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01-08-2007, 09:35 PM
The Stars Are Aligning With Lifeway Kefir and Probugs(TM)!
Monday January 8, 3:57 pm ET

MORTON GROVE, Ill., Jan. 8 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Lifeway Foods, Inc. (Nasdaq: LWAY - News) is pleased to announce they will be a product sponsor sampling LowFat Kefir and Probugs(TM), the must have organic kefir for A-list kids and their moms at The Access Hollywood "STUFF YOU MUST ... " Lounge in celebration of The Golden Globe® Awards*.

This invitation-only Gift Lounge takes place January 13 thru 14 at the Sofitel LA, and will feature some of the hottest names in the entertainment industry, whose presence will be helping to raise money for two important charitable causes. During this star-studded, 2 day marathon of pampering and gifting by some of today's hottest brands, Lifeway will be passing out the latest must-have accessory for Hollywood parents. No, not teacup poodles or cutesy cashmere baby booties. Instead, Lifeway is turning celebrity moms and dads like Lisa Rinna & Harry Hamlin, Pete & Bridgette Wilson-Sampras, James Denton, Melina Kanakardedes, and Rodney & Holly Robinson-Peete on to the power of probiotics and treating their children to Lifeway Probugs(TM), a new line of creamy, organic whole milk kefir with fun characters and flavors that appeal to even the most finicky of eaters.

"Reaching out to celebrities through gift lounges is an extremely useful way for Lifeway to enhance its brand awareness," says Lifeway's President and CEO Julie Smolyansky. "Celebrities are in the know, they are aware of healthy products and are focused on providing the highest quality foods for their kids. Probugs(TM) are a perfect example and there is no better way to advertise than by having a highly regarded celebrity parent refer to Probugs(TM) in a positive light."

With a no-spill spout and easy-to-grip package, Probugs(TM) are great for tiny hands and even better for growing bodies. Less than half the sugar of most other yogurts, high in bone-building calcium and energy-sustaining protein Probugs(TM) are crucial for any child, celeb or not. The Kefir in Probugs(TM) contains 10 live and active cultures (friendly bacteria) that help little bellies stay calm and developing immune systems healthy. Speaking of friendly bacteria, kids also love the funny names and goofy characters, Orange Creamy Crawler and Sublime Slime Lime.

It's not just celebrities who are catching on to the kefir craze; fitness experts recognize the benefits, too. Trainers-to-the-stars Kathy Kaehler (Julia Roberts, Jennifer Aniston, Cindy Crawford) and Michael Georges (Meg Ryan, Christian Slater) love kefir for its many health benefits, including its ability to aid in weight loss, ease lactose intolerance and maintain a healthy intestinal tract. A great source of calcium and protein, all natural Pomegranate Kefir and Organic Pomegranate/Acai Kefir will be sampled alongside Probugs(TM) at The Access Hollywood "STUFF YOU MUST ... " Lounge over this exciting weekend of pampering and glitzing.

Lifeway, recently named Fortune Small Business' 94th Fastest Growing Small Business for the third straight year, is America's leading supplier of the cultured dairy product known as kefir. Lifeway offers 12 different flavors of its Kefir beverage, Organic Kefir and SoyTreat (a soy based kefir). Lifeway also produces a line of products marketed in U.S. Hispanic communities, called La Fruta Drinkable Yogurt (yogurt drinks distinct from kefir). In addition to its line of Kefir products, the company produces a variety of cheese products and recently introduced a line of organic pudding called It's Pudding.

For more information, contact Lifeway Foods, Inc. at (847) 967-1010 or e-mail at and visit .

*No affiliation with The Golden Globe® Awards or the HFPA.

This news release contains forward-looking statements. Investors are cautioned that actual results may differ materially from such forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties including, but not limited to, competitive pressures and other important factors detailed in the Company's reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Source: Lifeway Foods, Inc.

01-10-2007, 12:51 PM
10 January 2007


Murray credits Henman for rise up rankings
By Colin Duncan

ANDY MURRAY last night revealed how Tim Henman has been both best mate and father figure to him since joining the ATP tour.

The young Scot has struck up a firm friendship with Henman since overtaking him in the rankings to become British No.1.

Murray admits Henman, who reversed his decision to quit playing Davis Cup tennis earlier this week, has been a massive influence on his career and is the first person he turns to for advice.

He said: "Tim Henman is the one guy I've spoken to the most because he's been through the same sort of things as me. If I have a problem, chances are that he's experienced it and can help me with it. "

Murray, in Melbourne preparing for the Australian Open, was baffled by the criticism levelled at Henman for failing to win Wimbledon.

He said: "The stick Tim got was ridiculous. When he was on top form Pete Sampras was the best in the world, so for Tim to win Wimbledon would have been incredible.

"Sadly he didn't quite do it but got so far so many times. Then when Sampras stopped, Federer came along. If he'd come before or after those two he'd certainly have won Wimbledon."

Murray was one of only a few players to claim the scalp of Roger Federer last year but the teenager said: "I joke about it sometimes to my friends but not to the other players. That would be a bit disrespectful. Who am I to boast about beating Roger Federer?

"The secret is to hope he's playing badly the day you play him. If he plays at his best it's pretty much impossible to win.

"When you do, and not too many people have managed it in the last few years, it's the best feeling imaginable. It's definitely the most special win of my career."

Murray's final appearance in Qatar last week saw the 19-year-old rise to No. 15 in the world rankings.

He was beaten 6-4 6-4 by Ivan Ljubicic but has the opportunity to take instant revenge after the pair were drawn to meet at the AAMI Kooyong Classic in Melbourne, the final event ahead of the Australian Open which starts on Monday.

Murray will be seeded in the top 16, ensuring he avoids any of the big guns in the early rounds, although the Dunblane youngster reckons his own temper could be the biggest problem Down Under.

He said: "I've been working on channelling it. I was getting angry on court, throwing my racket, shouting too much.

"This year I'm trying to calm down but there's some matches where my temper's got the better of me. I've got to remain focused and not obsess about what is past."

But while Murray is anxious to look forward he is still struggling to escape an unfortunate episode from his past.

Last summer, prior to Wimbledon he was reported as saying he wanted anyone but England to win the 2006 World Cup.

Murray said: "That was ridiculous because I've explained about 100 times what really happened but my explanation has never been reported.

"An English journalist asked, 'Will you be supporting Scotland in the World Cup? So I joked, 'No, I'll be supporting whoever England are playing'. It does annoy me.

"I'd like to be myself in front of the press but it's difficult when things like this happen and you start getting hate mail."

A full version of this interview appears in the current issue of ZOO magazine.

02-01-2007, 08:38 PM
Pistol Pete tips his Slam record to fall soon

LOS ANGELES: Pete Sampras thinks he could have held his own against Roger Federer but conceded on Tuesday that the Swiss master is poised to smash his record of 14 Grand Slam titles.

Sampras, who retired after winning the 2002 US Open, considered what the result might have been had the two giants of men's tennis met in their prime.

“I don't think one guy would have dominated the other,” said the American during a teleconference to announce his return to tournament tennis, playing a limited number of events on a tour for over-30 players.

“I think our games are pretty similar. It would have been a great clash to see us in our prime. Roger is doing what I never did; dominate the way he is. He's lost five matches in two years, that's unheard of.

“But I feel like my game is too big to be dominated by someone. When my game was on, my serve was on, I felt I was tough to beat. I felt unbeatable.”

Sampras could soon see how his career stacks up alongside Federer, after the Swiss took another stride towards the record with his third Australian Open crown on Sunday.

The 25-year-old Swiss has won 10 Grand Slams since his maiden title at Wimbledon in 2003 and will break Jimmy Connors's record of 160 consecutive weeks as world number one next month.

After beating Andre Agassi to lift his 14th Grand Slam title, Sampras believed his record would stand the test of time.

But almost immediately an unrelenting Federer launched his assault on the mark.

“I thought it would take longer than seven or eight years,” said the 35-year-old Sampras. “I don't see anyone pushing him so I could see him winning 17, 18, 19 majors. He has 10 already and he's in the middle of his career.

“He just came along at the right time and is playing tremendous tennis and I don't see him stopping now.”

Sampras also believes Federer is capable of achieving a success that eluded him by winning on the red clay of Roland Garros.

The Swiss world number one needs the French Open to complete his set and become only the third player to hold all four majors at once.

“I think he can because he grew up playing on clay and he's come close the last two years,” said Sampras. “I really believe he can win there.

“I'm a fan, of his game, his temperament, how he handles himself on and off the court. I marvel at things he's able to do,” he added.

The two players clashed just once in their careers, with the Swiss prevailing. There will be no re-match.

“When we retire we all have thoughts of playing again but my playing days are over on the ATP Tour,” admitted the seven-time Wimbledon champion. “It's a lot of work, a whole different lifestyle I'm done with.

“I have been hitting the ball pretty well for the past six months and still feel that I can maybe compete against some of the guys. But to think about coming out of retirement is something far-fetched.” – Reuters

02-01-2007, 08:40 PM
Pete Sampras to Play on Over-30 Tour
By HOWARD FENDRICH Thursday, February 01, 2007

Pete Sampras will play tournament tennis for the first time since 2002, competing on a tour for players over 30, The Associated Press has learned.

Sampras' Outback Champions Series debut, which will come May 2-6 at Boston University's Agganis Arena, is to be announced formally Tuesday. The 35-year-old Sampras will appear in at least one other event on the tour in 2007.

"This is kind of my first dive into the waters, so to speak, to see how I feel and play a match I really want to win," Sampras, owner of a record 14 Grand Slam singles titles, said in a telephone interview with the AP.

"I still love the sport _ I practice two, three times a week _ but I don't miss the grind. This is a time to catch up with old competitors, old friends, and see if I still have a few things left in the bag," he said.

It's the latest step in a gradual return to a sport Sampras dominated for the better part of a decade, then pretty much disappeared from after winning his last match, against Andre Agassi in the U.S. Open final in September 2002.

He didn't announce his retirement until a year later, then never really re-emerged until playing exhibitions and World Team Tennis in 2006. But those didn't get his competitive juices flowing the way he expects the senior events will.

"The stakes are a little bit higher playing in a tournament and against some former greats," Sampras said. "There's a sense of satisfaction in that. Not like it used to be, but you want to win and play well."

John McEnroe and series co-founder Jim Courier also will be in the eight-man field in Boston, where there will be $142,000 in prize money. Michael Chang, Goran Ivanisevic and Mats Wilander are other major champions who have participated in the Outback Champions Series, which is entering its second full season. To qualify, a player must have reached a Grand Slam singles final, been ranked in the top five, or played singles on a Davis Cup championship team.

Landing Sampras is a coup for Courier, who began discussing the series with his former Davis Cup teammate more than a year ago.

"Pete's got a great connection with tennis fans in this country. People will enjoy seeing Pete really lace it up and go for it with his 'A' game," Courier said. "Exhibitions are all fine and well and they definitely have their place. Tournament tennis is different. The competitive aspect will make it exciting for everybody, including Pete."

Sampras fleetingly considered making a comeback to elite tennis, perhaps for a final appearance at Wimbledon (his last match there, a second-round loss to 145th-ranked George Bastl in 2002, was "as low as I've been on a tennis court," Sampras said).

He made it clear, though, that won't happen.

"It's crossed my mind when I watch Wimbledon. I miss it. I kind of wonder what I would do today there, especially with the game changing and everyone staying back on the grass there. I kind of lick my chops," Sampras said. "But I won't play for one tournament, and I won't play, period. It was something that just crossed my mind _ that's the competitive guy in me. But it's not realistic for me to do it again."

He also sees no reason to add to a legacy that includes seven titles at Wimbledon, five at the U.S. Open and two at the Australian Open, plus a record 286 weeks ranked No. 1. He'll be inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in July.

"I just played to win. I didn't play for the limelight. It always was about the titles. Some (come out of retirement) because they want the limelight or they want the attention or they're bored or they have something left to prove to themselves," Sampras said. "I don't have anything left to prove to myself."

A service of the Associated Press(AP)

02-01-2007, 08:42 PM
Tennis star Pete Sampras is full of praise for Roger Federer

Washington born tennis star Pete Sampras believes that Roger Federer will pass his record of 14 Grand Slam titles and that Federer will continue doing so well that he may even double his winning tally.

Swiss legend, Roger Federer, 25, has just been winning again in Australia.

Continuing to praise Roger Federer, Pete Sampras said: "Looks like it's going to happen," and he added: "I see him passing me in the next couple of years and even taking it to 17 or 18 majors.

"I don't see two or three guys really threatening him. I think he's just going to get better."

Pete Sampras has an impressive record himself and has won seven Wimbledon titles, two Australian Open crowns and five US Open titles.

And heaping more praise on Roger Federer he continued: "I just see him winning 17, 18, 19 majors. He has 10 already and he's in the middle of his career.

"It's just amazing what he has been able to do and how consistent he has been able to keep it

02-01-2007, 08:44 PM
Sampras sure about not returning for Wimbledon

Washington, Feb 01: Sampras fleetingly considered making a comeback to elite tennis, perhaps for a final appearance at Wimbledon (his last match there, a second-round loss to 145th-ranked George Bastl in 2002, was "as low as I've been on a tennis court," Sampras said).

He made it clear, though, that won't happen.

"It's crossed my mind when I watch Wimbledon. I miss it. I kind of wonder what I would do today there, especially with the game changing and everyone staying back on the grass there. I kind of lick my chops," Sampras said.

"But I won't play for one tournament, and I won't play, period. It was something that just crossed my mind - that's the competitive guy in me. But it's not realistic for me to do it again."

He also sees no reason to add to a legacy that includes seven titles at Wimbledon, five at the US Open and two at the Australian Open, plus a record 286 weeks ranked No 1. He'll be inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in July.

"I just played to win. I didn't play for the limelight. It always was about the titles. Some (come out of retirement) because they want the limelight or they want the attention or they're bored or they have something left to prove to themselves," Sampras said.

"I don't have anything left to prove to myself."

Bureau Report

02-01-2007, 09:20 PM
Courier considers Sampras a coup for tournament

Washington, Feb 01: John McEnroe and series co-founder Jim Courier also will be in the eight-man field in Boston, where there will be $142,000 in prize money.

Michael Chang, Goran Ivanisevic and Mats Wilander are other major champions who have participated in the Outback Champions Series, which is entering its second full season.

To qualify, a player must have reached a grand slam singles final, been ranked in the top five, or played singles on a Davis Cup championship team.

Landing Sampras is a coup for Courier, who began discussing the series with his former Davis Cup teammate more than a year ago.

"Pete's got a great connection with tennis fans in this country. People will enjoy seeing Pete really lace it up and go for it with his 'a' game," Courier said.

"Exhibitions are all fine and well and they definitely have their place. Tournament tennis is different. The competitive aspect will make it exciting for everybody, including Pete."

