a part of. But I'm a competitive person, especially on the tennis court. I'll want to do well and win."

Sampras, who won a record 14 Grand Slam Singles Titles and spent an unparalleled 286 weeks as the world's top player, also paid tribute to current Wimbledon champion Roger Federer.

The super Swiss is on track to claim his fourth straight title at Wimbledon, which would be the eighth Grand Slam trophy of his career and put him joint sixth on the all-time Grand Slam winners' list at the age of just 24.

"I'm pretty confident that he's well on his way to not only breaking the number one ranking record, but this Grand Slam record," Sampras said.

"Records are made to be broken. I just think Roger's got all the tools, he's got the demeanour, he really has the whole package to do it."


Written by Beci Wood

angiel
07-13-2006, 01:39 AM
Competitive fire still burns for Sampras

By Tim Casey -- Bee Staff Writer
Published 12:01 am PDT Wednesday, July 12, 2006


Pete Sampras was experiencing every working stiff's dream.

Playing golf almost every day. Living in a Beverly Hills mansion. Spending time with his beautiful actress wife, Bridgette Wilson, and their two young children. Traveling.



Doing whatever he wanted, whenever he wanted.

At 34 years old, having earned more than $43 million on the ATP Tour, Sampras had no worries.

By late last year, though, the life of leisure had grown old. You don't reach the top of your profession through laziness or complacency. Personality traits don't die. Sampras needed something to work toward.

"I felt myself getting a little bit unfulfilled with what I was doing," Sampras said.

And so, three years after ending his illustrious career with his fifth U.S. Open victory, Sampras turned his attention back to tennis.

Tonight, Sampras' quasi-comeback continues against the Capitals at Allstate Stadium at Sunrise Mall. Sampras will compete in seven World TeamTennis matches this summer for the Newport Beach Breakers and then likely in a few exhibitions. He has no plans to play another ATP or Grand Slam event or even on a senior tour.

The WTT considers itself fortunate to have Sampras. Since September 2002, Sampras had only played one competitive match before his Breakers debut Monday night.

The Breakers sold out the match in June, only their third sellout, according to co-general manager Scott Gwartz. The previous two occurred when Maria Sharapova played, and those didn't sell out until the day of the match.

Sampras also will play six road matches. Officials from those clubs expect larger than usual crowds.

"He was the one player we always wanted," WTT Commissioner/CEO Ilana Kloss said. "It's great for us."

Said Breakers coach Dick Leach: "It's such a neat thing. There's a buzz that's hard to create otherwise."

What can Sacramento fans expect from Sampras?

Even he admits he's far from his peak. Sampras lost his singles match Monday against John Paul Fruttero of the St. Louis Aces. Sampras won his doubles match.

Instead of playing and working out every day for six-plus hours, as he did during his career, Sampras' schedule now consists of hitting three or four days and spending a few hours in the gym every week.

No one should anticipate the Sampras of old, the player who won a men's record 14 Grand Slam singles titles, his all-court game persuading some to consider him the best ever.

In a conference call last week, Sampras said he considers himself among the top five players of all time. The others? Rod Laver, Roger Federer, Bjorn Borg and Ivan Lendl.

Asked for the best he's seen, Capitals coach Wayne Bryan went a step further, mentioning Sampras, Laver and Federer.

Despite his lighter workload and time away from the sport, Sampras is so talented that he remains competitive.

In April, Sampras lost 6-3, 7-6 to Robby Ginepri in an exhibition in Houston. Ginepri, 23, is 17th in the world. Meanwhile, Sampras hadn't played a match since defeating Andre Agassi in the 2002 U.S. Open final.

Eliot Teltscher isn't surprised at Sampras' return.

Teltscher, 47, and Sampras grew up less than three miles from each other in Palos Verdes. In March 1988 in Indian Wells, a 16-year-old, unranked Sampras had a straight-set victory over Teltscher, who was 25th in the world. It was Sampras' second ATP event.

Last month, the two renewed acquaintances at Sampras' home, as Teltscher watched Sampras hit for 90 minutes with Alex Kuznetsov, a 19-year-old pro.

"He was unbelievable," said Teltscher, the USTA's director of high performance. "He looked great. The ball came off his racket like a bullet. I told him I'd love to see him and Federer play again."

The way he spoke last week, Sampras hinted at the same thing.

Sunday, Federer won his fourth consecutive Wimbledon and eighth Grand Slam title. Sampras said he's a "fan" of Federer and that he'll likely break Sampras' record of six consecutive seasons ending at No. 1 and his Grand Slam mark.

He said Federer is "the only really great player I see playing" and "two, three levels above the rest." Sampras bemoaned the fact that there are no longer elite serve-and-volley players, no one who puts pressure on Federer, a tactic Sampras would use if he were still on tour.

Nearly four years since his last Grand Slam match, Sampras still has fond memories of the tournaments he always took with the utmost seriousness.

"I think I will always miss (Wimbledon)," he said. "I'll miss it at 34, 44, 54. … And I miss the (U.S. Open) and the rest. … I was so successful, (had) so many good memories there. I definitely miss it."

Still, asked if he would return to the ATP Tour, Sampras didn't hesitate.

"No," he said.

