10-07-2006, 12:13 AM
10-07-2006, 12:13 AM
03-06-2007, 03:22 PM
2006, Pete & jim.
07-27-2007, 07:35 PM
Jet sets for Pete
Sampras, Courier play new venue
By Rikki N. Massand
Special to amNewYork
July 27, 2007
For once, Pete Sampras' serve wasn't the fastest thing at a tennis match.
With Maseratis and a private jet parked outside an airport-hangar-turned-court, Sampras beat longtime rival Jim Courier, 7-5, 7-5, in a spirited exhibition match.
A crowd of affluent onlookers cheered the players on at Farmingdale's Republic Airport on Thursday, just four weeks before the kickoff of the U.S. Open.
The American greats renewed their 1990s rivalry on a blue court that occupied the parking spot of a not-yet- released Hawker 4000 jet owned by Talon Air, the luxury charter airline that sponsored the event.
Sampras, 35, and Courier, 36, met in eight Grand Slam finals in the 1990s, and Sampras won six of their meetings. But this wasn¹t the dazzling Pistol Pete of old; Sampras relied on his veteran poise to contain his opponent.
Courier had little trouble keeping up with Sampras' serves, but Sampras had the upper hand during longer exchanges, when Courier¹s returns tended to smack into the net or launch out of bounds.
Courier founded the Outback Champions Series tour for retired tennis greats in 2005. Sampras, who retired after winning his record 14th major title at Flushing Meadows in 2002, returned to action this year on Courier's tour, winning tournaments in Boston and Athens.
"I know the fans have really embraced seeing him go out and compete again," Courier said of Sampras.
"It's one thing to go out and be out of shape and just show up, but Pete's really competing and he's focused when he plays because he's playing against guys that he respects."
Sampras is ranked No. 1 on the Outback tour with 1600 points, while Courier is fourth with 850.
07-27-2007, 07:40 PM
How will surface affect exhibition?
By James Beck (Contact)
The Post and Courier
Wednesday, July 25, 2007
Can Jim Courier handle Pete Sampras' huge serve and net game on a fast indoor carpet?
That's an interesting angle to the Sept. 23 exhibition between the two former Grand Slam champions at North Charleston Coliseum.
If the match were scheduled for grass, Sampras would be the odds-on favorite. And he still might be indoors when you take into consideration that he has been winning exhibitions the same way he won seven Wimbledon titles and a record 14 Grand Slam tournaments.
But old-buddy Courier's Inside Out Sports and Entertainment group is putting on the exhibition here. According to coliseum marketing manager Alan Coker, Courier's group is even taking care of the indoor carpet and court layout.
Don't you think Courier would love to slow things down, say to the pace of the red clay at the French Open where he won two titles. Of course, Sampras' lone blank spot in the career Grand Slam is the French Open.
The seating for the tennis match will be limited to about 9,000. "Ticket sales are brisk," Coker said Tuesday.
--The "Legends of Tennis" exhibition is scheduled for 3 p.m. on a Sunday afternoon. Tickets are on sale at the coliseum ticket office, all Ticketmaster outlets including select Publix grocery stores, charge by phone (554-6060) and online at www.ticketmaster.com.
Rafael Nadal came through in flying colors to win the clay-court Mercedes Cup over the weekend, but one big question mark concerning Nadal's health came out of the tournament. The right knee that acted up in the fourth set of his five-set loss to Roger Federer in the Wimbledon final gave him problems early in the Stuttgart event, although he took five straight matches without dropping a set.
It's hardcourt season, and even healthy legs take a beating in the U.S. Open Series that leads up to New York. The question is whether Nadal's right knee can absorb the punishment of back-to-back Masters events in Montreal and Cincinnati, and still be healthy for the U.S. Open.
The odds are that Nadal might pull out of at least one of the U.S. Open Series events in the interest of the right knee.
King, Heinz shine
Addison King and Austin Heinz of Mount Pleasant's Players Club had excellent results in the recent boys' 12 National Clay Courts in Greensboro, N.C., as King captured consolation honors in the North division and Heinz was a consolation finalist in the West group.
Family Circle Tennis Center junior development director Greg Harkins coached the Southern Section's boys' 14 team in the recent USTA Zonal competition in Dothan, Ala. His boys' group was runner-up while the six boys/six girls team finished 8-2 overall.
Reach James Beck at firstname.lastname@example.org or 937-5540.
08-07-2007, 08:48 PM
Game - Jet - Love
By: Elisa Gaudet
What does a Maserati race car driver, a hot private jet company and two of tennis's super-studs have in common? Golf, of course.