Bureau Report

02-02-2007, 11:00 PM
Sampras not sure about Newport

09:43 AM EST on Friday, February 2, 2007


Journal Sports Writer

NEWPORT — Pete Sampras is coming to the International Tennis Hall of Fame in July for his induction, but will he return in August to hit with fellow Hall of Famers John McEnroe, Mats Wilander and Jim Courier?

Tennis fans are wondering about that possibility now that Courier’s Outback Champions Series is coming to Newport Aug. 22-26 and Sampras has committed to the six-city tour.

But there’s a little wrinkle. Sampras has committed only to the Champions Series event in Boston May 2-6. He wants to see how that week goes before agreeing to play in any of the remaining five events on the fledgling circuit. Here’s what he said Tuesday during a teleconference announcing the Outback Champions schedule and his commitment:

“I’m not plannng on playing (Newport) . . . I’m playing Boston for now and playing it by ear on the rest. I don’t have plans to go back to Newport.”

Sampras will be inducted into the Hall of Fame July 14 during the Campbell’s Hall of Fame Tennis Championships. He has agreed to play in an exhibition match July 15 to benefit the Hall of Fame and the Tim and Tom Gullikson Foundation. Tim Gullickson, the 1977 Hall of Fame champion and Sampras’s former coach, died of a brain tumor.

If Sampras has a good time, he may want to return. If he decides to pass on a return visit this year, the inaugural Gibson Guitar Champions Cup at the Hall of Fame should still be a good tennis show. McEnroe draws a crowd just by showing up and opening his mouth. And at 47 he can still play; he finished second in total points behind Courier last year. Wilander and Courier are classy champions. Other possible players include former U.S. Davis Cup stalwart Todd Martin, who beat McEnroe in the 2006 Boston final; popular Australian Pat Cash, who lost to Courier in the Naples (Fla.) final last year; big-serving Goran Ivanisevic of Croatia; Swedes Magnus Larsson, a winner and runner-up last year, Mikael Pernfors and Anders Jarryd and Americans Aaron Krickstein and Michael Chang.

Courier, Wilander and McEnroe have signed. Courier promised yesterday there were five more players who are still competitive and who still love to play tennis. He assured a crowd of tennis enthusiasts gathered at the Hall of Fame that the Champions Series is a lot more than hit-and-giggle entertainment provided by old guys between beers.

“This is legitimate competition for legitimate money. We lay it on the line. We’re established players. We’re competitors, and this is what we do best,” he said.

The format is simple. Eight players in two groups of four compete in a round-robin format for $142,000 in prize money. If they split sets, they play a tie-breaker, the first to 10 winning with a margin of two. Each match is worth points. The top player from each group meet on Sunday for the title. The second-place players play for third place. An undefeated champion will collect $50,000.

Eligibility is also simple. Players must be at least 30 years old and not active on the ATP Tour. They must have been a Grand Slam singles finalist or a singles player on a championship Davis Cup team or have held a top-five ranking as a pro.

Courier joined the Hall of Fame board of directors recently and is excited to bring this event to the Newport Casino.

“I know deep in my heart this is fantastic for tennis, fantastic for the Hall of Fame. This event will light up Newport in August. Every player in this event will be a name you know because of the criteria,” he said.

Courier said fans will have access to the players through a Kids Day, clinics and a pro-am. He is confident his concept will work where other masters and legends circuits have failed because of the prize money, name recognition of the players and their personalities.

The 30-year-old age minimum may also prove critical to the success of this tour. Players that young don’t have much dust on their records yet.

Gibson has signed a three-year sponsorship deal.

“I have six of their guitars, and I play them all, poorly,” Courier joked.

Tickets will be available Feb. 16 at or by calling 866-914-FAME. Prices range from $15 to $50 depending on the day. Hall of Fame members can buy tickets beginning Feb. 13.

02-03-2007, 09:51 AM
eny those who wil be to watch

the outbak tournie in boston in may

02-06-2007, 10:01 PM
Los Angeles Based Designer-To-The-Stars Shalena Smith Puts Finishing Touches on Sean Combs' New Nursery

Ga-Ga Designs creates whimsical haven for Diddy's twins.

Los Angeles (PRWeb) February 6, 2007 -- Preparing for children can be tough, unless you're Sean "Diddy" Combs. When he and his longtime girlfriend, Kim Porter, learned they would be expecting twin girls, they wasted no time in contacting celebrity nursery designer, Shalena Smith, owner of Ga-Ga designs, to create a magical and cutting edge nursery for the little girls. The nursery took Smith and her crew three months of hard work to come up with the "French Garden" themed nursery, complete with Custom French Cherub Cribs, a Romantic Sky Mural and Princess accessories. Smith just wrapped the finishing touches on the nursery this week.

"This was a fantastic nursery to decorate. Both Sean and Kim have an amazing sense of style and came to Ga-Ga Designs with specific ideas," explains Shalena Smith, owner and head designer, Ga-Ga Designs. "We blended their vision with our expertise, one of a kind designs and safety recommendations to create the perfect space for Jesse and D'Lila."

The "Pretty in Pink" themed haven comes equipped with all the custom items purchased through the Ga-Ga Designs Baby Registry Concierge Service provided for Diddy and Kim's baby shower. The cribs were decorated in satin petal pink linens and the room was topped off with a pink chandelier dazzled with teardrop crystals and cream pearls. Smith landscaped the nursery with hand carved Cherub moldings on each custom piece of furniture and brought in famed painter, Christine Dangelo, to create a wall-length mural of sweet fairies and butterflies in a soft whimsical garden setting.

Keeping with Sean Combs' high-end style, Smith incorporated subtle glitz into the cozy room. For the twin girls, Smith exclusively designed custom painted wall hangings and had the girl's names embossed in swarovski crystals on plaques.

"The room is perfect. It's just what we wanted," explains Kim Porter. "We heard Shalena and Ga Ga Designs is the best in the business and she went beyond our expectations. This nursery is a beautiful palace for our little princesses."

For Photos of the Sean Combs nursery or for other projects Shalena Smith has designed, or to line up an interview with celebrity designer, Shalena Smith please contact:

About Ga Ga Designs

Ga Ga Designs specializes in custom interiors for baby nurseries, playrooms and kid spaces. The company's focus is not only to help parents create beautiful celebrity-style nurseries and kids rooms, but to also develop the safest living environment for the baby and growing child.

Interior designer Shalena Smith founded Ga Ga Designs in 2001. With more than 12 years of custom juvenile design experience, Smith works with expectant parents and parents with young children to create imaginative, yet functional spaces that incorporate the parents' hobbies, hopes and dreams for their little ones. An expert in current safety specifications for baby furniture and accessories, Smith helps parents create rooms with both style and safety in mind. With her innate sense of design and the ability to put her clients at ease, Shalena makes the design process simple and stress-free.

Ga Ga Designs exclusive creations have been praised in Belly Magazine, US Weekly, People Magazine, InTouch Weekly and Life & Style Weekly. The company and Smith have also been featured on VH1's "Fabulous Life of Celebrity Kids", HGTV's Designers Challenge and E! Entertainment's "Hollywood Baby Boom" show. Some of the company's celebrity clients include Sean "Diddy" Combs, Wayne Brady, NYPD Blue's Mark-Paul Gosselaar, soap stars Charlotte Ross and Steve Burton, Pete Sampras, Bridgette Wilson and Dylan McDermott.

For further information about Ga Ga Designs or the latest in nursery décor check out or call 1-866-9GO-GAGA (1-866-946-4242).

02-08-2007, 07:58 PM
Posted on Thu, Feb. 08, 2007
Sampras says he could beat Federer


There is at least one tennis player in the world who is not afraid of Roger Federer, but chances are, he will never get a chance to test his game against the world No. 1.

Former No. 1 Pete Sampras, who won 14 Grand Slam titles and retired in 2002, admits he sometimes wishes he could play Federer when he sees him on TV. Not only that, he firmly believes he would have beaten the Swiss master -- at least some of the time -- if he had played him in his prime.

''I don't think one guy really would have dominated the other,'' Sampras said last week on a conference call for the Over-30 Outback Champions Series in May. ``I think I would have had my fair share of wins, and I think he would have had his fair share of wins. I think our games are pretty similar, but I would look to come in a little more, little more of an attacking player, whereas he was a little bit of a slasher, shot-maker.

``It would have been a great clash to see us in our primes. What Roger is doing that I never did is dominate the way he is. He's lost five matches in two years. That's unheard of in the sport.

``But I just feel like my game is too big to be dominated by someone when my game was on, when my serve was on. I felt I was tough to beat, felt unbeatable.''

Sampras, 35, has even imagined what his strategy would be against Federer.

''I think it's tough to stay back against Roger,'' he said. ``You see what he's doing against guys that are staying back, he's just chopping them apart. I would just try to come in and see if he could return well and pass off that backhand, which I'm sure he would probably figure out over time. But I think that would be my strategy, would be to rush him. Just have to bring in the gas and hopefully it's good enough.''

Although Sampras has agreed to play in the over-30 series in Boston, along with Jim Courier and John McEnroe, he insists he is not contemplating a full-fledged comeback.

''I think when we all retire, we all have thoughts of playing again, seeing if you can still compete in today's game,'' Sampras said. ``My playing days are over, at least on the ATP Tour. It's a lot of work. It's a whole different lifestyle that I'm done with. That being said, I am hitting the ball pretty well, been hitting pretty consistently for the past six months.

``I still can play at a pretty good level. I still feel like I can maybe compete against some of the guys. To take it coming out of retirement is something that is farfetched. But to play Wimbledon again is something that really isn't realistic.''


James Blake had less than 48 hours between his rain-delayed Delray Beach final Monday and his flight Wednesday to Czech Republic for the first round of the Davis Cup, but U.S. captain Patrick McEnroe said he's not worried about Blake being tired.

''Obviously, he's coming in having played a lot of matches, so he'll have some confidence,'' McEnroe said of the sixth-ranked Blake, who lost to Xavier Malisse in the Delray Beach final. ``Sometimes, players come at the last minute because of the schedule, and we just hope James gets some good practices in and is ready to go on Friday.''

The U.S. team, which includes Blake, No. 4 Andy Roddick, and twins Mike and Bob Bryan, is favored over the Czech team, which has no top-10 players. The 12th-ranked Tomas Berdyk leads the Czechs, and the No. 2 singles player will be 87th-ranked Lukas Dlouhy. In doubles, the Czechs will rely on 37-year-old captain Pavel Vizner.

''On paper, we certainly should win, but we're not playing on paper,'' McEnroe said.

``That's the beauty of Davis Cup.''

02-09-2007, 11:19 PM
CEO Alex O'Brien is very pleased with the first year for Littlefield Ranch ( Sales numbers outpaced expectations helped by stellar pricing for USDA Prime Steaks as well as low FedEx second day air costs. This coupled with major athlete/celebrity (Pete Sampras, Rich Eisen) endorsements helped Littlefield Ranch reach the top level of the premier sector for high end online steaks.

(PRWEB) February 9, 2007 -- Littlefield Ranch finished '06 with a bang according to CEO Alex O'Brien. "We had no idea that our first year would be such a strong one. Our main focus for '06 was to put out the highest quality USDA Prime steaks and to make sure we were replicating the experience over and over. This needed to accompany premium packaging and a user friendly website. We think we hit the mark in every area."

We have a pretty simple strategy of offering a high end USDA Prime steak at affordable prices

Littlefield Ranch had a high rate of return business which helped grow sales.

"We have a pretty simple strategy of offering a high end USDA Prime steak at affordable prices," said O'Brien. Littlefield worked mainly off of referrals and corporate business for '06 but O'Brien plans to market to a wider audience including restaurants and groceries in '07.

Littlefield is able to offer such good pricing because of limited overhead and proprietary software systems used to run web operations. Littlefield Ranch ( is priced below Omaha, Allen Brothers and Lobels and offers higher USDA graded beef than Omaha.

Littlefield Ranch also benefited greatly from two key celebrity endorsements. O'Brien claimed a huge lift from key celebrity backing, "Pete Sampras and Rich Eisen really gave us a huge boost of confidence and momentum by supporting our Premium Texas steaks with their kind words." O'Brien said that both Sampras and Eisen not only loved the steaks but immediately saw the value in sending an authentic Texas steak to family and friends.

Littlefield Ranch ( is a subsidiary of Texas Beef Producers (, an integrated cattle company with a forty year history in beef production. Texas Beef is a four generation old family run operation that produces 200,000 cattle annually from the Feedyard Division. Many of these cattle were backgrounded on the historic Lit Ranch (

02-20-2007, 03:43 PM
Sampras in Tampa charity event
Old friends compete for charity.

Published February 20, 2007


TAMPA - Jim Courier and Pete Sampras have always had a special bond.

As kids, they rose through the ranks of junior tennis together. As young professionals, they were doubles partners on the court and inseparable off it. And as stars, they developed an intense yet friendly rivalry.

Today, long after each retired from competitive tennis, the two remain close.

They still speak often. Still reminisce. Still pound tennis balls together.

And now, they're teaming up for charity.

On April 28 at the St. Pete Times Forum, Courier and Sampras, with significant ties to the area, will be the top draws, along with Chris Evert, at the fourth annual Mercedes-Benz Classic.

"We've come to a place in our lives where we've established ourselves as tennis players," said Courier, raised in Dade City. "We're playing now for the love of the game and the love of competition."

The event benefits the Raymond James Courier's Kids Foundation, sponsor of the First Serve program for at-risk children at the St. Petersburg Tennis Center. The event has raised more than $500,000 for charity.

Sampras, 35, is arguably the sport's greatest player. In a career that ended with him winning the 2002 U.S. Open in his final professional match, he claimed an all-time best 14 major titles while earning more than $43-million. Much of his success came while he was a Tampa resident.

"I think for him, this will be a nice homecoming," Courier said.

The event will feature two major changes. First, it was moved from Monday to Saturday, which could help attendance. Second, it will have a new format. The event will begin with a celebrity-professional match, offer mixed doubles and conclude with Courier facing Sampras one on one.

"I'm incredibly fired up," Courier said. "It's another fantastic lineup."

Tickets, ranging from $21.75 to $96.75, go on sale Saturday.

[Last modified February 19, 2007, 23:52:08]

02-20-2007, 03:55 PM
Getting Sampras Is Coup For Courier

By JOEY JOHNSTON The Tampa Tribune

Published: Feb 20, 2007

TAMPA - Fifteen years ago, when they were atop the tennis world, Jim Courier and Pete Sampras played a charity exhibition match at the USF Sun Dome.

"That was a long, long time ago," Courier said.

Nearly 18 Grand Slam tournament singles championships ago, to be exact. Both players, once ranked No. 1 in the world, have retired from active play on the ATP Tour. Courier already has been inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame, and Sampras will go in this summer.

Courier, 36, is now a sports and entertainment entrepreneur living in New York. Sampras, 35, lives in Los Angeles with his wife and two children.

But in a way, they never gave up their old racket.