Instead, he'll be at Sunrise Mall tonight, playing in a parking lot in an obscure league, a long way from his glory days.

Sampras is just happy to have the routine of waking up every day, looking forward to working out and playing tennis. He doesn't regret getting back into the game that always has defined him.

"I think it's been one of the best things for me," Sampras said. "It gives me a little bit of what I used to have."



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Pete Sampras File

WTT: Newport Beach Breakers

Residence: Los Angeles

Birthdate: Aug. 12, 1971

Birthplace: Washington, D.C.

Family: Bridgette Wilson (wife); Christian Charles (2002); Ryan Nikolaos (2005)

Height: 6-foot-1

Weight: 170 pounds

Year turned pro: 1988

Year retired: 2003

Career earnings: $43,280,489

Singles career record: 762-222

Career titles: 64

Ranked No. 1: Six consecutive years (1993 to 1998)

14 Grand Slam victories

Year, Championship, Opponent, Score

1990, U.S. Open, Andre Agassi, 6-4, 6-3, 6-2

1993, Wimbledon, Jim Courier, 7-6, 7-6, 3-6, 6-3

1993, U.S. Open (2), Cedric Pioline, 6-4, 6-4, 6-3

1994, Australian, Todd Martin, 7-6, 6-4, 6-4

1994, Wimbledon (2), Goran Ivanisevic, 7-6, 7-6, 6-0

1995, Wimbledon (3), Boris Becker, 6-7, 6-2, 6-4, 6-2

1995, U.S. Open (3), Andre Agassi, 6-4, 6-3, 4-6, 7-5

1996, U.S. Open (4), Michael Chang, 6-1, 6-4, 7-6

1997, Australian (2), Carlos Moya, 6-2, 6-3, 6-3

1997, Wimbledon (4), Cedric Pioline, 6-4, 6-2, 6-4

1998, Wimbledon (5), Goran Ivanisevic, 6-7, 7-6, 6-4, 3-6, 6-2

1999, Wimbledon (6), Andre Agassi, 6-3, 6-4, 7-5

2000, Wimbledon (7), Patrick Rafter, 6-7, 7-6, 6-4, 6-2

2002, U.S. Open (5), Andre Agassi, 6-3, 6-4, 5-7, 6-4


About the writer:
The Bee's Tim Casey can be reached at (916) 773-7629 or tcasey@sacbee.com

angiel
07-14-2006, 12:55 AM
A little rusty, Pistol Pete can still fire

Lisa Dillman
July 13, 2006


The same old mannerisms hadn't disappeared. He still had that way of getting ready to serve, choosing one ball and then casually flicking back the other with the slightest touch of arrogance, not even looking back to the ball kid.

Nor, more importantly, had the serve itself vanished.

Pete Sampras reappearing on the tennis court was almost like Michael Jordan showing up and hitting jump shots on an outdoor urban basketball court. Or finding Wayne Gretzky scoring goals in an ice hockey recreation league or Joe Montana throwing spirals in a public park.

The difference was that Sampras was playing in front of a couple of thousand people at Palisades Tennis Club in a World TeamTennis match, putting himself on the line, or at least the service line.

The WTT is a three-week summer competition, contested by 12 teams of two men, two women and a coach from across the US. The rules were modified — the first team to reach five games wins the set, and a nine-point tie-breaker is used if a set reaches four games each — by Billie Jean and then-husband Larry King in 1974.

Over the years, some of the biggest names in tennis have played in the competition, including McEnroe, Graf, Borg, Agassi, Connors, Roddick and Navratilova.

Sampras, who retired after winning the 2002 US Open final against Andre Agassi in his last professional match, decided to make a low-key return to the game after admitting he wanted something to focus on. So he turned out for the Newport Beach Breakers.

The verdict? On paper, a split.

Sampras and his doubles partner Ramon Delgado won their match against Brian Wilson and John Paul Fruttero of the St Louis Aces 5-3. In the men's singles, Fruttero, the world No. 211, defeated Sampras 5-4 after the match went to a tie-breaker. That gave St Louis a 22-20 victory against the Breakers.

"It felt OK," Sampras said. "Didn't return all that well. All things considered, my body pulled up fine. I served and volleyed OK. It's been a while, so I didn't expect miracles out here. Give him credit — he had a good serve and I had a hard time getting a hold of it there. I haven't played competitive points like that in a while, so I really couldn't get my return down.

"But it was fun. I had a good time."

For Sampras, the seven-time Wimbledon champion and winner of 14 grand slam titles, the competitive juices took about a nanosecond to return.

"I think I'll just get a little better and better," he said. "Every time I step on the court, I want to play well. I don't care whether it's World TeamTennis or having a hit — I always wanted to improve.

"I actually enjoyed it. I'm looking forward to playing some more. When you practise you can get away with things; here you feel a little more pressure playing in front of people.

"But I'm going to have some fun the next couple of weeks, hopefully play some good tennis and entertain some people."

Earlier, Sampras spoke about his motivation to return to some form of competitive tennis.