Granted, this was not determined at a golfing event, but at a tennis exhibition between Pete Sampras and Jim Courier in Talon Air's hanger on Long Island, N.Y.
Courier and Sampras, both 4 handicaps in golf, mused over the skills that transcend the Royal & Ancient game and tennis. Each agreed a major point in both sports is the necessity for good hand-eye coordination and the need for a repetitive swing. Courier pointed out that one major difference is in golf the ball is static, where in tennis it's moving. When asked who would win on the golf course, both said it would be a toss-up.
Courier and Sampras said it would be tough to come up with their favorite courses without more clearly defined parameters, like style or geographic region. But the names that immediately arose were the usual suspects: Shinnecock Hills, Pebble Beach and Augusta National.
Courier's dream foursome would include his Dad, brother and "lover." Sampras chose Nicklaus, Tiger and Charles Barkley - to keep it funny. That's interesting coming from a guy everyone has mistakenly assumed is boring. Friendly, joking, polite, amenable and competitive is how one could describe Sampras and Courier, who were brought together by Talon Air (www.talonairjets.com) for an event that included tennis and test-driving a Maserati on the company's air strip.
The tournament, which really was a friendly-fire match, gave a taste of what spectators will experience with the Outback Champions Series (www.championsseriestennis.com). Eligible players competing on the tour must have held a top-five singles ranking, been a Grand Slam singles finalist, or played on a Davis Cup team during their ATP Tour careers. All players must be a minimum of 30 years old. The criteria assure fans that there will be a legend competing in each match of every event. The tennis tour can be compared to the Champions Tour, less 20 years.
Courier has felt the competitive juices flow on the golf course with notable rivals Boris Becker, Todd Martin, Ivan Lendl and John McEnroe. All of these players are hooked on golf. Indeed, Lendl's daughter could be playing on the LPGA Tour in the near future.
Maserati driver Anthony Lazzaro, winner of five national and three world racing events, admits his entrée into golf is bit of a role reversal. Lazzaro took up the game to play with his 18-year-old son Cory, who's excelled in the sport such that he helped his high school golf team make it to the state championship this year. Anthony Lazzaro started racing go-karts at 13, and then made the jump to cars. After two years he quit his job and began automobile racing full-time.
He has never pushed Cory to race. When Cory discovered golf, Anthony decided to give it a try as he figured it would be a good way for the two of them to spend time together. The skills Lazzaro feels transcends both sports are focus, hand-eye coordination and vision. "Driving is all about vision, the hands follow the eyes," he said. "As they say in racing, in order to be fast in the car you need to be slow in the cockpit." The most effective drivers and golfers use "controlled aggression. You can not just 'let it rip' in either sport - there needs to be control behind the power and force."
Just as he was encouraged by his parents to follow his dreams, Lazzaro does the same with his son. On the golf course, Anthony does not keep score but, one thing is for sure, he's most comfortable behind the wheel of the golf cart. Maybe the next uber-luxurious "must-have" will be a Maserati (www.maserati.com) golf cart?
I enjoyed this ultimate off-course golf experience - a tennis set, a car that's a sure bet, and a jet . . . the game ended in love.
Elisa Gaudet brings a wealth of entertainment and golf experience to Cybergolf. Elisa has spent the past several years in the golf industry in the U.S., Latin America and Spain. She worked for the PGA Tour and the Tour de las Americas before founding Executive Golf International, a golf marketing company that works with clients to develop strategies using golf as the medium. Often referred to as the Maria Bartiromo (a business analyst for CNBC) of golf, Elisa says: "Golf, as a marketing tool, has been around for years. It's amazing how many new ways companies can align their brand with the golf market to reach their target audience. Our goal is to create alliances and establish cross-border relations." Elisa also worked in the entertainment industry for over 10 years, including five in Los Angeles as a model and actress. She can be seen at many celebrity golf events and often gets the inside scoop from PGA Tour players. For more information about Elisa, visit her websites at www.onthelip.com or Executive Golf International www.execgolfintl.com.
08-28-2007, 05:22 PM
Tennis match moved
Bee staff and news services
The exhibition tennis match between Hall of Famers Pete Sampras and Jim Courier has been moved to Oct. 25 at Selland Arena.
The event was scheduled for Oct. 26, but Kelly Carr of the Fresno Sports Council advised promoters that date conflicted with fans' interest in the Fresno State vs. Boise State football game.
"Part of our job at the Fresno Sports Council is to let our clients know of other things that are happening at the same time as their events," Carr said. "We let them know about Fresno State-Boise that [Friday] night, and they made the decision to play on Thursday.
"We're very pleased they decided to make that move."