The longtime friends and rivals are still playing tennis - and still giving back.

Courier, Sampras and Chris Evert are headliners for the fourth annual Mercedes-Benz Classic tennis exhibition, set for April 28 at the St. Pete Times Forum.

All proceeds from the event will go to Raymond James Courier's Kids Foundation, which assists children through mentoring, academic help and tennis programs through the St. Petersburg Tennis Center and First Serve Program.

Courier said the previous three events have raised more than $500,000 for the program.

"Having Pete play is a major, major thing and it continues a run of great names for this event," said Courier, the Dade City native, pointing out the past participation of Andre Agassi, John McEnroe, Jennifer Capriati, Monica Seles, James Blake, Andy Roddick and Mardy Fish.

"Pete has been taking a bit of a hiatus from the game, but he has been curious about what we're doing and is starting to get back in it [Sampras will begin play this year in the Outback Champions Series for over-30 players]. It's obvious he'll add interest here because he's one of the game's all-time greats. And considering he used to live in Tampa, it will be a nice homecoming of sorts."

Courier said the players accept no money for the event - all funds go to charity - so the event's timing is largely based on gaps in their schedules. This year, with a Saturday night date, he's hoping for the largest crowd yet.

What will be on display?

Probably some fun, some trick shots, players wearing microphones and displaying their personalities.

But the event finale - Courier vs. Sampras in a best-of-three match - will be the real thing.

"Legitimate tennis," Courier said. "Pete will come out guns-a-blazing - and they'll be pointing directly at me."

Courier said his relationship with Sampras has evolved since their teenage years. In some ways, they're closer than ever.

"We were kids banding together in the world of pro tennis," Courier said. "We played doubles together, ate every meal together, practiced together, played video games together, chased girls together.

"Then we started running into each other at major championships and certainly had a more professional relationship then. Now we've come to a place in our lives where we've established ourselves as players, and we're playing for the love of the game and the competition. There are very few people in the world I have more in common with than Pete Sampras. There's so much common ground."

Reporter Joey Johnston can be reached at (813) 259-7353 or

02-23-2007, 03:27 PM
The World Poker Tour(R) Will Host Invitation-Only Event at Commerce Casino in Los Angeles March 3–5
by staff filed under Poker News

LOS ANGELES (February 22, 2007) – WPT Enterprises, Inc. (NASDAQ: WPTE) will roll out the red carpet on March 3 for the most glamorous stop on the poker circuit—the 5th Annual World Poker Tour® (WPT) Invitational. Each year, the exclusive, invitation-only event welcomes famous Hollywood faces and world-class poker professionals who go head-to-head in a freeroll Texas Hold ‘Em poker tournament for charity, cash prizes, and eternal bragging rights.

Held at the prestigious Commerce Casino in Los Angeles, the three-day event will kick off with red carpet arrivals and a cocktail party for over 400 attendees, WPT Champions and celebrity players, including James Woods, Don Cheadle, Camryn Manheim, Woody Harrelson, Jay Mohr, Jason Alexander, Hank Azaria, Mekhi Phifer, Andy Roddick, Pete Sampras, Cheryl Hines, Ron Livingston, Mila Kunis, Laura Prepon, Danny Masterson, Kerry Washington, Marlon Wayans, Rex Lin, Orel Hershiser, Judy Greer and many more. Also enhancing the event will be gifts, entertainment, fare, and more from sponsors Budweiser®, Blue Diamond Almonds™, Helio™, and Yummy Cupcakes. Further elevating the A-list affair in its fifth anniversary season, the WPT also partnered last month with leading nonprofit arts and entertainment advocacy organization, The Creative Coalition (TCC), and will donate $10,000 to the fund.

“The Invitational is one of our favorite events—it’s amazing to watch as the field of A-list celebrities and top pros come together to battle it out, then sit side-by-side in utter awe of each other,” said Steve Lipscomb, founder and CEO of WPTE. “As this fifth anniversary season continues to mark major milestones for the WPT, we expect nothing less than the biggest and best WPT Invitational yet.”

Offering celebrities a chance to brush up on their skills before the event, WPT hosts Mike Sexton and Vince Van Patten will level the playing field with a “WPT Academy.” The exclusive tutorials will be hosted February 22 at Premiere Magazine’s “Haven”—a three-day pre-Oscars event in the Hollywood Hills complete with daytime spa treatments, luxury gifts, evening parties and more.

The last celebrity standing in the Invitational will receive a $10,000 donation to the charity of their choice and the final six players will go head-to-head March 5 on the WPT set taped for broadcast on the Travel Channel. The winner will receive $100,000, a $25,000 seat in the WPT World Championship, a WPT Champion title, and of course—bragging rights. The $225,000 prize pool is provided by Commerce Casino.

The WPT Invitational will air July 4, 2007, on the Travel Channel at 9:00 p.m. ET/PT. World Poker Tour airs every Wednesday at 9 p.m. ET/PT. For more information regarding the WPT Invitational, visit:

02-23-2007, 03:35 PM
February 22, 2007 08:45 AM Eastern Time
A-List & Aces: Hollywood’s Hottest Celebrities and Poker’s Finest to Face Off at the Fifth Annual WPT Invitational

The World Poker Tour® Will Host Invitation-Only Event at Commerce Casino in Los Angeles March 3–5

LOS ANGELES--(BUSINESS WIRE)--WPT Enterprises, Inc. (NASDAQ:WPTE) will roll out the red carpet on March 3 for the most glamorous stop on the poker circuit—the 5th Annual World Poker Tour® (WPT) Invitational. Each year, the exclusive, invitation-only event welcomes famous Hollywood faces and world-class poker professionals who go head-to-head in a freeroll Texas Hold ‘Em poker tournament for charity, cash prizes, and eternal bragging rights.

Held at the prestigious Commerce Casino in Los Angeles, the three-day event will kick off with red carpet arrivals and a cocktail party for over 400 attendees, WPT Champions and celebrity players, including James Woods, Don Cheadle, Camryn Manheim, Woody Harrelson, Jay Mohr, Jason Alexander, Hank Azaria, Mekhi Phifer, Andy Roddick, Pete Sampras, Cheryl Hines, Ron Livingston, Mila Kunis, Laura Prepon, Danny Masterson, Kerry Washington, Marlon Wayans, Rex Lin, Orel Hershiser, Judy Greer and many more. Also enhancing the event will be gifts, entertainment, fare, and more from sponsors Budweiser®, Blue Diamond Almonds™, Helio™, and Yummy Cupcakes. Further elevating the A-list affair in its fifth anniversary season, the WPT also partnered last month with leading nonprofit arts and entertainment advocacy organization, The Creative Coalition (TCC), and will donate $10,000 to the fund.

“The Invitational is one of our favorite events—it’s amazing to watch as the field of A-list celebrities and top pros come together to battle it out, then sit side-by-side in utter awe of each other,” said Steve Lipscomb, founder and CEO of WPTE. “As this fifth anniversary season continues to mark major milestones for the WPT, we expect nothing less than the biggest and best WPT Invitational yet.”

Offering celebrities a chance to brush up on their skills before the event, WPT hosts Mike Sexton and Vince Van Patten will level the playing field with a “WPT Academy.” The exclusive tutorials will be hosted February 22 at Premiere Magazine’s “Haven”—a three-day pre-Oscars event in the Hollywood Hills complete with daytime spa treatments, luxury gifts, evening parties and more.

The last celebrity standing in the Invitational will receive a $10,000 donation to the charity of their choice and the final six players will go head-to-head March 5 on the WPT set taped for broadcast on the Travel Channel. The winner will receive $100,000, a $25,000 seat in the WPT World Championship, a WPT Champion title, and of course—bragging rights. The $225,000 prize pool is provided by Commerce Casino.

The WPT Invitational will air July 4, 2007, on the Travel Channel at 9:00 p.m. ET/PT. World Poker Tour airs every Wednesday at 9 p.m. ET/PT. For more information regarding the WPT Invitational, visit:

About WPTE

WPT Enterprises, Inc. (Nasdaq:WPTE) is a company engaged in the creation of internationally branded entertainment and consumer products driven by the development, production, and marketing of televised programming based on gaming themes. WPTE is the creator of the World Poker Tour®, a television show based on a series of high-stakes poker tournaments that air on the Travel Channel in the United States and in more than 150 markets globally. With the WPT in its fifth season, WPTE has launched a second series on the Travel Channel, the Professional Poker Tour™, which focuses on the play of poker’s leading stars. WPT also operates a real-money online gaming website,, which prohibits wagers from players in the U.S. and other restricted jurisdictions. WPTE currently licenses its brand to companies in the business of poker equipment and instruction, apparel, publishing, electronic and wireless entertainment, DVD/home entertainment, casino games, and giftware. The company is also engaged in the sale of corporate sponsorships. For show information, tools for improving poker play, and other WPT news, fans may log on to WPTE is a majority owned subsidiary of Lakes Entertainment, Inc. (Nasdaq: LACO). Photos and media information can be found online at:

About The Creative Coalition (

The Creative Coalition is the leading 501c(3) nonprofit, nonpartisan social and public advocacy organization of the arts and entertainment community. Founded in 1989 by prominent members of the creative community, The Creative Coalition is dedicated to educating its members on issues of public importance, primarily the First Amendment, public education and arts advocacy. Headquartered in New York City, The Creative Coalition also has offices in Washington, D.C., Los Angeles and San Francisco. The Creative Coalition does not endorse or raise funds for political parties or candidates.

About Commerce Casino

Commerce Casino is the largest poker casino in the world. There are more than 200 poker tables featuring just about every form of poker: Texas Hold ‘Em, 7-Card Stud, Omaha, Lowball, Pot Limit, Mexican Poker, Pineapple, Draw, Low-Ball and many others. Also offered are Pan and California games. Commerce Casino is also recognized for its innovative “Bring Your Home Game to Commerce” program which enables poker fans to invite their friends and family for a casual home game, bachelor party or birthday celebration with a professional dealer in the casino setting. Commerce Casino is located at 6131 East Telegraph Rd., Commerce, CA 90040, just off the Santa Ana (5) Freeway at the Washington Blvd. exit. The phone is (323) 721-2100. For more information, go to


The Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 provides a "safe harbor" for forward-looking statements. Certain information included in this press release (as well as information included in oral statements or other written statements made or to be made by WPT Enterprises, Inc.) contains statements that are forward-looking, such as statements relating to the expansion of WPTE's brand licensing, the development of new television and film projects, the development of WPTE corporate sponsors and other business development activities, as well as statements regarding other capital spending, financing sources and the effects of competition. Such forward-looking information involves important risks and uncertainties that could significantly affect anticipated results in the future and, accordingly, such results may differ from those expressed in any forward-looking statements made by or on behalf of WPTE. These risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, WPTE's significant dependence on the Travel Channel as a source of revenue; difficulty of predicting the growth of our online casino business, which is a relatively new industry with an increasing number of market entrants; the increased time, cost and expense of developing and maintaining WPTE's own online gaming software; the potential that our television programming will fail to maintain a sufficient audience; the risk that competitors with greater financial resources or marketplace presence might develop television programming that would directly compete with WPTE's television programming; the risk that WPT may not be able to protect its entertainment concepts, current and future brands and other intellectual property rights; risks associated with future expansion into new or complementary businesses; the termination or impairment of WPTE's relationships with key licensing and strategic partners; and WPTE's dependence on its senior management team. For more information, review WPTE's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

03-08-2007, 05:52 PM
My Dream Day: Featuring Protrade
7 1 6 | Mar 07 2007 07:43 PM PST By Hjermstad
Topics: Protrade PT PTSUGGESTION DreamDay

My perfect day....

As I roll over in bed and glance down at the alarm clock, I notice something says 10:30. Being that I have an 18 month old son, I haven't slept in since before he was born. Then I roll over the other way only to see that my wife is MIA. Since she's gone, I flip on the tv to see the end of a Big 10 game on ESPN2 that I don't care about, but it had a great ending! I then flip over to ESPN to see a tennis match that transcends time, Pete Sampras vs. Roger Federer. Pistol Pete rattles off 75 aces in a 5 set thriller on centre (notice the spelling of center: centre) court at the Championships, better known to all of you as Wimbledon. Thus ending any doubt about who was and is and will be the best ever. At 3 all in the 5th set my wife drops in with a homemade ham and cheese omlet. I mentioned that I was parched from watching the match and so she poured me an ice cold Bud Light in a frosty mug.

Just when I thought it couldn't get any better than omlets and beer in bed, I slowly make my way to the computer to check my Protrade account. My portfolio is up 50% from the prior night, mostly due to the Huskers winning the Big 12 basketball tournament (HEY!...its my day, no comments about how this can't happen!). Then I notice that I no longer have to go back and forth between ESPN and Protrade to see scores as PT has added a new feature which tracks live scores and highlights for all of my stocks.

As it reaches the afternoon hours, I'm getting hungry again, so I hop in the car and go grab a delicious Burrito from Chipotle. Rice, black beans, steak, corn salsa, green salsa, sour cream, and cheese. 2 lbs later I'm good to go again. I get home and hit up the couch only to see ESPN showing highlights of the greatest College Football team ever, the '95 Huskers. They replay Tommie Frazier running over 15 guys over and over and over. Love it. Then came the quote to Warren Sapp..."It's not where I've been fat boy, it's where I'm going."

I fall asleep on the couch and wake up to the end of Duke/Carolina in the ACC finals. Dicky V is there and he finally asked the question we all want to know...Why does Coach K not look like he's aged in the last 15 years? Duke wins in a land slide because Crazy T got ejected in the first 10 seconds for laying a haymaker to Josh McRoberts in retaliation for last week. I hate McRoberts, so we'll say he got tossed as well and that highschool looking kid Scheyer puts up 50 for the dukies.

I then fill out my bracket that night and pick every game correctly because I'm not an idiot who over analyzes things to try and pick the one upset. Yeah, I can't tell my friends that I picked Niagara over UCLA but I am 500 bucks richer from the office pool.

I check my stocks once more before bed and write a post that goes something like this:

"Hey protrade newbies and idiots, just because a stock is dropping on the top stock list does not mean it is dropping in price, it means other people are buying other things or not buying as much of that particular stock, so don't panic and sell everything you've got. Why do all of you idiots think Mikki Moore is so up and down? People need to realize that just because a stock is no longer "THE BEST" doesn't mean its a bad stock for the future"

I'm off to bed with a full stomach, a Husker title, a broken nose for McRoberts, 500 bucks, and the knowledge that I'm the greatest protrader alive!

Something like that.

03-09-2007, 04:00 PM

Random Rental: Love Stinks

In high school, I played number one singles for my tennis team. So, you can imagine my awe when Pete Sampras arrived at the World Poker Tour 5th Annual Invitational Tournament and took a seat at my table. Yessss! But I stayed calm. I followed card-sharp extraordinaire Jennifer Tilly's advice and trusted my intuition. Could this be why Pete busted out before me?