"You know, a man works," he said. "And I've always worked my whole life. I told my wife, 'I'm not Mr Mom. I'm not going to stay home and change diapers.' "

LOS ANGELES TIMES, REUTERS

angiel
07-14-2006, 01:03 AM
Here is an interview from Pete, you guys will like it, enjoy.


http://www.noticias.info/asp/aspComunicados.asp?nid=198826&src=0

angiel
07-19-2006, 01:26 AM
The Houston Wranglers are saving the best for last, playing host to Venus Williams and Pete Sampras on Saturday and Monday, respectively, in World TeamTennis action at the Westside Tennis Club in Houston.

Williams will be playing for the Philadelphia Freedoms, and Sampras will be playing for the Newport Beach Breakers.

The Wranglers are also home tonight against the Delaware Smash. Today’s match has been designated as “Papa John’s Kid’s Club” Night, with children receiving free tickets and being treated to a tennis clinic, from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m.

All three matches are 7 p.m. starts, with the gates opening each evening at 5 p.m.

For tickets, call the Westside Tennis Club at 713-783-1620 or visit www.houstonwranglers.net.

angiel
07-20-2006, 01:02 AM
Bester set to face tennis legend Sampras


Tennis Canada

7/19/2006 11:30:38 AM

In his young career, Philip Bester of Vancouver has already faced some imposing challenges.

Yet, never before has the 17-year old been on court with as decorated an opponent as “Pistol” Pete Sampras, a holder of a record 14 Grand Slam championships and widely considered one of the best players ever.

The two will clash tonight as part of the World Team Tennis match-up between Bester's Philadelphia Freedoms and Sampras' Newport Beach Breakers.

On the Freedoms, Bester is joined by American stars Venus Williams and Lisa Raymond, as well as top Canadians Daniel Nestor ofToronto and Deauville, Quebec's Frederic Niemeyer among others.

World Team Tennis is a 12-team league which features players competing against one another as representatives of their team.

angiel
07-20-2006, 01:06 AM
Posted on Wed, Jul. 19, 2006

Sampras happy to be back in the swing

By BERNARD FERNANDEZ
fernanb@phillynews.com

There is a scene in "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid" where the charismatic outlaws attempt to reform. The lifestyle change doesn't take.

"Well, we've gone straight," Butch tells Sundance. "What'll we do now?"

Throughout the 1990s and into the 2000s, Pete Sampras played the role of tennis' Butch Cassidy to Andre Agassi's Sundance Kid. Pete was the smart, steady one; Agassi the flamboyant gunslinger. Their rivalry, as was the case with Jimmy Connors and Bjorn Borg in the 1970s, was a contrast of fire and ice.

Sampras retired from competitive tennis after winning his men's record 14th Grand Slam championship at the 2002 U.S. Open. Agassi has announced that he, too, will put away his racket after this year's U.S. Open.

The two old rivals haven't conversed in years, but if Sampras could speak to Agassi now, to pass along some of the wisdom he has accrued during his time away from the tour, he might tell him that the end doesn't come in a climactic shootout in Bolivia. It comes in places like Cabrini College in Radnor, where antsy competitors emerge to get their fix of what once was.

"Andre will play more golf than he's used to playing," Sampras, in his first season as a member of World Team Tennis' Newport Beach Breakers, said before last night's rain-delayed match against the Freedoms. "He'll try to find something, like we all try to find something when we retire.

"When you're 34 or 35, you still need to get up in the morning and have something to shoot for."

WTT commissioner Ilana Kloss said the match will resume tomorrow night at 7, and that Sampras would play. All tickets from last night's rainout will be honored.

Life on the worldwide tennis circuit - particularly for the top players - is like being on a luxurious chain gang. Guys like Sampras and Agassi travel from city to city, from continent to continent, enjoying the perks of their success but sometimes buckling under the stress of their gypsy existence and the need to constantly excel.

When Sampras defeated Agassi in four sets of that 2002 U.S. Open, the son of Greek immigrants was widely hailed as the greatest player of all time. He was only 31, a relative kid in most professions, but a creaky anachronism in his. More than anything, he was anxious to be granted his freedom from suitcases and computer ratings and the crushing weight of everyone else's expectations.

"The first year [of retirement], you enjoy it," he said. "You get to do the things you never got a chance to do. You have some fun, you play some golf.

"The second year, you wonder what's next. The third year, you get a little bored, a little restless.

"In this last year, I told myself that if I had some tennis opportunities, that I would play again. Ilana and Billie [Jean King, WTT co-founder] are friends of mine. I have a lot of respect for Billie and what she's done for the game."

Besides, one of the greatest players in tennis history - the always modest Sampras won't proclaim himself the best of all time - learned that his domination on the court didn't transfer so easily into domination on the golf course. Tiger Woods will probably get the same rude awakening if he takes up tennis upon his retirement.

"Retirement is fun, but you need something in your life that's fulfilling and challenging," Sampras said. "You need some focus and some structure in your life. Getting up and playing golf every day gets a little bit old after a while.

"You want to hit some [tennis] balls and get sore. I just decided to do something I was good at."

Not that Sampras, who turns 35 on Aug. 12, ever is likely to be quite as good as he was when he was ranked No. 1 for 6 consecutive years. He has won just six of 16 games in WTT play as he tries to scrape some of the rust off from his years away from tennis.

"I want to win. I want to win for my teammates," Sampras said. "I've gotten off to a bit of a rusty start, but I'm starting to get the hang of it again."