Ha. Like he even cares.

Anyway, it's fun to play with a bunch of guys. You know that at some point they're going to get a li'l raunchy. We were about an hour into the game when folks started asking about Pete's hot blond wife, actress Bridgette Wilson. Conversation immediately turned to one of her best movies, the unromantic romantic comedy Love Stinks. A lot of crazy, girlfriend-goes-all-Fatal Atraction-psycho-on-cold-footed-boyfriend kinda stuff happens in this L.A. story, stuff that had the grown men giggling like schoolboys.

"I've had stuff like that happen," Sampras said, as he turned a little red and clarified that "stuff" like that happened before he was married—that you don't marry and make a family with the girl who pulls "stuff" like that.

For a taste of that "stuff" he's referring to, rent Love Stinks. I'd forgotten how great it is. French Stewart kills. Vintage Jason Bateman will soften the depression you might be feeling in this post-Arrested Development world. And Bridgette—well, she has great taste in husbands and movie roles.

Posted by Caroline Kepnes on Thu, Mar 8, 2007, 13:32
Photo by: Baumgarten-Prophet Entertainment/

03-13-2007, 04:03 PM
Gary Kirsten's Silly Point

What is it about the top performers?

A look at top performers in general, including a look more specifically at the Cricket World Cup...

Gary Kirsten
12 March 2007
Quotable: 'Great works are performed not by strength, but perseverance.' - Samuel Johnson

This week the three of us look at top performers in general, including a look more specifically at the Cricket World Cup. Dale introduces an interesting and unusual athlete while Paddy does what he does best - gets us thinking about performance in ways which are way outside the box. I have a passion for tennis - so let me start there.

I have paid close attention to two of leading tennis players over the last 12 years, Pete Sampras and Roger Federer. What separated them from the pack and what lessons can we take from how they go about their business? This is written in the present tense although, as we know, Pete Sampras has retired from the circuit.

.They both have a high level of skill (although not a differentiator) and when required they can execute shots that seem almost impossible.
.They set high standards for themselves and are ruthlessly disciplined in their daily processes of maintaining those standards.
.They have high levels of consciousness in the pressure situation - allowing them to think clearly and ruthlessly execute their game plans.
.They appear absolutely in control of their internal processes and have an almost intimidating sense of calm, regardless of the situation. Unlike many other players who get "emotionally hijacked", which leads them to play well below their potential.
.They have an incredible presence about them and one gets the sense they are playing in slow motion while their opponents are rushing.
.They both show little emotion on the court and treat every point the same, regardless of the outcome.
.Their only emotion on display is a clench of the fist driving them towards their goal.

Dale: I'm going to take a different tack on this one. While the well-known performers are fantastic role models, I'm going to pick someone you probably haven't ever heard about. His name is Robert McKeague and he is an Ironman athlete.

In describing him, first let's understand what this Ironman event is about. Let me warn you that the distances are crazy and the next paragraphs may stretch your sense of what is normal. The World Championship, held in Kailua-Kona Hawaii consists of a 3.86 km swim, a 180km cycle and 42.2km marathon.

For a top athlete having done months of training, the Ironman in Kona Hawaii is severely challenging. For Robert McKeague, to complete the Ironman, he needed to do a whole lot more. You see McKeague became the first man to complete the course at age eighty in 2005.

Read on but I must caution you again that you may finish this article feeling a little sedentary. Anyone who's used the phrase "I'm too old for that" should at this stage be cringing that perhaps you could be performing at a higher level.

An accountant, Robert races by the numbers, carefully calculating what he needs to do to complete the race while ensuring that he conserves enough energy for late in the day [or night as is the case].

I thought Gary's analysis of the qualities that make Roger Federer and Pete Sampras top performers was useful - so let me have a go at the qualities I believe put Robert McKeague in the high performance zone:

.Mental strength. Anybody needs a lot of mental strength in order to complete the crazy distances of an Ironman. To do it at age eighty is extraordinary mental strength.
.He has a plan that he sticks to, planning how fast he needs to go in the various stages of the race.
.He is prepared to go against the odds and move into previously un-chartered territory. He does this as the first eighty year old to complete the race. .Amazingly he only took up running at age 57.
.He understands his abilities and works within them to achieve. Being an accountant he runs his race by the numbers.
.He is highly disciplined in his training. Off season he trained six days a week including four-mile runs, 45 minutes on a training bike and 30 minute swims. .As he lead up to the 2005 event, he built up to Ironman distances completing a 163km bike ride, a 35km run and 5km swim.
.He is focused. Speaking about his drive to be the oldest person to finish the Ironman, his wife Marianne said, "It's become an obsession. He's become fanatical."

So all those of us who think that our prime ability as sports people is in our 20's or 30's should think again. Out training one day Robert met a woman who said who father participated in triathlons but was complaining about how hard it was getting as he got older.

"How old is he?", asked McKeague.

When the woman told him fifty-nine he laughed and said that far from being old he was about to become a baby in the next age group.

Performance. It comes in all shapes, sizes and ages.

Paddy: Both Dale and Gary cite mental strength the ability to remain calm and focused under the highest pressure whether that's on the tennis court or keeping to a plan 15 hours into an endurance event. How does this mental strength develop and how do they get it right when most other mere mortals don't?

I believe there are two factors relating to mental strength - LUCK and PRACTICE, the latter referring to practicing the ability to harness the power of the mind. I suggest South African sportsmen rely mostly on luck, and as only a few are very lucky, we have only a few top performers under high pressure.

Let me use Federer to explain what I mean by 'luck'- bear with me as I venture a bit off-the-wall as I quoting in part from an article by Samantha Lane in Australia's The Age publication.

"One aspect of his astrological birth chart shows his moon is in Scorpio, ruled by Pluto, making him more likely to be comfortable within the deeper realms of the psyche - beyond most others' comfort zone." This allows him to read people and situations better than most - a useful weapon on a tennis court. Other fancy astrological stuff suggests he is able to make "decisions more intuitively and quickly" than most - which Gary observes above as him 'playing in slow motion'.

While I'm off-the-wall... from a mediation school of thought, Federer's personality typology is 'solid', which in English means, he's naturally measured, methodical and does not break down under pressure, and that in competition he's naturally surgical, clinical and strategic.

Tiger Woods and Sampras have the same typology, which suggests they are likely to be steadier in their success, with longer lasting careers. They have very little 'emotional' typology in their make-up, thus are least likely to get emotionally hijacked under pressure, like a John McEnroe or a Herschelle Gibbs.

As for the second aspect of mental strength, PRACTICE, this receives little if any attention by the vast majority of SA sportsmen - mainly because in the world of sport, not much is known about how to practice harnessing the power of the mind.

Outside of sport it is well known, researched and proven that meditation is the single most powerful tool to harness the power of the mind. Federer knows that, so he practices meditation, on top of being 'lucky' to have a mind well suited for performing under pressure.

Gary: Looking at the World Cup there are three players (and there are others) who, I believe, will make a major impact at the World Cup are Ricky Ponting, Brian Lara and Shaun Pollock. They are all very experienced players who have the ability do something very special.

Brian Lara has done it to SA twice where he got a 100 in 1996 and another one in 2003. On both occasions SA were dominating play and he single handedly turned the situation around. Look out for these individuals in the tough situation, when their team is under a lot of pressure. It is then that you will see these players take on the responsibility of the big performance.

Consistent with our thoughts in this newsletter, they are very clear in their thought processes during the high-pressure situation and have the ability to stick with their game plans and not get emotionally hijacked by the occasion.

Before I sign off - we have an archive or previous articles which you can access if you have missed any.

Until next time


03-22-2007, 06:52 PM
From The Times

March 21, 2007

Fallible Flintoff represents the human face of sporting hero

Matthew Syed

Tiger Woods has spent most of his life trying to be something other than a human being. In his quest to win more major golf titles than anyone else — as a child he had Jack Nicklaus’s majors record pinned to his bedroom wall — he has learnt the art of keeping his emotions in check, his thoughts to himself and his soul in a sterile jar.

You can see it when you meet him, as I did at the 2005 Open Championship. The light in his eyes is dimmed, his smile as plastic as a credit card. He answered my questions, sometimes eloquently, sometimes lengthily, but he said nothing.

There was no oomph, no bass. Afterwards I felt deflated, as if I had come face to face with my hero and met a machine. One does not aspire to be like Woods, for that would be a journey too far from what it is to be human.

Pete Sampras was the same. After winning Wimbledon in 1999, he was asked what was going through his mind at the time. His answer: “Nothing.” Not the thrill of conquest, nor the fear of squandering his opportunity; not the prospect of a night on the town; not even the soul-deep satisfaction that he was on the brink of a job well done. Sampras, like Woods, had spent so long distancing himself from the terrible dangers of human feeling that he had ceased to feel like a human.

Andrew Flintoff, on the other hand, is the quintessential red-blooded sportsman. I say this not because he feels the need to get hammered to celebrate his triumphs and to drown his sorrows. Not because he evidences such palpable contrition when he has been a naughty boy. Not even because he is so overflowing with human feeling that his first instinct upon winning a dramatic Test match was to console his inconsolable adversary as he sunk to his knees in defeat.

No, Flintoff is exceptional because, in a world increasingly dominated by bloodless sportsmen and women, he plays cricket as if it is an extension of his humanity. He grins and he grimaces. He harrumphs and he harries. He tries and succeeds. He tries and fails. And he meets both impostors with a headlong rush of joy or sadness, or sometimes both. He is a role model in the true sense: someone like the rest of us, only more so.

Those who wanted Flintoff to take the first pedalo out of town are guilty of a startling lack of human empathy. Spare me cant about his lack of pride in an England shirt: after years with the three lions pinned to one’s chest, they are bound occasionally to feel more like a burden than an inspiration. No one, least of all the man himself, would try to argue that his behaviour was anything other than irresponsible. But can we not acknowledge that falling short is an aspect, perhaps an indispensable aspect, of heroism?

Flintoff is the Prince Hal of British sport. The young pup of 15th-century royalty is an inspiration precisely because he messed up. He whiled away his time in the drunken company of Falstaff, his misdirected love of life causing him to ignore the more profound joys of responsibility and statesmanship. And then he became Henry V and everything changed. “If all the year were playing holidays, to sport would be as tedious as to work,” he tells us in a devilish soliloquy that would elicit a smile from Flintoff and incomprehension from Sampras.

Sport is at its most captivating when it lifts the lid on aspects of the human condition. Flintoff’s antics have provided debate about the nature of heroism, collective responsibility and the eternal imponderable of how long it takes to pedal out of St Lucia. When he takes to the pitch against Kenya on Saturday, he will attempt to make amends in the only way he can: by leading England to victory. His misdemeanours have set the stage for a redemptive storyline that might be the making of this World Cup.

The growing breed of icy sportsmen and women leave me cold. Give me the authenticity of Flintoff, his honesty and his humanity, warts and all. “Our shortcomings are the eyes with which we see the ideal.” At least that is what we all said after the 2005 Ashes.

03-24-2007, 07:00 PM
Hellenic News of America

Thanos Petrelis & Taylor Dayne to Perform at HTSF 16th Anniversary Gala Honoring Nicholas Bouras & Constantine Maroulis

Thanos Petrelis & Taylor Dayne to Perform at HTSF 16th Anniversary Gala Honoring Nicholas Bouras & Constantine Maroulis

NEW YORK: The Hellenic Times Scholarship Fund will honor Humanitarian and business leader Nicholas Bouras and singer/actor & American Idol finalist Constantine Maroulis at its 16th Anniversary Gala at the New York Marriott Marquis Hotel on Saturday, May 19, 2007. The HTSF is also pleased to welcome Greek pop singer Thanos Petrelis ("Eftixos," "Thimizis kati apo Ellada"), and Grammy nominated singer Taylor Dayne (“Tell It To My Heart,” “Love Will Lead You Back”), who will perform at the event.

Scholarship presenters will include Fox News anchor Ernie Anastos, CBS News anchor Alexis Christoforous, Fox-5 meteorologist Nick Gregory and Judge Nicholas Tsoucalas. Big Screen Presenters will include: CSI:NY star Melina Kanakaredes, television legend Betty White and tennis ace Pete Sampras. Over 1500 guests are expected to attend as scholarships will be awarded to students from across the United States.

Please see attached press release. For further information, to receive an invitation or to purchase tickets, visit our Website at or call 212-986-6881 or 333-7456.

04-03-2007, 04:05 PM

Sampras, brother form management firm

Pete Sampras, winner of a record 14 Grand Slam tennis tournaments, has formed a California-based management company to be run by his brother, a longtime sports marketing executive.

Pure Sports Management, LLC, will oversee Sampras' business opportunities and venture into managing other athletes.

Gus Sampras has worked in sports marketing for over 18 years. He spent 12 years at International Management Group (IMG), where he served as vice president of IMG Tennis.

04-20-2007, 03:30 PM
The care and feeding of junior tennis talent

By: Doug Browne 04/19/2007

Every spring season, I have the privilege of coaching many different, talented youngsters from all over the country and often I am faced with many challenging decisions.

Should nine year-old Jimmy continue to play two-handed from both sides?
And if right-handed Jimmy prefers to use his right hand on the top of the grip for his forehand and uses his right hand on the bottom of the grip for his backhand, will he be quick enough to return serve effectively as the power game strengthens?
Is it possible for one of my rising kids to switch from a two-handed backhand to a one-handed backhand?
Is it possible to convert a baseline player into a net player? How much time should we spend developing the drop shot?
Does it make sense to coach a junior to serve and volley in the game of singles?
Most importantly, each of these choices should have long lasting implications and it is essential to factor in what the student needs to further his career.
Therefore, it is imperative to sit down with the juniors' parents and discuss the ramifications of teaching strategies for their kids.
The key thing to remember is that when the advice is wrong, it can damage one's future.
Ironically, as a 14-year-old junior, I was given very poor advice about my forehand.
Strangely enough, as a junior player, I used a semi-western forehand grip and was able to drive and hit wicked topspin shots.
One of my coaches felt that in order for me to play big-time college ball, I should switch to the more conventional continental or eastern grip, as it would enhance my backhand and my volleys.

Traumatic grip change
As we dissect this controversial suggestion, it should be explained that the grip change can be traumatic and most tennis athletes simply cannot adjust.
Moreover, switching from a comfortable - albeit radical - forehand grip usually does not fly.
But back in the early 1970s, no one was familiar with Bjorn Borg or Jimmy Connors. They were still in the junior divisions.
During my days on the national junior circuit, I became well acquainted with coach Pete Fischer, who later became the architect of tennis legend Pete Sampras' game.
To this point, when Pete Sampras was a 13- or 14-year-old young phenomenon, Fischer elected to alter Pete's backhand, changing it from a two-hander to a one-hander.
How did this major decision affect Sampras' immediate results?
For the next two years, juniors Michael Chang, Andre Agassi and other studs dominated him. If not for the patience and wisdom of Sampras' parents, who knows what might have happened?
Fischer's controversial decision originated with his belief that in order to win Wimbledon one day, the move was practical, as it would elevate his status as a complete player.
Fortunately, Fischer looks like a genius as his young student owns the Men's Grand Slam Singles record. The key to making changes with an aspiring junior is to understand fully what the child can and cannot do both physically and mentally.
The simple choice is to enforce the coach's will on the junior and have him play like the instructor.
But, this "easy" move seldom works since it is wrong to push the coach's will on the player.