And with each cleanly hit winner that flies off his racket, Sampras - a classic American serve-and-volleyer who developed an imposing all-court game - is rediscovering how much fun tennis can be.

"My son, Christian, who's 3 ½, saw me play in Newport [Calif.]," Sampras said. "He lost interest after about 20 minutes.

"When I walked off he said, 'Daddy, you wouldn't talk to me.' I said, 'Well, son, I kind of had my hands full.'

"He's starting to get an idea of what's going on. But I do regret that he never got a chance to see me play Wimbledon or the U.S. Open."

angiel
07-21-2006, 03:23 PM
Grand Slam champ Pete Sampras to compete July 21 in Avon

By:Don Rully, Imprint Sports Editor
07/20/2006


"It's not the cutthroat tennis I used to be involved in, so we'll see what happens," Sampras said on a WTT conference call on July 6. "I'm going to see how it goes, I want to play well and not hurt myself, that's my main concern."
Sampras said WTT co-founder Billie Jean King approached him about playing before the season began. The 34-year-old from Los Angeles, winner of seven Wimbledons, five U.S. Opens, and two Australian Opens, said he thought it would be fun to play some tennis and have a little bit of focus after three years of retirement.
"I'm just trying to ease my way back into it, I'm not looking to get back into it," he said about playing again on the professional tour. "I'm just looking to have some fun and give my life some structure and focus."
Sampras said he has no interest in coaching at this time.
When asked whether he remains committed to the serve and volley game he mastered as one of the greatest tennis players of all time, he responded, "I will die serve and volley."
"I don't know if I'll be able to get into the net as quickly as I used to, but I'll still be coming in," he said.
Interviewed during Wimbledon, Sampras said, "these are the two weeks I really do miss the sport."
Sampras said he was "about a four handicap" in golf now. "I'm still just an athlete playing golf, I'm not a golfer," Sampras said. "I don't know the nuances of the game. Just grip it and rip it."

Greg-Pete fan
07-21-2006, 03:36 PM
Did you find any photos of these Sampras matches?

angiel
07-21-2006, 03:41 PM
Did you find any photos of these Sampras matches?


Funny but no photos, i think i would see lots of them by now. :confused: :confused: :confused: :(

Greg-Pete fan
07-21-2006, 03:52 PM
This page where I found photos from his match against Fruterro is not available now...

angiel
07-23-2006, 12:36 AM
This page where I found photos from his match against Fruterro is not available now...


Where was it?????? :wavey:

angiel
07-23-2006, 12:42 AM
Weiner Leads FoxForce In Win Over Sampras, Breakers

1:20 AM EDT,July 22, 2006
Tommy Hine, The Hartford Courant

AVON -- One arrived and returned to Manhattan on a private helicopter; the other drove his car from an Avon motel.

One has 64 ATP singles titles, 14 of them Grand Slams, and more than $43 million in career earnings. The other is 256th in the singles rankings and is still looking for his first ATP win.

But Glenn Weiner can add something to his resume that not every tennis player can. He beat Pete Sampras in singles Friday as the FoxForce defeated the Newport Beach Breakers 24-16 in a World TeamTennis match before 2,500 at Blue Fox Run.

"I was very nervous and very excited, both at the same time," said Weiner, who once hit balls with Sampras seven years ago when they were both training in Tampa, Fla. "This was almost surreal. Boris Becker and Pete Sampras were the two players I loved to watch while growing up."

There maybe should also be an asterisk added next to Weiner's 5-2 victory because Sampras, arguably the greatest player of all time, strained his right hamstring in the fourth game.

"I tweaked it a little bit," said Sampras, who ended a three-year retirement to play seven matches with the Breakers this summer. "It will be OK.

"I wish I could have played a little better, but I did the best I could."

Sampras, 34, managed to play in the men's doubles match, as well, with Rick Leach, but they lost to Weiner and Goran Dragicevic, 5-4.

Accompanied by two plain-clothes policemen who were at his side except when he played, Sampras left the court to be treated by a doctor during the third match. He returned to the Breakers' bench to watch the final two matches, and then signed 100 autographs -- all part of his appearance contract.

Sampras, 34, was the only player without a name on his jersey -- stipulated in his contract with Nike -- but he obviously didn't need his name on his back. The capacity crowd gave him a standing ovation when he appeared on court, and Weiner promptly greeted him with an ace. It was a questionable call by a linesman, and Sampras simply rolled his eyes. Both players held serve until Weiner broke Sampras to take a 3-1 lead when Sampras injured his hamstring.

"I didn't even know he was hurt," Weiner said. "The way we were playing, there wasn't much running back and forth."

There were some glimpses of the serve-and-volley game that Sampras made famous in his long run as the No. 1 player in the world. There were also a couple of nifty drop shots and some nicely aimed passing shots that left Weiner flat-footed and almost defenseless.

But there were also some unforced errors that a well-tuned Sampras wouldn't have made .

"I could tell he hadn't been playing a lot," Weiner said. "But it was good to see him back on the court."

Contact Tommy Hine at(thine@courant.com.

angiel
07-23-2006, 03:35 PM
Sampras on the decline

Sunday, July 23, 2006

By Joe Palladino


Copyright © 2006 Republican-American

AVON

It was good to see the king. He's lost a little on the top, he's added a little around the middle, and he hasn't actually worn his crown for three years, but the greatest tennis player who ever lived played in Avon Friday night.

Pete Sampras came to Connecticut for the second time in his career. He played for the Newport Beach Breakers in a World Team Tennis match against the Hartford FoxForce. He left with his Connecticut record intact. He still hasn't beaten anyone here.

For the last time, perhaps, there was the chance to watch that effortless serving motion, the deft touch at net, and even with a strained right hamstring he managed a patented running forehand winner.

It was good to see the king, but a little weird too. I can't shake this notion that it is a mighty long journey from the lawns of the All England Club to a wooden grandstand on a golf course playing before 2,000 spectators.


Pete looked regal when he

strode into a packed press conference at Blue Fox Run Golf Course accompanied by two security guards, both wearing sidearms. Wherever Pete went, men with guns followed. Has Homeland Security jacked up the terror alert for tennis?

WTT vice president David Egdes introduced Pete as a man who needs no introduction. Then he added that Sampras doesn't play often "in this market." Hey Dave, this is Connecticut. It is my home. Save the "market" crap for the boardroom.

It isn't hard to recall the last time Pete was in this "market." It was the darkest day in the history of the Pilot Pen. In 1998 Leander Paes defeated Sampras in his one and only match here, 6-3, 6-4. On the same day, Guillaume Raoux beat defending U.S. Open champ Patrick Rafter, and Bohdan Ulihrach booted Petr Korda. In one day the Pilot Pen lost its top three seeds. It was a hot afternoon. Pete didn't tank, but he didn't look for that extra gear either. It was too close to the Open to expend too much energy in New Haven.

Friday, Sampras lost his singles set, 5-2, to South African Glenn Weiner, a man who got to No. 119 in the world two years ago. Sampras then teamed with former top-ranked doubles player Rick Leach, now age 42, and they lost to Weiner and a guy named Goran Dragicevic, 5-4.

Pete is 0-for-3 in Connecticut. This is not his best market.

But it didn't matter what Pete Sampras did in make-shift Apple Arena Friday. He was here, and he helped the FoxForce fill a stadium on a threatening night.

Pete knows that tennis has moved on without him. But I also think he knows that it isn't as much fun for us. He rose to No. 1 beating guys named Agassi, Courier, Chang, Becker, Rafter, Edberg, Kafelnikov, Ivanisevic, and others. It was much tougher to be No. 1 then than it is now. Deal with it, fans of Federer.

Pete watches Wimbledon, and he gets the itch, but he says definitively, "This is not a sign about coming back. I am just having fun and testing it out."

Testing what out?

He said retirement has been fun. "I slept in, played golf, and did all the things I never had the chance to do. I didn't talk tennis, didn't read tennis, didn't watch tennis."

His participation in World Team Tennis is a huge boost to Billie Jean King's creation. But he's about to hit 35 and he got thumped by a South African that no one in Johannesburg has heard of.

But then he said something that may have answered the question: Pete, why are you doing this? He said that his people are talking to Roger Federer's people, and an exhibition match might happen.


"I would welcome it," he said. "He's the greatest player right now. I still hit the ball well enough. I could compete a little. It could happen."

Don't do it Pete.

On the retirement of Andre Agassi following the 2006 U.S. Open, Sampras said, "It is the end of an era."

That's right Pete, that era is over, Andre's era, and your era too. Tennis legends need to stay within their eras. Play World Team Tennis as a favor to Billie Jean, wave to your adoring fans one last time, but don't put your career in a time warp.

You're the king. Let's leave it at that.

Joe Palladino can be reached at jpalladinorep-am.com.

angiel
07-24-2006, 03:48 PM
Sampras thumped in Breakers' loss

TENNIS: Newport Beach's marquee player falls, 5-0, in men's singles set as St. Louis prevails.



ST. LOUIS -- When Pete Sampras elected to end a near-four-year retirement to join the Newport Beach Breakers of World Team Tennis, he likely didn't plan on days like Sunday.

The 14-time Grand Slam singles champion, considered by some to be the best player in the history of the sport, was trounced, 5-0, by John Paul Fruttero in the Breakers' 23-15 loss to the St. Louis Aces at the Dwight Davis Memorial Tennis Center.

Fruttero, whose highest singles ATP singles ranking was 183 last year, dropped Sampras' WTT singles record to 2-4.

Sampras, whose career ATP singles record was 762-222 (a .774 winning percentage) has contributed to six of the Breakers' eight losses this season and Breakers Coach Dick Leach has said Sampras' inability to get into proper playing shape has afforded the Breakers "no chance" to win.


The team has not won with Sampras in the lineup.

Newport Beach fell to 4-8, 0-5 on the road and in fifth place in the six-team Western Conference with two regular-season matches remaining.

Despite their record, the Breakers will compete in a wild-card match Thursday at Palisades Tennis Club against the No. 4 team in the league for the right to advance to the semifinals. The semifinals and the final are at Palisades.

angiel
07-24-2006, 03:51 PM
Sampras still enjoys game
By Lori Shontz
ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
07/23/2006

Pete Sampras of the Newport Beach Breakers returns a shot against St. Louis Aces JP Fruttero in a singles game during a World Team Tennis match at the Dwight Davis Memorial Tennis Center.
(By Chris Lee/P-D)

When Pete Sampras dominated tennis, winning a record 14 major titles, he practiced every day, of course. For hours.