To me, one part of this equation is rather simple: experiment and see what is anatomically appropriate.
For instance, my body just does not allow me to hit a comfortable two-handed stroke.
Yet if I try to hit a left-handed two-hander, I have no problem or better yet, no limitations.
When we go through a series of experiments, the naked eye can see what is natural and what is not.
If we go back to one of my earlier evaluations, allowing a child to continue with a two-handed style where the top hand and the bottom hand must rotate is risky business.
Yes, it can be done, but few people in the universe have been able to do this method in the pros other than former great, Pancho Segura.
For this reason I have often recommended that the seven year-old or nine-year-old child try a subtle change like two hands both sides, but with no hand switch.
In other words, have the right-hander keep the right hand on the bottom of the grip for both strokes as speed and quickness rule the game.
If we want our student to consider moving from two hands to a one-handed backhand, set up the ball machine and have the student drill hundreds of balls.
If the child demonstrates a clean, mostly efficient new stroke, we are half-way there.
But when competing in a USTA match, it is wise to see how well the player can adjust to the high ball.
Therefore, since we are making a gigantic strategic move, we must allow ample time to see acceptable results.
The best part of teaching the serve-and-volley technique to a junior with a huge serve is that he can use this method in doubles.
It is not necessarily crucial for the player to switch immediately from a baseliner to a serve and move in player.
In today's modern game, the serve and volley game is only seen at the All-England Club during Wimbledon because of the fast grass courts.
However, with the advent of the new power game and with the Wimbledon grass court changes, only a few select pros elect to serve and volley constantly.
In conclusion, when we are faced with making vital changes for our rising junior tennis players, we must fully access our plan before we are ready to go.

Doug Browne is the Hideaway Beach Director of Tennis and the Community Tennis Association President. Doug and his wife Leslie have enjoyed teaching players of all abilities at Hideaway Beach for over a decade. He can be reached by e-mail at

©Marco Island Sun Times 2007

04-20-2007, 03:34 PM
Friday, Apr 20, 2007

Entertainment - Wire

Posted on Wed, Apr. 18, 2007

Planet Hollywood plans Vegas opening
The Associated Press

LAS VEGAS --Hollywood celebrities and superstar athletes turned out Tuesday for a flashy presentation to announce that the former Aladdin hotel-casino would stage its grand opening as the rebranded Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino on Sept. 28 and 29.

"We will be throwing the biggest party that Las Vegas has ever seen," said actor Bruce Willis, who was joined by actress Carmen Electra and athletes Roger Clemens, Pete Sampras and Sugar Ray Leonard in introducing the revamped resort.

A $1 billion makeover of the Arabian-style resort on the Las Vegas Strip has been in the works since private partnership OpBiz bought the bankrupt property in 2004 for about $500 million.

The finished Planet Hollywood property is expected to have 2,600 movie-themed guest rooms and suites, along with two 50-story towers with 1,200 time-share residences, set to open around the end of 2009.

Opbiz co-chairman Robert Earl, who founded the Planet Hollywood International Inc. restaurant chain, also introduced several nightclub and restaurant offerings from New York steak house Strip House to L.A. celebrity hangout and pan-Asian restaurant Koi.

"We scoured the planet and found some great attractions," Earl said.

A touring rhythmical show created by the producers of "Stomp," called "Stomp Out Loud," has opened at the property in a new $28 million theater. The property also has added a show by magician Hans Klok, who will have Electra as an assistant for three months.

TV newsmagazine "Extra" will open a lounge to conduct celebrity interviews and keep patrons up to date with entertainment news, while Panasonic provided 5,000 plasma displays for public areas and guest rooms.

Boulevard Invest LLC announced last month that the shops in the attached Desert Passage shopping mall at the property would begin operating as Miracle Mile Shops in May.

OpBiz is a partnership that includes Earl, private equity investor Bay Harbour and Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc. Earl and Bay Harbour Management have a joint venture with an 85 percent interest in the property while Starwood holds the remaining 15 percent.

04-21-2007, 04:35 PM
IU alum selling rare art
Auction of Neiman collection to raise millions for university

Sat, Apr 21 - 2007

Anthony Schoettle -

IBJ staff

Who knew an untimely injury to Indiana University basketball star Scott May in 1975 would net the school millions of dollars 32 years later?

It was May’s injury and IU’s subsequent defeat that led Indianapolis businessman Barton Kaufman to New York in March 1975, when he met famous painter LeRoy Neiman. Over the years, Kaufman commissioned 28 original paintings from the artist known for his handlebar mustache, an East Coast flare and works often depicting the world’s most famous sports scenes.

Now, Kaufman is auctioning off 26 of those paintings and plans to donate the money to IU, where he earned an undergraduate degree in 1962 and law degree in 1965.

“This collection goes way beyond someone who just found pieces in a gallery,” said Mark Ruschman, operator of the local Ruschman Art Gallery. “The fact that Neiman has a worldwide recognition much like Rockwell should make this a good sale.”

The sale will kick off with a display at the Centaur Galleries in Las Vegas Memorial Day weekend. Kaufman, CEO of Kaufman Financial Corp., said asking prices were set by an appraisal two years ago.

Art aficionados think some of those prized paintings will fetch as much as $350,000, with the total collection raking in more than $5 million. Subjects range from Reggie Miller to Muhammad Ali. Some, such as Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning—who became the Super Bowl MVP in February—have no doubt increased in value since Kaufman’s appraisal, art experts said. Original works depicting a scene from the sailboat race America’s Cup and one of Tiger Woods are among the most prized, art appraisers said.

“Bart Kaufman has been supportive of the law school with an endowed professorship, the Kinsey Institute, our athletic department and the cancer research efforts here as well,” said Curt Simic, Indiana University Foundation president. “He continues to be a great supporter of this university, and this latest gift is exceedingly generous.”

Kaufman intends to keep two treasured paintings by the New York painter. A painting of then-IU basketball coach Bob Knight in a huddle with some of his 1975-1976 era star players, and one of Winston Churchill—whom Kaufman regards as one of the greatest leaders of the 20th Century—will remain hung at Kaufman’s office off 96th and Meridian streets.

Broad-reaching benefactor

Kaufman, 66, said he chose IU as a benefactor of the sale due to his longtime affinity for the school and its ability to use large sums of money to reach a broad spectrum of people.

“I graduated from IU, my wife graduated from IU, and my four kids have earned a combined seven degrees from IU, so naturally, I have great passion for the school,” Kaufman said. “The school has so many needs, and know they can use the money wisely.”

The exhibit of Kaufman’s paintings is slated to last about six months. After the sale is complete, the money will go into a charitable trust, with the benefactor being the Indiana University Foundation, the school’s fund-raising and philanthropic arm.

Kaufman has identified three causes at the school he would like his funds to benefit: the school’s athletic department; The Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender and Reproduction; and the Melvin and Bren Simon Cancer Center. Kaufman said exactly how the funds will be divided is still being determined.

Targeting needs

Kaufman, an all-Big Ten baseball player at IU in the 1960s, said he targeted the athletic department due to its needs, especially for capital improvements, and because he’s been a longtime sports fan. Kaufman also believes the athletic department has a positive effect on countless student-athletes and the larger university.

The cancer center was targeted for funding by Kaufman due to cancer’s farreaching effects on Indiana residents and others, and due to Kaufman’s admiration for Dr. Lawrence Einhorn, an IU faculty member and one of the world’s most prominent cancer researchers.

Kaufman came to respect the Kinsey Institute’s work after seeing a movie about the institute and its founder, Alfred Kinsey. Kaufman noted that IU President Herman B Wells’ staunch support of Kinsey’s controversial human sexuality research earned Wells a reputation as a champion of academic freedom.

Though it was difficult to bid adieu to his beloved collection, Kaufman said the anguish will be eased by the result. The paintings were removed April 12 from the office where Kaufman has earned a reputation as a financial adviser to some of the most prominent families in Indiana.

“I really had major trepidation when I walked into my office [April 13],” Kaufman said. “The movers took the paintings, but left the hooks in the wall. I took a pair of pliers and removed each hook.

“I didn’t want to walk in here and not see those paintings. Each one has a story. But in the end, I was fine, because it’s for a greater good.”

May’s injury starts domino effect

This unlikely tale started with May’s broken arm late in the 1974-1975 season. Until May was injured, Kaufman’s alma mater was rolling through the season undefeated.

Full of confidence in his beloved Hoosiers, Kaufman and his wife, Judy, made plans to attend the Final Four in San Diego. But IU, with May playing sparingly with a partly casted arm, was defeated by Kentucky one game short of the Final Four.

“The last thing I wanted to do was go see Kentucky play UCLA in the Final Four,” Kaufman said.

Since he already planned to take a vacation, he and his wife headed east instead. While in New York, Kaufman went to LeRoy Neiman’s studio. Much to Kaufman’s surprise, when he asked about buying a Neiman painting, a personal meeting was set up with the artist.

A lengthy friendship followed, with Kaufman commissioning a painting almost every year. The first was baseball legend Pete Rose, followed by Indianapolis 500 winner A.J. Foyt and N.Y. Mets and Cincinnati Reds pitcher Tom Sever.

Sever was painted in a Reds uniform, but Kaufman noted if he’d had the painting done in a Mets uniform it would have been worth more. Conversely, Kaufman’s speculation on tennis player Pete Sampras when he was an up-and-comer paid off.

“At the time, Pete Sampras, Jim Courier and Michael Chang were all ranked about the same, but I chose to have Sampras painted,” Kaufman said. “That ended up being the right choice.”

Though Kaufman said he and Neiman never discussed money, Kaufman sent the artist a check for $5,000 for the first commissioned painting, “and a little bit more,” for each successive one.

Every painting has a story

Woven into the canvas of each of those paintings is a personal story Kaufman loves to relive. For instance, Kaufman had begged Neiman to paint a picture of coach Knight and/or Indiana University basketball. But Neiman, Kaufman explained, painted only subjects that interested him. He knew little about the Hoosier basketball team, so Kaufman arranged to have Neiman attend the 1979 National Invitation Tournament final in Madison Square Garden between Indiana and Purdue University. Through Knight’s wife at the time, Kaufman arranged for Neiman to meet Knight after the game.

“It was quite a feat getting into the locker room,” Kaufman said. “But once we got there, they absolutely fawned over each other.”

Not long after, Neiman painted the picture of Knight in a sideline huddle.

As flamboyant as Neiman was in his younger days, the 85-year-old artist is now somewhat understated about the demand for his work.

“I suppose the market for my paintings is still quite high, though I don’t track it,” Neiman said from his New York studio. “I do know that Barton has a good eye and is a real sports nut. So the paintings I did for him should have broad appeal.”

Neiman isn’t sure how many paintings he has done over his lifetime, but said it’s in the “thousands.” As prolific as he is, he doesn’t know many collections by individuals as big as Kaufman’s.

Scott Keller, president of Blackard and Geiger Ltd., a local appraiser of art and antiques, was more definitive about the demand for Neiman’s work.

“I can assure you, this collection will attract a wide audience,” said Keller, who is also a member of the City-County Council. “LeRoy Neiman has a following in the artistic sector, but he is one of the few artists worldwide which transcends the art world. Even though Neiman was a prolific painter, an original can still be difficult to come by. And the broader the appeal, the higher the value.”

“This is a big deal and will be a good deal for the IU Foundation.”

04-23-2007, 07:35 PM
Alas, Aladdin's lamp is out

Planet Hollywood makes long-awaited arrival


It is perhaps the quietest Las Vegas "implosion" ever.

This is a town where resort casinos grow up to be megaresort casinos atop the dusty ruins of historic mainstays. The Aladdin Resort & Casino officially joined the Stardust, the Dunes, and the Desert Inn as the latest to depart stage left, even if the explosion was more glamorous than those of the dynamite sort.

In a not-so-subtle ceremony on Tuesday, partners in the newly branded Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino celebrated their property's gradual transformation from the failure-prone Aladdin to a hip new Strip spot. Only time will tell if indeed that old Aladdin bankruptcy genie is back in the bottle to stay. The official grand opening is still half-a-year away.


Building its resort brand through strategic relationships -- particularly taking advantage of its access to Hollywood glitterati -- will perhaps be Planet Hollywood's signature saving grace. First, Pepsi Co. signed a 10-year commitment, and will distribute 12 million cans throughout California and Nevada. This tsunami of soda will hail Planet Hollywood's coming-out party as well as give it a marketing surge unlike any other.

Second, Panasonic agreed to outfit both the exterior and interior with the latest flat-screen visual technology. It has contributed a great deal already to the formation of a Times Square atmosphere along the property's front entrance.

Extensive renovations both inside and out have created several noteworthy changes, particularly at the front of the casino, where the Aladdin consistently failed to entice boulevard onlookers. The interior is 95 percent completely renovated after 18 months of work. The design, by Dougal Design Associates, was created with the express goal of generating movement at every turn. This aesthetic extends from the geometric floor designs throughout, to the towering columns of light, cloth and metal on the casino floor, to projected imagery on walls as well as atop some of the games.


"This day has been a long time coming," said Robert Earl, Planet Hollywood International's founder and CEO, who has fought a long, hard battle to resuscitate his brand.

It hasn't been easy. Taking his own Planet Hollywood franchise restaurants out of bankruptcy, not once but twice, was already a herculean task. The chain went from 47 corporate-owned restaurants to nine, including one up the street at the Forum Shops. (As a result of the nearby restaurant, a Planet Dailies diner-style restaurant sits where a Planet Hollywood would likely go. A source at the casino says it will be interesting to market the casino at the Caesars location.)

But Earl didn't quit. He turned around and bought the Aladdin, a failing, three-year-old property at the time, for $635 million, or half what it cost to build. It, too, was in bankruptcy ... not the first time for the Aladdin either.

The renovations, which began in late 2005, did not exactly signal good omens -- a blue, exterior paint job crept up the sides of the building, only to abruptly disappear, replaced by what critics say is a much more pleasing hue.


The PH, as it's branded in some spots, will share many of the concepts that other Las Vegas properties do. A central Heart Bar is reminiscent of the MGM Grand Casino Hotel and Hard Rock Hotel & Casino's centerpieces. Famous eateries like New York's Striphouse and L.A.'s famous Pink's will serve signature dishes. Pink's is actually a popular hot dog stand and will be part of Planet Hollywood's not-yet-complete sports book.

But the property will also feature a few twists on the common concepts. For instance, a bar near the Strip entrance called the Extra Lounge is themed after the "Extra" gossip TV show. A mini-stage area will allow "Extra" crew members to do standups from the property.

"What happens in Vegas, now happens on 'Extra,'" Earl proclaimed, referring to another partnership he hopes will drive foot traffic.

Themed suites in the Starwood-operated hotel tower are set aside for popular sports stars -- famed pitcher Roger Clemens, tennis great Pete Sampras and boxing legend Sugar Ray Leonard are the first -- and will be rented when the legends are not in town. "They are part of our 'Ambassadors of Sport' suites," Earl explained. "The rooms are tributes to their careers."

The vast majority of costs incurred by the renovations are going into the timeshare/condo towers operated by Westgate. The trendy $1 billion, 50-story towers are still under construction. When completed, they will be the largest timeshare complex in the country, with 1,200 vacation villas inside 3.2 million square feet of living space.


With so much competition along the Strip, and so much on the way with MGM's Project CityCenter going up across the street, Planet Hollywood officials are hoping to carve out a niche. Spokeswoman Andrea Roqueni says something to entice everyone is available, from the show "Stomp Out Loud" in its own theatre, to the magic of Hans Klok in the Aladdin Theater for the Performing Arts.

Miracle Mile, as the 1.3-mile shopping mall is newly named, will soon get a new look and some new merchants, too. Trader Vic's, Urban Outfitters and a Hawaiian Tropic Zone are scheduled to open.

Earl said the improved Miracle Mile, named in reference to famed shopping districts in L.A. and Chicago, will soon be "seamlessly integrated, inside and outside" with the rest of the property. It will also still have to compete with Forum Shops at Caesars and whatever new retail component is added to City Center. "We will be completely different. We all go after a different niche," Roqueni said.

Earl says his aspirations are somewhat higher. "We had the biggest challenge bringing this to life ... to ensure Planet Hollywood surpasses all other properties," he said. "It's not just a resort and casino. It's an amalgamation of three important entities, the planet itself and the Miracle Mile" as well as Westgate's Planet Hollywood Towers.

No matter how competitive Planet Hollywood ends up once all the pieces are in place in September, Actor Bruce Willis guaranteed that at least one record would fall to the property on Sept. 28 and 29. "We will be throwing the biggest party Las Vegas has ever seen." | 871-6780 x339

A guided video tour of the new Planet Hollywood is available on the Business Press Web site at

04-23-2007, 07:40 PM
Business profile: Planet Hollywood rolls dice again
By John Arlidge
Last Updated: 2:20am BST 23/04/2007

Robert Earl is gambling everything on yet another star-studded venture in Sin City, writes John Arlidge

Planet Hollywood casino in Las Vegas is only 24 hours old but the party is already getting hectic. Bruce Willis, dressed in a silver-grey bespoke suit, is downing limited-edition Belvedere vodka and swapping "Pulp Fiction" boxing anecdotes with Sugar Ray Leonard. Former Wimbledon champion "Pistol" Pete Sampras is sharing a bottle of Krug rosé with Baywatch star and Playboy pin-up Carmen Electra.

It looks like a scene from the latest hit Vegas movie - Swingers II perhaps - and, for one man in the crowd, it could be a big-screen sequel. Hollywood would call it The Comeback. Part III. And it would star a diminutive 55-year-old from Hendon.

Little more than a decade ago, the British restaurateur, Robert Earl, invited Willis and friends to open the first branch of his celebrity-themed restaurant chain, Planet Hollywood, in Vegas. The "eatertainment" firm he founded expanded fast but it soon over-heated and went bust - twice. Earl lost £700m.

Now, he is back for a third roll of the dice. He launched his £1bn venture, Planet Hollywood Resorts and Casinos, last week. "I'm hoping three is my lucky number," he said as he greeted the stars arriving at the first of many launch parties.

The stakes could not be higher. No foreigner has opened a casino on the Las Vegas Strip without losing their shirt. The last outfit to try were fellow Brits, London Clubs International. They racked up losses of £250m at the Aladdin casino, before selling up and retreating to London, the sniggers of veteran US gambling giants MGM Mirage and Harrah's ringing in their ears.

advertisement"Philip Green says I'm 'effing mad' to open here," Earl admits. "Everything is down to me, but this venture will be lucky."

Earl sees himself as the corporate genie who can transform the tarnished Aladdin into a gleaming, modern home for Hollywood stars and high-spending, celebrity-obsessed 20 to 40-something consumers. Earl's new Vegas company, OpBiz, backed by New York-based investment fund, Bay Harbour, and Starwood Resorts, the giant US-based hotel operator, bought the Aladdin out of bankruptcy in 2003 for £248m - "a steal".

Earl is sinking £500m of his own money into giving the resort a Planet Hollywood makeover. It will be re-designed inside and out, with an edgy 100,000sq ft casino and 2,600 sleek rooms, taking the total to 5,200. When completed in September it will open with a $5m party that Willis promises will be "the biggest in Las Vegas history".

Earl knows that the second fortune he has made in retailing and gambling since Planet Hollywood restaurants went bust is on the line. But he insists that he holds the trump card:

A-list celebrity endorsement.

Put the world's biggest stars in the newest, hippest casino, he argues, and Planet Hollywood will soon eclipse the Bellagio and Wynn Las Vegas to become Sin City's new hotspot.

"America is a celebrity-driven society. People aspire to be where the celebrities are," he says. "Here, you will enjoy a celebrity experience. You will stay in a celebrity suite, maybe you will see a celebrity, maybe you will pay to see one in a headline act. We will become the hi-energy, modern Vegas destination."

[B]Earl has signed up celebrity partners Willis, Leonard, Sampras and Sylvester Stallone. He promises new A-list Hollywood, music and sports signings every month until September's grand opening. Singers Justin Timberlake and Britney Spears and actors Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn are rumoured to be his next recruits.

Celebrity partners will have a suite built for them available to paying guests when they are not in town. The suites will be named after them and feature memorabilia from their careers. The Willis suite will be decorated with framed jackets he wore in Die Hard. Guests will also be able to sleep in the bed that starred in In Bed With Madonna. Others can chose the room with Sharon Stone's bed from Basic Instinct (minus the ice pick).

Celebrity partners agree to appear at the casino for a fixed number of nights a year. Stars will be encouraged to make films at the casino and hold premieres in Vegas, instead of Hollywood or New York.

In return, they receive a variety of benefits, including, for some, a stake in Planet Hollywood International, the brand's global holding company that is controlled by Earl and his family.

Earl declines to say how much, but the stars seem happy enough. "I can't go into details," Sugar Ray Leonard told The Daily Telegraph, "but I can tell you that when Robert put the idea to me, I said 'yes' straight away."

Earl says that in its last year of trading as the Aladdin, the Arab-themed casino and resort turned in profits "south of $100m". From September, Planet Hollywood will, he predicts, make annual profits of $200m, valuing the property at $2bn.

Vegas veterans welcome the new Brit on the Strip. The dilapidated Aladdin has long been a local embarrassment in a city desperate to shed its cheap and nasty image and re-invent itself as a chic, upscale destination.

But they caution that success will not be easy. Critics warn that most of the celebrities Earl has signed up are past their best. One successful local nightclub owner says: "Who wants to go to a club with Bruce Willis and Sylvester Stallone? They're so old, they're like the embarrassing dads who get up and dance at a bad bar mitzvah."

Another bar owner points out that the Planet Hollywood brand has been badly - perhaps fatally - weakened by its double bankruptcies. "Consumers don't want to buy into a brand that most people thought was dead and buried years ago," he says.

Business analysts caution that, like LCI before it, Planet Hollywood is tiny by Vegas standards. MGM Mirage and Harrah's each control several casinos on the Strip and have very deep pockets. Earl will find it hard to ride out any downturn in the market.

But he brushes off the concerns. "The new celebrities we'll announce soon will give us a broader, younger base. Planet Hollywood never died. There are still 25 Planet Hollywoods. My partners, such as Starwood Hotels, are large companies, and by the time we have finished, this casino will be the third largest resort on the Strip. Our formula is solid."

Earl is planning to take Planet Hollywood Resorts and Casinos global. His first 250-bedroom hotel in India - on Mumbai's "golden crescent" - is due to open next year. There are plans for a second US casino in Atlantic City and a third in Macau. He already has a London outpost, the upscale Fifty, in St James.

Flipping a frazzled burger chain into a chic casino group may seem improbable. But Vegas is an improbable place, a town built by a mobster that has become America's number-one tourist destination.

If one of the most remarkable business comebacks of recent years can happen anywhere, it can happen in Vegas. As they sipped their cocktails, 24 hours into the new life of Planet Hollywood, few of the stars were betting against Robert Earl being the man to pull it off.

04-28-2007, 06:30 PM
Things to do

Published April 27, 2007

Mercedes-Benz Classic: With Jim Courier, Pete Sampras, Chris Evert, Nicole Vaidisova. 6 p.m. St. Pete Times Forum, Tampa. $21.75-$96.75. (813) 301-2500; Sat.

04-28-2007, 07:10 PM
He gathers greatness

A Q&A with tennis great Jim Courier.

Published April 27, 2007


When Jim Courier calls, his tennis colleagues always seem to listen. The former top-ranked men's player has brought some of the biggest names in the game to the Mercedes-Benz Classic in the past three years to benefit the St. Petersburg Tennis Center, a program for at-risk kids. And Saturday will be no different when a pair of tennis greats, Chris Evert and Pete Sampras, highlight the fourth annual event, set for 6 p.m. at the St. Pete Times Forum in Tampa. Courier called from New York City on Thursday to talk about the event, where his InsideOut Sports & Entertainment production company is based.

What does this event mean to you?

The Mercedes-Benz Classic was built specifically with the thought of putting together a fundraiser for the St. Petersburg Tennis Center and the tennis program that is so wonderful there. It provides an opportunity for kids in that neighborhood and elsewhere to play tennis and get some tutoring for their schooling - and really give them an option to stay out of trouble and learn something about themselves through tennis.

How has the Classic grown?

Through the years, we just have had a who's who of tennis names. And we've been very lucky to have these tennis players come back and support this program. The tennis world is very giving. A lot of the players have their own foundations and there's a lot of favors that are passed back and forth.

This year, Chris Evert is back for the second time. We have a great newcomer in Nicole Vaidisova, who's already in the top 10; Rene Stubbs, one of the women's best doubles players; and of course, Pete Sampras, one of the all-time greats, just like Chrissy. And we have a celebrity lineup that'll give things a different dimension with Jon Lovitz (SNL alum) and Donal Logue (The Knights of Prosperity).

What other projects are you involved in?

The Outback Champions Series is one - the (tennis) champions tour in the U.S. Pete Sampras is making his debut next week in Boston. We've got six tournaments in the U.S. and a new one in Athens, Greece. I'm very busy with that and enjoying it. And tonight, I have a film I executive produced; a documentary called Unstrung that takes you behind the scenes in the world of junior tennis. We shot it two years ago and it's making its premiere tonight at the Tribeca Film Festival.

Thoughts on the men's game?

We've got one of the all-time greats right now in Roger Federer right now in the middle of his career. He's something very special to see, and he has some good protagonists in Rafael Nadal, Andy Roddick, James Blake. It's exciting. The U.S. Davis Cup team on the men's side is poised to win this year.

And the women's side?

You've got what I think is a wide open scenario. Serena Williams is playing the best tennis of anyone right now. It's great to have the Williams sisters back, re-engaged. Then you have great players like Maria Sharapova and up-and-comers like Nicole Vaidisova. I think the health of the game is very strong.

Dave Scheiber can be reached at or (727) 893-8541.

[Last modified April 27, 2007, 01:19:39]

04-30-2007, 06:06 PM
Sampras Has Fun In Return To Tampa

By JOEY JOHNSTON The Tampa Tribune

Published: Apr 29, 2007

TAMPA - Pete Sampras was in mid-ball toss, about to unleash his serve.

"Please, Pete, be gentle," said doubles opponent Rennae Stubbs, into her microphone, as the crowd of 9,002 chuckled in unison during Saturday night's lighthearted Mercedes-Benz Classic tennis exhibition at the St. Pete Times Forum.

Even Sampras doubled over in laughter. Then, regaining his composure, he smacked an ace. Just like old times. "This was fun," Sampras said.

Sure, he was older (35) and certainly less focused than during his last major competitive effort (winning the 2002 U.S. Open), but in many ways, it was like seeing a ghost.

"Pete kind of pulled a Greta Garbo on us," said Jim Courier, the Dade City native and former No. 1-ranked player who hosted the fourth annual charity event, which primarily benefited kids from the St. Petersburg Tennis Center. "He needed to get away [in retirement]. He had gone at it as hard as anybody has ever gone at it.

"As a fan of tennis, I love seeing him back in the game."

Even on a limited basis.

Sampras, who holds the all-time men's record with 14 Grand Slam singles titles, is playing exhibitions, along with two events on Courier's Outback Champions Series 30-and-over tour. Returning to Tampa, his residence for six years, was a natural for Sampras, given his affiliation to the area and his friendship with Courier.

And local fans treated Sampras like a long-lost native son.

"When any of the great past champions comes back, people want them to know how much they love them," said Stubbs, an Australian touring pro who lives at Harbour Island. "You saw how it was. They introduce the rest of us. Then they introduce Pete, and the reaction is thunderous.

"I know what the guys [on the ATP Tour] are talking about, how you can't read Pete's serve. The same ball toss, the same motion, but it's hard to see what's coming. And he wasn't serving nearly [as hard] as he can. I know the people enjoyed it, because they got a glimpse of one of the best tennis players ever."

Courier and Stubbs defeated Sampras and Nicole Vaidisova 6-3 in the mixed doubles match. In the men's singles finale, Sampras beat Tampa's Mardy Fish 7-6, 6-4, ending on an ace (Fish was a late replacement for Courier, who didn't want to take any chances while still recuperating from a back injury).

The evening began with a celebrity doubles match as Chris Evert and actor Jon Lovitz beat actor Donal Logue and Vaidisova 6-4.

But clearly, the highlight was Sampras' appearance.

"With Pete, you're seeing a legend," said Evert, a tennis legend in her own right. "I love playing these events because they benefit a great cause and I can be relaxed. I was, um, let's say, pretty intense when I played during my career.

"Pete was the same way. Now his guard is down. He can hear the applause, feel the love. He deserves it. It's great."

The night also served as a reunion for Sampras, who lives in California, and Courier, who lives in New York. They were boyhood buddies, one-time doubles partners, head-to-head competitors for the No. 1 ranking and singles finalists at Wimbledon, 1993.

Courier and Sampras agreed that any tennis match they share still means something.

"It's a testament to two guys who have respected one another and didn't carry their matches off the court," Sampras said. "I think Jim always wants to show me he has something left in his game, and I'm probably the same way.

"Jim is the most competitive guy I've ever been around. We like this type of fun environment. But do we both want to win? Heck, yeah. And afterward, we walk off, still great friends. We've been through the wars together."