These days, Sampras changes a lot of diapers and hangs out with his wife and two sons, ages 3 and 11 months. But he still loves to play tennis, even just hitting across the net, and he decided that if he could find a way to return to the game without returning to his former practice habits, he would do so.

Enter World TeamTennis. The season lasts three weeks. Each match lasts one set. Sampras knew he could practice a couple of times a week. Perfect.

Sampras said the combination of his practice schedule with the WTT format - one service break, when the first player to five games wins, can be a disaster - has made his game "kind of a crapshoot." But he said he is enjoying himself anyway.

"I can still serve well," Sampras said Sunday night, before the St. Louis Aces defeated his Newport Beach Breakers 23-15. "I can still volley pretty hard. I don't feel as confident. But the only way you gain confidence is by playing.

"I can still entertain people, show them some of the things I did in my prime. But I still have a lot of pride. I want to play well."

He struggled Sunday night, however. He and partner Rick Leach lost the men's doubles match 5-2 to the Aces' John Paul Fruttero and Brian Wilson. The Aces broke Sampras' serve in the sixth game when he double-faulted on game point. He spent the seconds between points in the next game practicing his serve motion, but it was too late to salvage the match.

In a post-match interview over the public address system, Sampras said, "I'm 34, but in tennis years I feel about 50."

Fruttero then put on an outstanding performance in men's singles, shutting out Sampras 5-0.

"I'm not sure I'm awake right now," Fruttero said afterward. "But I sure hope I am."

Fruttero, like Sampras, grew up in Southern California. Fruttero's older brother, who is 35, often played against Sampras. Fruttero, 25, tagged along to watch his brother play, and that's how he got started playing himself, at age 4 1/2.

"I've spent my whole life idolizing Pete Sampras and Andre Agassi," Fruttero said. "It's a privilege just to be on the court with him before his playing career is over."

The fans in the sold-out Dwight Davis Memorial Tennis Center in Forest Park felt the same way about the opportunity to watch Sampras in person. This was the only one of the Aces' matches that sold out in advance, and the tickets were $75, three times the usual price.

Sampras knew Fruttero would be tough; Fruttero won their earlier match in a tiebreaker. Sampras said he didn't return well - a common problem, he said, playing on the fast World TeamTennis surface.

"Everyone thinks I like fast courts," he said, laughing. "I really don't. I like a little slower court, so you have a little more time to try to return. And Fruttero, he has a fast, hard serve."

All that aside, Sampras said he still enjoys playing tennis. After a couple of years at home, he also enjoys being on the road again, even though he travels for only a week at a time, rather than several.

In the other matches, Newport Beach's Anastassia Rodionova beat Maria Emila Salerni 5-4, and Salerni and Parkway Central graduate Aleke Tsoubanos beat Rodionova and Tina Krizan 5-3. Newport Beach's mixed doubles team of Leach and Tina Krizan beat Wilson and Tsoubanos 5-3. Wilson and Tsoubanos won one overtime game.

lshontz@post-dispatch.com 314-340-8205

angiel
07-30-2006, 06:35 PM
Breakers storm the Capitals

TENNIS: Newport Beach wins fourth in a row to earn third straight trip to WTT title match, today against Philadelphia.


By Dave Thorpe, Daily Pilot




NEWPORT BEACH -- Russia-born Anastassia Rodionova appeared relaxed and loose. She was decked out in a baseball cap and sunglasses, her bronzed skin glistening. She looked every bit the Southern California girl, and she was holding court at the Palisades Tennis Club.

Rodionova has had a busy, if up and down season, playing a league-high 109 games and going 53-56 in women's singles in the regular season.

Before the season started, Newport Beach Coach Dick Leach said Rodionova was the key to the team's success. On Saturday, she was exactly that.

Rodionova won her singles set handily, then teamed with Tina Krizan for a clutch doubles victory, leading the Breakers to a 19-18, come-from-behind win over the Western Conference champion Sacramento Capitals (10-5) in a World Team Tennis semifinal.



The Breakers' Pete Sampras missed the match with a strained left hamstring, and is expected to be out of action today as well.

The Breakers (8-8) meet the Philadelphia Freedoms (9-6) in today's 1 p.m. final, also at the Palisades Tennis Club.

The Freedoms upset the Eastern Conference champion New York Sportimes, 23-17, in the other semifinal Saturday.

This is the third consecutive season the Breakers have reached the championship match. They won the WTT title in 2004, when Ramon Delgado was named the Most Valuable Player of the final.

Rodionova's standout performance Saturday put Delgado and Rick Leach in position to clinch the match, and the men's duo didn't disappoint.

The Breakers, who have now won four straight matches, were quickly in a 5-0 hole after Krizan and Leach were schooled by Mark Knowles and Elena Likhovtseva in mixed doubles.

"He gave me a lesson," Leach said of the drubbing.

But next up was women's singles, and Rodionova was more than up for the task of getting the Breakers back in the match. Rodionova, often hot-tempered on the court, was cool and collected, breaking Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova to take a 2-0 lead after a double fault.

On July 12 in Sacramento, Rodionova defeated Pavlyuchenkova, 5-4. But on July 13 in Newport Beach, Pavlyuchenkova earned a 5-2 victory over Rodionova.

After two games, Sacramento Coach Wayne Bryan, who earned WTT Coach of the Year honors for the third straight season, pulled Pavlyuchenkova in favor of Likhovtseva. But it made no difference. Rodionova didn't blink during a long baseline rally, and Likhovtseva finally hit a backhand into the net to give Rodionova a 3-0 lead.

Likhovtseva was able to hold her serve, but so was Rodionova, who won the set, 5-2, on a cross-court forehand.

"I was just trying to get as many games as possible," Rodionova said. "I was trying to get us even."

After Delgado, the No. 1 men's singles player in the WTT during the regular season based on winning percentage, was edged by the No. 2 men's singles player in the WTT, Warburg, 5-4, the Breakers trailed, 12-9.

Delgado won 30 of 48 games during the regular season, a .625 winning percentage.

Rodionova took the court again, this time with Krizan in women's doubles. Krizan, who struggled in mixed doubles, was back on her game with Rodionova. The Breakers' duo went to a tiebreaker with Likhovtseva and Pavlyuchenkova.

Both Krizan and Rodionova had key volleys during the tiebreaker, which they won, 5-1, to pull the Breakers to within 16-14 with only men's doubles remaining.

"Our opponents were very hard," Krizan said. "But I knew we had to win in doubles to help the guys."

"Tina played really good in doubles," Rodionova said.

The deciding set featured two players, Leach and Knowles, well known for their doubles play both in the WTT and on the ATP Tour.

"But the difference is, he's still in his prime and I'm past my prime," Leach said. "I have a lot of respect for Mark."

Leach was the one who appeared to be in his prime in the final set. When Warburg returned Leach's 113-mph serve into the net, the set was tied, 2-2, and the Breakers trailed, 18-16.

If Delgado and Leach wanted to win the set in regulation, they couldn't drop another game. When Knowles' overhead smash went long, Delgado and Leach had the break they needed and took a 3-2 lead. The Breakers held serve to take a 4-2 lead and tie the score, 18-18.

Suddenly the Breakers were on the verge of victory.

In the seventh game, Knowles couldn't handle Leach's backhand volley at his feet. Knowles followed that up with a double fault. After a Knowles ace and a Leach volley, Knowles double-faulted again and the Breakers waltzed away with the victory.

The Breakers will earn a $20,000 bonus if they finish as runners-up today. They'll earn a $30,000 bonus if they take the WTT title.

"Every once in a while, I flash back and play like I'm 25 again," Leach said. "Delgado gave me a lot of chances to put balls away. He played some great doubles."

The Capitals swept two regular-season matches against the Breakers by identical 20-17 scores. But the Breakers were without Delgado in both of those matches.

Delgado's 5-4 tiebreaker loss to Warburg was just the second singles set he's dropped all season. But he didn't let it affect his doubles play.

"I'm so happy," Delgado said. "We played unbelievable doubles."

After going 6-8 during the regular season, did the Breakers think they'd be going back to the championship match again?

"To be honest, no," Leach said. "But we got a shot with the wild card and played well against Springfield. Sacramento beat us twice during the regular season, so we figured we'd just have fun, be aggressive, stay close and hope for some luck at the end."

"We had a hard time during the season," Rodionova said. "But the whole team stayed together and kept fighting for every point."

The Breakers' regular-season woes were due in part to the occasional absence of Delgado and the rustiness of Sampras. But Sampras was improving before his injury and Delgado is healthy and present.

"We had a couple of bad matches on the road," Delgado said. "But we have great players. Anastassia is a great player and Tina and Rick have been on top in doubles. I always believed in us."

angiel
08-03-2006, 08:11 PM
Breakers salvage successful s eason

TENNIS: Newport Beach advances to third straight World Team Tennis final after finishing 6-8 in the regular season in 2006.

By Dave Thorpe

The Newport Beach Breakers may have went a disappointing 6-8 during the World Team Tennis regular season this year, but by no means was it a total wash.

After all, local fans got to see tennis legend Pete Sampras play his first competitive match since retiring after the 2002 U.S. Open.


The Ramon Delgado fan club, dubbed the Desperate Housewives for Ramon Delgado, came into full form, cheering on their favorite son from Paraguay and influencing a group of ball girls to branch off into their own Delgado support group.

And the Breakers, thanks to a quirky rule that allows the host team for the playoffs an automatic entry as a wild-card team, made the most of their chance.

The Breakers defeated the Springfield Lasers in the wild-card match, and swung all the way to the final before falling to the Philadelphia Freedoms.

The highlight of the season was Newport Beach's 19-18 come-from-behind triumph over the Sacramento Capitals in the semifinals on Saturday at Palisades Tennis Club. advertisement


Anastassia Rodionova paced the Breakers with a dominating singles win and a clutch doubles victory with partner Tina Krizan.

That doubles triumph set the stage for Delgado and Rick Leach in men's doubles.

The Breakers trailed, 16-14, going into the final set, but Delgado and Leach pulled out a clutch 5-2 victory to give Newport Beach the improbable triumph, which sent the team to its third consecutive WTT final.