Reporter Joey Johnston can be reached at (813) 259-7353 or

05-01-2007, 04:29 PM
TennisX News.

Pete Sampras beat Mardy Fish in straight sets in an exhibition in Tampa...

05-05-2007, 05:01 PM
Doheny Eye Institute


Company Information :
Doheny Eye Institute
1451 San Pablo St.
LA, CA 90033
Ph. 310-459-5288
Fx. 310-459-6818

May 5: Annual Benefit To Raise Funds And Awareness For The Los Angeles Doheny Eye Institute On Saturday, May 5, 2007

At The Roosevelt Hotel And Tropicana Bar, Annual Benefit To Raise Funds And Awareness For The Los Angeles Doheny Eye Institute On Saturday, May 5, 2007.

Media Advisory

LOS ANGELES/EWORLDWIRE/May 4, 2007 --- The annual benefit to raise funds and awareness for the Los Angeles Doheny Eye Institute will be on Saturday, May 5, 2007 at the Roosevelt Hotel and Tropicana Bar. The evening will include a silent auction beginning at 6:00 p.m. poolside, dinner and dancing.

Luke Wilson, Pete Sampras, Chris O'Donnell (Grey's Anatomy), Rick Schroder (24), and David Chokachi (Beyond the Break, Baywatch) are scheduled to come to the event and/or lend their names. Many Los Angeles area socialites are also attending the party.

For further information or press access, please contact Alicia White at 310-459-5288.

Press must be cleared for this event.

Alicia White
Event Chair
Please call directly @ 310-459-5288


Alicia White
Doheny Eye Institute
1451 San Pablo St.
Los Angeles, CA 90033
PHONE. 310-459-5288
FAX. 310-459-6818

SOURCE: Doheny Eye Institute

05-08-2007, 04:50 PM
Sampras rules out Wimbledon

08 May 2007

BOSTON, Massachusetts - Pete Sampras may enjoy testing himself against other former ATP stars in the 30-and-over Champions Series, but a return to Wimbledon apparently doesn’t tempt him.

Sampras returned to competition this weekend for the first time since his retirement five years ago, defeating Todd Martin in the final of the Champions Cup of Boston.

En route to the final he defeated John McEnroe, and McEnroe voiced the opinion that the 35-year-old Sampras could still be a force on grass.

But Sampras, who earned half of his 14 Grand Slam titles at the All England Club, said he wouldn’t return to Wimbledon on a whim.

"I wouldn’t play Wimbledon just to play - I would play to win," Sampras said. "There needs to be a reason to come back, and there really isn’t a reason for me to come back."

Sampras retired after winning the 2002 US Open, the last of his 64 career titles.


05-10-2007, 04:18 PM

Don't call it a comeback
Any return by Pete Sampras would be very short-lived

Posted: Wednesday May 9, 2007 3:36PM; Updated: Wednesday May 9, 2007 4:32PM

A Mailbag as Pete Sampras returns to the tennis forefront:

The AP reported that Pete Sampras said there's no way he'll seek an exemption for one more shot at Wimbledon. "I wouldn't play Wimbledon just to play -- I would play to win," he said. "There needs to be a reason to come back and there really isn't a reason for me to come back." Pete does not know how crazy Americans would get watching him play Wimbledon. That would have potential to be better than seeing The Police this summer. We have to let Pete know how bad we would like him to play and try to keep Fed from his Grand Slam record.
-- Tory K, Quincy, Ill.

The Police? Rings a bell. Wasn't that the band Sting fronted before his solo career? If memory serves, it was a trio and all three guys hated each other?

This comeback talk only intensified with Sampras' victory in the Outback Tour last week in Boston, followed by his uncharacteristically bold remark that, armed with his new Wilson racket, he felt as though he could "beat anybody." Beat anyone on the seniors Tour? Or beat anybody, anybody? Hmmm ...

Roger Federer was asked about this in Rome and basically said that while Sampras might lack the sustained commitment to be a top-ranked player again, Pete would be an immediate threat to win Wimbledon. (Asked to comment on Sampras' claim, Andy Roddick smiled and basically said, "There's no way I can answer that question diplomatically.")

My best guess in four parts: 1) If he does come back, it will be a one-and-done at Wimbledon (or during the grasscourt season) -- don't hold your breath waiting for a Hingis-esque full return. Inherently conservative and averse to risk, Sampras wouldn't re-emerge until he felt absolutely certain that he could contend. He would have no interest in showing up, winning a few rounds and then getting routed by some hard-serving Swede. 2) He will continue playing in the Outback events and even in some exos against Federer, slowly putting his toe in the water and gauging his chances of winning. 3) Fitness and health will be crucial. A tweaked knee and there's no comeback. 4) It's still an outside chance at best, but by Wimbledon 2008 we might have a surprise wild card.

05-16-2007, 04:57 PM
Senior tour a crowd-pleasing idea

Even without a lot of hair, Sampras shows he's still among tennis's top players

Published: Tuesday, May 15, 2007

At 35, Pete Sampras's hairline has become a tonsure or, in tennis terms, it resembles the second-week grass on Wimbledon's centre court.

The bottom half, to about the top of the ears, is pristine and lush; the top half is a construction zone of various colours and bare patches, glazed with just a hint of the turf that once grew so lavishly there.

Everything else - including his game - is about the same as it ever was, incredible considering the lack of match play since he retired nearly five years ago. And Sampras might be the key to success for a venture that, on the surface, should be a rousing success: a senior tennis tour.

The 14-time Grand Slam champion made his return to competitive tennis 10 days ago in Boston in the Champions Cup, part of the Outback Champions Series started by Sampras's former on-court rival, Jim Courier.

Beyond some World Team Tennis and a hit with Roger Federer, last summer, Sampras had barely played. But he took this seriously; he dropped from about 200 pounds to 185. And while his opponents were competitive, he was by far the class of the field.

"I would seed him in the top five in Wimbledon without a doubt. Name five guys that could beat this guy at Wimbledon," said John McEnroe, who lost to Sampras 6-3, 6-4 in Boston. "He absolutely just cranks the ball still, and just makes you so uncomfortable and uneasy."

Beating a still feisty but 48-year-old Mac is one thing; best-of-five at Wimbledon is another. Sampras has no plans for an ATP Tour comeback. But the announcement that he would be in the eight-man field in Boston sent ticket sales soaring.

The format was tried by Jimmy Connors about 15 years ago. His tour grew to 20 tournaments in 11 countries by 2001. But the players weren't nearly as fit, nor nearly as serious; Connors beat everybody routinely, including a rusty Bjorn Borg, an out-of-shape Guillermo Vilas, and the comedic Mansour Bahrami (who, you ask? Exactly).

By then, Connors was 49, needing a hip replacement. The tour basically fell apart without him.

But now Courier, 36, is trying to bring it back. There was one event in 2005, four last year, and there will be six in the U.S. this year, plus an event in Athens, Greece, this weekend that will feature both Sampras (who will bring his Greek parents) and Mark Phillippoussis, who hasn't ruled out a main-tour comeback.

The Champions Series seems like a perfect event to bring to Montreal, where tennis is popular to the point where people will pack Uniprix Stadium even when half the marquee names pull out with injuries. The smaller No. 1 court there would be a perfect venue, and the five-day, round-robin format guarantees you'll see each favourite at least three times.

The Boston event got a lot of television coverage on the sports networks in the U.S.; the tennis was both high quality and highly entertaining. The over-30 crowd has learned a thing or two about playing to the fans.

Not only that, the pressure's off. There's money - $50,000 to the winner in Boston - but it's just gravy. They even hung out together off the court.

What would you rather watch: Guillermo Canas vs. Novak Djokovic (the final last week in Miami), or Sampras vs. McEnroe?

The two hadn't played a competitive match since 1990, when Sampras was just starting out and McEnroe winding down, before meeting in Boston. The arena was packed as McEnroe opened the match thinking he had a puncher's chance, before quickly realizing he had zero hope. But it was great theatre.

The players on this tour are fit, if slightly slowed by age. But that's only compared to the lofty standards they set. And the advances, particularly in string technology, probably have made them better players. Courier, a dogged baseliner back then, was slicing and approaching the net with regularity. McEnroe, Pat Cash, Tim Mayotte, and Sampras were serving and volleying.

Sampras finally ditched his old Wilson Pro Staff and was playing with an oversized version of Federer's stick, which, even though it resembles the classic Pro Staff, gave him a bigger sweet spot and more power. And Sampras's second serve was as devastating as ever.

Unlike the previous generation, the over-30s have held up extremely well. Cash, 41, his trademark checkerboard bandanna firmly in place, looks to have paid a visit to Mr. Botox. Petr Korda, 39, so gawky when he played he was nicknamed "Big Bird," looks better now. Add Thomas Muster, Goran Ivanisevic, Michael Chang, Marcelo Rios and Mats Wilander, and perhaps even Andre Agassi some day.

There might never be a better time to make this work, because McEnroe - a freak of nature for his ability to be competitive into his dotage without ever seemingly lifting a weight - won't last much longer.

He's still churlishness personified on the court, a quality that is not aging well. But he's also still a major draw.

Wouldn't you pay to see it? I know I would.

© The Gazette (Montreal) 2007

05-25-2007, 07:21 PM
Rocky Mountain News.
Bernie Lincicome

May 24, 2007

Some things you suspect, some you guess at and some things you just know.

Bored old Pete Sampras coming back to play Roger Federer in a series of tennis matches is every bit as meaningful as speedskater Apolo Anton Ohno dancing the mambo.

06-05-2007, 07:52 PM
It Doesn’t Get Better Than Tim Duncan
Monday, June 4th, 2007

Tim Duncan has been compared to Pete Sampras. Quiet stars not as popular with the masses as their peers. Problem is, tennis has a ranking system and Sampras spent about 300 weeks of his career at the top of it. Any casual onlooker who wanted to know the name of the best player in the world just had to peek at the graded list. Even if Sampras wanted to be lost in the media and marketing shuffle, his consistent play never allowed it.

If only the NBA were so simple. Where would Kevin Garnett, whose team has missed the playoffs for three straight years, rank? Or Allen Iverson, who has advanced a team past the second round once in his career? Or Tracy McGrady, who would consider Round 2 a pinnacle of sorts?

And where, if the numbers could be computed and the data tabulated, would Duncan be placed?

Bodog Nation contributing writer Adrian Brijbassi answers this question and more in his most NBA Finals preview - It Doesn’t Get Better Than Tim Duncan.

Read the entire article now, and visit the Bodog Sportsbook for all your latest NBA Playoffs odds and lines!

06-05-2007, 08:08 PM
First Ever Weeklong Sports Fantasy Camp to Premiere August 2007 in Los Angeles

Sports Legends Including Pete Sampras, James Worthy, Sugar Ray Leonard,
Dick Enberg, & Frank Robinson Headlines Roster of 15 Sports Stars

MANHATTAN BEACH, Calif., June 5 /PRNewswire/ -- The first ever weeklong
sports fantasy camp will debut August 11, 2007 in Marina del Rey,
California. CMPR, LLC, a sports and entertainment marketing, publicity and
events agency has announced The Ultimate Sports Fantasy Camp will launch
with five different sports categories and 15 sports stars.
The five categories and respective sports stars are as follows:

14 Time Grand Slam Champion PETE SAMPRAS
UCLA Women's Head Tennis Coach STELLA SAMPRAS

Hall-of-Famer JAMES WORTHY
Los Angeles Laker LUKE WALTON
Golden State Warrior and NBA All-Star BARON DAVIS

Former MLB Player ERIC KARROS (Dodgers, Cubs, A's)
Former MLB Player ROBIN VENTURA (Yankees, Dodgers, White Sox)
Former MLB Player TODD ZEILE (Mets, Dodgers, Yankees)

Five Time World Champion/Host of ESPN's "The Contender" SUGAR RAY LEONARD
Three Time World Champion SUGAR SHANE MOSLEY

Legendary Play-By-Play Announcer DICK ENBERG (CBS, NBC, ESPN)
Play-By-Play Announcer MATT VASGERSIAN (San Diego Padres, Fox Sports,
The Ultimate Sports Fantasy Camp will take place August 11-19, 2007 and
will be headquartered at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Marina del Rey,
California. The individual sports camps (tennis, basketball, baseball,
boxing) will be held at various locations in the Los Angeles area. While
camp participants will be lodged at an exclusive hotel property, they will
also be part of an exclusive group, as only a limited number of applicants
will be accepted. Each camp (adults and youth respectively) will have a
maximum capacity of only 24 people per camp. This will allow for maximum
interaction and camaraderie with the sports stars leading the camps.
Applicants may register for the entire Ultimate Sports Fantasy Camp
week (8 days) or pick and choose the individual camps out of the five
categories they select to attend during that week. Individual camps are
priced accordingly with the weeklong Ultimate Sports Fantasy Camp
experience priced at a significant discount.
For camp prices and additional detailed information on the first ever
Ultimate Sports Fantasy Camp, please visit
Contact: Steve Webster Emily Snider
Office (310) 426-9900 Office (760) 438-9912
Cell (310) 872-6088 Cell (310) 346-4447

SOURCE Ultimate Sports Fantasy Camp

06-05-2007, 08:28 PM
Sampras, Worthy, Karros among Ultimate Fantasy instructors

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

(06-05) 13:06 PDT Manhattan Beach, Calif. (AP) --

Former professional star athletes Pete Sampras, James Worthy and Eric Karros are among the instructors involved in the first Ultimate Fantasy Camp, to be held Aug. 11-19 and headquartered in Marina del Rey.

Sampras won a record 14 grand slam tennis events; Worthy is a Hall of Famer who starred for the Los Angeles Lakers, and Karros holds the career home run record for the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Fifteen current and former sports stars will be involved in five different categories — tennis, basketball, baseball, boxing and sportscasting — with the individual sports camps to be held at various locations in the Los Angeles area. A maximum of 24 people will participate at each camp.

Sampras will be joined by his sister, Stella, the UCLA women's coach, and WTA Tour player Bethanie Mattek at the tennis camp. Current NBA players Luke Walton, Baron Davis and Richard Jefferson will join Worthy at the basketball camp.

Hall of Famer Frank Robinson and former big-leaguers Robin Ventura and Todd Zeile will join Karros at the baseball camp. Five-time world champion Sugar Ray Leonard and three-time world champion Sugar Shane Mosley will work at the boxing camp, and play-by-play announcers Dick Enberg and Matt Vasgersian will run the sportscasting camp.

Those interested can visit .

06-05-2007, 11:26 PM


Pet owners should pick breeds to suit their lifestyles

Thursday, September 08, 2005

By Linda Wilson Fuoco, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

The kind of dog a person owns often tells you something about the owner. And in a world where many people just can't know enough about the rich and the famous, here are the breeds of dogs chosen by four actors, one singer and one tennis star.