Newport Beach scuffled during the regular season, due to Sampras' early struggles and the occasional absence of Delgado, who sat out while Sampras played in seven of the team's 14 regular-season matches.

Sampras, who drew criticism from Coach Dick Leach for being severely out of shape, went 2-5 in his seven regular-season singles sets, though he won his only singles set in the playoffs.

The Breakers were 0-6 with Sampras in the lineup, until a July 24 road win at Houston.

But a capacity crowd estimated at 2,000 packed the Palisades for Sampras' home debut July 10.

Dick Leach said Delgado and Rick Leach will definitely be back next season, and he hopes Rodionova and Krizan also will be back.

"Otherwise, we'll see what we get in the draft," Dick Leach said. "We should draft pretty high because even though we made the final, our record is below .500."

Dick Leach also is hoping to be back next season.

"I want to," said Leach, who just finished his fourth season at the helm. "It's up to [league co-founder] Billie Jean King and [Commissioner] Ilana Kloss."

Rodionova, 24, who won some big sets for the Breakers this season, said she would like to return.

"If they want me, I'll be back," Rodionova said. "I'd think they'd want to bring the whole team back. I mean, we made it to the final. That's pretty good."

angiel
08-03-2006, 08:13 PM
Freedoms ring in WTT crown

TENNIS: Delgado does his part, but Breakers can't overcome play of Philadelphia's talented female duo in the final.

By Dave Thorpe

NEWPORT BEACH — The Newport Beach Breakers were as surprised as anyone to make their third consecutive World Team Tennis final appearance after a 6-8 regular season.

But after a win over Springfield in a wild-card match and a triumphant semifinal upset of Sacramento, a second title in three years didn't seem too far-fetched.


Unfortunately for the Breakers, the surprises ended with a 21-14 loss to the Philadelphia Freedoms in Sunday's final at Palisades Tennis Club.

Philadelphia's female tandem of Lisa Raymond and Rennae Stubbs proved to be too much. Neither player dropped a set as the Freedoms (10-6) dominated the Breakers (8-9).

"Today their girls were too strong for us," Breakers Coach Dick Leach said. "It'd be like if we had [Roger] Federer and [Rafael] Nadal."

Comparing the No. 1- and No. 2-ranked men's singles players in the world to Raymond and Stubbs might seem a little outlandish. But the Freedoms duo was that potent Sunday.

Raymond is ranked No. 1 in the world in doubles and No. 73 in singles.

Stubbs is the No. 6-ranked doubles player in the world.

Together, they steamrolled the Breakers' Anastassia Rodionova (No. 41 in doubles and No. 92 in singles) and Tina Krizan, 5-1.

Philadelphia's women were just as effective when they split up. Raymond took down Rodionova in women's singles, 5-3.

Stubbs teamed with WTT men's MVP Daniel Nestor to bounce the Breakers in mixed doubles, 5-0, to close out the match with aplomb.

The Breakers trailed just 16-14 going into the last set, but the 6-foot-3 Nestor and Stubbs were on their game. The Freedoms broke Rick Leach and Krizan to take a 2-0 lead, which gave the Freedoms an 18-14 advantage.

Then Dick Leach substituted in Delgado and Rodionova in a last-ditch effort to save the match.

"Rick came over and said give them a shot," Dick Leach said.

Delgado and Rodionova didn't have any more luck than Leach and Krizan. The Breakers' duo needed to win five straight games to win the match in regulation, but couldn't so much as capture one.

A Stubbs volley helped the Freedoms break the Breakers again, then a Nestor volley in the fifth game won it.

On the ATP Tour, Nestor and Sacramento's Mark Knowles are the No. 3-ranked doubles team in the world.

"Rennae and Daniel have played a lot together," Freedoms Coach Craig Kardon said. "Daniel is so dominant with his kick serve and Rennae is dominant at the net."

Delgado got the Breakers started on the right track by defeating Jaymon Crabb, 5-3, in men's singles to open the match.

Delgado also teamed with Rick Leach to capture a 5-3 men's doubles win.

But Philadelphia's dominance in women's singles and doubles, as well as mixed doubles, where it outscored Newport Beach 15-4, was the difference.

Philadelphia, similar to Newport Beach, didn't have the best of regular seasons. But it finished 8-6 to earn a playoff berth, then turned things up a notch.

"Most of our players are former No. 1s or ranked very high," Kardon said. "They have an extra gear they can go to in big matches.

"On paper, we have the best players, but you have to prove it. We played just well enough to get here during the regular season, then we proved we're the best in the playoffs."

Stubbs was named the MVP of the WTT playoffs and earned a $2,500 bonus. She'll also get a portion of the $30,000 the Freedoms earned for winning the WTT title.

The Breakers earned a $20,000 bonus for finishing second.

"It's rationed out in a way where I don't get any," Dick Leach said. "The players split it four ways. Maybe Pete [Sampras] gets some, too. So it's a nice little bonus for them."

Despite the loss, the Breakers are content with the way the season concluded.

"I didn't think we'd be in the final," Dick Leach said. "But [Sampras] helped us out in the wild-card match. Then when he got injured [aggravating a hamstring], our regular players had a big win over Sacramento, the top team in the league. I don't know how we won that one."