Courteney Cox Arquette has two Cavalier King Charles spaniels. Will Smith has at least four Rottweilers. Fran Drescher has a Pomeranian, and Owen Wilson has an Australian cattle dog. Tennis star Pete Sampras has a Labrador retriever and singer Shania Twain has a German shepherd.

This information comes to us from the American Kennel Club, which is somewhat surprising, because the AKC and many breeders cringe when breeds of dogs get a lot of media attention.

"After a breed is featured in a commercial, film or television show, or on the arm of a celebrity, we often see a spike in registration numbers for that breed," the AKC says in a recent release.

Chihuahuas are currently the breed-du-jour in the spotlight, thanks to Paris Hilton and her Tinkerbell. Then there was the immensely popular Taco Bell Chihuahua. The problems this has caused for the tiny dogs was the subject of an Aug. 24 story in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

It's important to do research to find a pet that fits the family lifestyle.

A 12-pound Jack Russell terrier, for instance, is generally more active than a 70-pound greyhound, and needs a lot more exercise. Even greyhounds that once raced on the track are very happy to retire as couch potatoes, and they make great apartment pets because they very seldom bark. There's a downside to that, for greyhounds are generally very poor watchdogs.

Chihuahuas, surprisingly, usually make great watchdogs because they are very territorial and they bark a lot. The barking would make them a poor choice for apartment dwellers who have thin walls and intolerant neighbors.

AKC staff say they researched dogs owned by the rich and famous and "commend the following celebrities for setting a good example by choosing the breed of dog that suits their lifestyle."

Cox Arquette's Cavalier King Charles spaniels are named Hopper and Harley. The little dogs sleep in bed with her and husband, David Arquette, the actress said in a June 2003 interview with Glamour magazine.

The breed is "happy and affectionate," the AKC says, and "a good choice for a family like the Arquettes because, like all toy breeds, they naturally love being close to people and spending time cuddling. ... They are playful yet gentle-natured."

Actor/rapper Will Smith has roots in Philadelphia where the Rottweiler was the third most popular dog in 2004.

Rottweilers are calm and confident, with great strength, agility and endurance, the AKC says. "Known for their inherent desire to protect home and family, Rottweilers can provide the kind of security desired by someone frequently away from home."

And the Rottie's "high endurance" makes the breed a good companion for Smith's wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, who says walking the family dogs is part of her exercise program.

In 1990, Fran Drescher co-starred in the movie "Cadillac Man" with Robin Williams and her own pet, a Pomeranian named Chester. Drescher is still a Pom fan and owner. Her current Pomeranian is named Esther.

The AKC says the toy breed is "lively, bold and alert," which are words that could be used to describe the actress. Drescher is often seen out and about with Esther, in both New York and Los Angeles.

The Australian cattle dog is not a well-known breed, but the AKC release speculates that it's a good pick for actor and funny-man Owen Wilson. The dogs are strong and agile and enjoy an active, outdoor lifestyle, which the bachelor actor seems to provide.

Ace athlete Sampras has a Labrador retriever. The naturally athletic dogs require a lot of exercise, which Sampras is supremely qualified to provide.

He and his wife, actress Bridgette Wilson, have young children, and Labs are notoriously good at getting along with children.

When Shania Twain goes on tour, she is accompanied by her German shepherd, Tim, who provides protection and companionship. The breed is known to be courageous, intelligent and adaptable to a variety of settings, according to the AKC.

Researching dog breeds is easier than ever because of the Internet. The site has information on more than 150 breeds and links to clubs and breeders.

Be careful on the Internet, though. It seems as if everyone has a Web site, and not all breeders are reputable. Sites that are selling puppies often accentuate the positive about their dogs, and may even exaggerate. Reputable breeders, and the contact people on breed Web sites, spend a lot of space accentuating the negatives, and seemingly trying to talk you out of picking their breed.

For people who are not Internet-savvy, the AKC publishes "The Complete Dog Book," which has more than 700 pages of information about dogs, in general, as well as specific information about the breeds.

(Linda Wilson Fuoco can be reached at or 412-263-3064.)

06-07-2007, 07:53 PM
Big names, really big price tag for sports vacation camp
By Associated Press

MANHATTAN BEACH, Calif. — Pete Sampras, James Worthy and Eric Karros are among the instructors involved in the first Ultimate Fantasy Camp, to be held Aug. 11-19 and headquartered in Marina del Rey, Calif.

Sampras won a record 14 grand slam tennis events; Worthy is a Hall of Famer who starred for the Los Angeles Lakers, and Karros holds the career home run record for the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Fifteen current and former sports stars will be involved in five different categories — tennis, basketball, baseball, boxing and sportscasting — with the individual sports camps to be held at various locations in the Los Angeles area. A maximum of 24 people will participate at each camp.

Sampras will be joined by his sister, Stella, the UCLA women's coach, and WTA Tour player Bethanie Mattek at the tennis camp. Current NBA players Luke Walton, Baron Davis and Richard Jefferson will join Worthy at the basketball camp.

Hall of Famer Frank Robinson and former big-leaguers Robin Ventura and Todd Zeile will join Karros at the baseball camp. Five-time world champion Sugar Ray Leonard and three-time world champion Sugar Shane Mosley will work at the boxing camp, and play-by-play announcers Dick Enberg and Matt Vasgersian will run the sportscasting camp.

The big names come with a big pricetag. The adult two-day camp is $14,000 ($7,500 for one day for ages 7-18) while the basketball and baseball are $9,000 for two days and the boxing is $6,000 for one day. Eight days will cost you $30,000. Info:

Copyright © 2007 The Seattle Times Company

06-07-2007, 09:09 PM
Sampras, Mattek Headline Fantasy Camp

By Tennis Week

You will never serve like Pete Sampras, but this summer you can learn the serve from Sampras. The 14-time Grand Slam champion, his sister, UCLA women's head tennis coach Stella Sampras, and WTA Tour player Bethanie Mattek will headline the Ultimate Sports Fantasy Camp at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Marina del Rey, California starting on August 11.

The Ultimate Sports Fantasy Camp will launch with five different sports categories and 15 sports stars, including NBA Hall of Famer James Worthy, baseball Hall of Famer Frank Robinson, former boxing champion Sugar Ray Leonard and sportscaster Dick Enberg.

The individual sports camps (tennis, basketball, baseball, boxing) will be held at various locations in the Los Angeles area. While camp participants will be lodged at an exclusive hotel property, they will also be part of an exclusive group, as only a limited number of applicants will be accepted. Each camp (adults and youth respectively) will have a maximum capacity of only 24 people per camp. This will allow for maximum interaction with the sports stars leading the camps.

Applicants may register for the entire Ultimate Sports Fantasy Camp week (8 days) or pick and choose the individual camps out of the five categories they select to attend during that week. Individual camps are priced accordingly with the weeklong Ultimate Sports Fantasy Camp experience priced at a significant discount. For camp prices and additional detailed information on the first ever Ultimate Sports Fantasy Camp, please visit

06-15-2007, 09:12 PM
The Express Lane
Stoda on Tony Parker, Pete Sampras, and more

By Greg Stoda

Palm Beach Post Columnist

Friday, June 15, 2007

It's a full cart in the 10-items-or-fewer Express Lane this week:

Would the Cleveland Cavaliers even had qualified for the NBA playoffs had they played in the Western Conference this season? Seriously. They're no better than eighth-seeded Golden State was. And the Warriors did eliminate top-seeded Dallas in the first round.

Who was better? Pete Sampras with his record number of Grand Slam tournament titles or Andre Agassi with his career Grand Slam? Might we someday be having the same debate about Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal?

OK, girls. Dario Franchitti or Tony Parker?

Roger Clemens goes 10-6 with an ERA somewhere around 4.00, and, no, the Yankees don't make the playoffs.

Dwyane Wade made a Deal or No Deal appearance Wednesday night. He'll be asking the men holding the Heat moneybags that very question soon enough.

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman got a $2 million raise. No, really, he did.

OK, guys. Ashley Judd or Eva Longoria?

The over/under on games Daunte Culpepper wins as an NFL starting quarterback this season is 2 1/2. No matter where he plays.

The field parts are always more fun to watch than the track parts in that track-and-field thing.

Oakmont's church pews are as good as it gets when it comes to a single element of golf-course design.

06-16-2007, 07:58 PM

Bud Collins, Vic Braden and Tom Gulliskon among featured writers

Tampa, FL.—Tennis legend Pete Sampras will be saluted in a special keepsake issue of Tennis Life Magazine that hits newsstands on July 14. The comprehensive tribute coincides with Pistol Pete's induction to the International Tennis Hall of Fame, which takes place July 15 in Newport, RI. This special issue previews the U.S. Open and contains Sampras' memories of America's Grand Slam and his picks for the 2007 championships.

"This exciting issue includes reflections by Bud Collins, Vic Braden and Tom Gullikson--the greats of the game who have followed Pete's development from junior player to unrivaled champion," says Tennis Life Magazine Publisher Todd Goldman. "We are proud to present this unique look at Pete and his incredible talent" The editorial package will be accompanied by a full preview of the 2007 U.S. Open.

In addition to the special editorial package on Pete Sampras, the July/August issue includes service-oriented articles for tennis fans and players. Highlights:

Pro Tour: French Open Wrap
Instruction: Breaking Down Your Opponent
Travel: North East Florida Resorts
Juniors: The Role of Parents
Fitness: Stretches to loosen that tennis knee
and much more!

06-19-2007, 11:11 PM :worship: :angel:

06-26-2007, 09:22 PM
Sampras watches;

By Howard Fendrich

1:38 p.m. June 26, 2007

PISTOL PETE: Pete Sampras is in California, getting ready for next month's Hall of Fame induction by working on his speech. He's also keeping an eye on Wimbledon, where he won seven of his record 14 Grand Slam titles.

Like most, he figures Roger Federer will win a fifth consecutive championship at the All England Club.

“On grass, it makes him that much better,” Sampras said. “On grass, he does what (Rafael) Nadal does on clay.”

Sampras, who won Wimbledon from 1993-95 and 1997-00, called Federer and Nadal “two legends in the making.” Federer has 10 major titles – four each at Wimbledon and the U.S. Open, three at the Australian Open – and Nadal has three – all at the French Open.

“Federer and Nadal are head and shoulders above,” he said. “I don't see them slowing down anytime soon.”

And on the women's side?

“I see lots of names that end in 'ova,'” he said, laughing. “The Williams sisters are doing pretty well, but other players have caught up to them.”

06-30-2007, 07:45 PM
Pistol fired up

Pete Sampras is not finding retirement easy. According to John McEnroe - with whom he has been hitting prior to an exhibition match - 'Pistol Pete' was on the brink of a return to action in SW19 this year.

"I have been talking to Pete a lot lately and I've had a few rallies with him. He is still an absolutely fantastic player. He almost made a comeback to this year's event," he said. "If Sampras did return, he would, in my mind, be among the top five seeded players. I wouldn't rule it out for next year."

06-30-2007, 08:00 PM
For Pete's sake, Serena aces Sampras in ticket sales
By Kathleen Nelson

Serena Williams and Pete Sampras

Dani Apted expected Pete Sampras to be an easy sell for the St. Louis Aces.

Winner of more Grand Slam singles titles and prize money than any other man in tennis, Sampras was the cream of the last crop of successful U.S. male tennis players that also included Jim Courier, Michael Chang and Andre Agassi. Yet more tickets remain for Sampras' appearance July 24 than for Serena Williams' on July 23. Only about 100 tickets remain to see Williams — tennis star, fashionista, actress, singer, dancer.

"Serena's a cultural icon to a part of St. Louis that would never otherwise come to see the Aces," said Apted, the team's general manager. "People connect with her story and her success."

Maybe Sampras is too tennis-y. If you've checked out ESPN2's coverage of the matches from Wimbledon, you've also seen ads for Rolex and Acura. He seems to appeal to that crowd.

But, as Apted noted, "We need Timex and Hyundai as much as Rolex and Acura." In her quest to hook a bigger audience, she said, "We've even considered Texas Hold 'Em Night. Whatever it takes. If I can get you in the door, you're going to like our brand of tennis."

The Aces stopped short of a poker tournament but have expanded their missions: to provide pro tennis to St. Louis and to grow the sport. You can't do the latter without attracting a whole new audience.

The team is making a special effort to reach out to youngsters. A ticket to any match for kids ages 5 to 13 costs as little as $15 and includes a 45-minute lesson and a racket. Apted estimated that a lesson alone would cost $30 to $50, plus the same for court time at a private club, and that the racket was worth $30. Such a bargain.

Apted has worked hard to find other ways to lure people to the park.

With a $25 ticket to opening night, July 7 against Houston, adults can sample A-B products. Raffles will benefit the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, Food Outreach, Mentor St. Louis and Habitat for Humanity.

Kids will be treated like royalty July 9 with free face painting, a rock-climbing wall, free Ben & Jerry's ice cream, and a Jell-O eating contest at halftime of the match against the New York Buzz. MORE NELSON
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In addition to seeing the top-ranked Bryan Brothers on July 13, kids, with a $25 admission, can camp out on the court and enjoy "The Sandlot" on a 40-by-40 screen after the match with Kansas City.

"This is like a Wilmbledon doubles final with the Bryans against Johni Erhlich and Andy Ram," Apted said of the Aces' doubles team, which is seventh in the ATP rankings.

Every dog will have its night July 17. Adult tickets are $25; admission for kids and dogs is $15 each. Each pooch will receive a tennis ball and can romp in a free-run dog park. Proceeds will benefit Animal House Fund.

"It's OK if we have dogs barking during a serve or if a shih tzu runs across the court," Apted said. "We want everyone to say, 'This was fun and, oh, yeah, the tennis was great, too.'"

Apted can back up the quality of tennis with the following:

— Ten players who will appear for or against the Aces remained in the field at Wimbledon after Friday, including the Aces' Jasmin Woehr in women's doubles.

— Fans at Dwight Davis have a chance to see a quartet of past and present No. 1s. The Bryan Brothers finished 2005 and 2006 ranked first and are atop the doubles rankings again.

— After injuries sidelined Serena in 2005 and 2006, she roared back to her old form at the Australian Open and has barely worked up a sweat at Wimbledon.

— Serena may have crossed over into popular culture, but no man dominated tennis as Sampras did for 15 years. He's a tennis player's tennis player, the Rolex of tennis players, and tennis fans of all ilks should savor the chance to see him play.

— For more information, visit

07-03-2007, 10:18 PM
Investor's Business Daily
Pete Sampras Slammed His Way To The Top

Friday June 29, 7:00 pm ET
David Saito-Chung

During a quarterfinal match at the 1995 Australian Open -- an event famous for players sweating in the sweltering heat -- Pete Sampras' towel was soaked with tears.

Normally known for his poker-face demeanor on court, the defending champ could not hold back his emotions before the crowd of thousands. His coach, Tim Gullikson, had collapsed before the Open began and was rushed to a Melbourne hospital. Diagnosis: Gullikson had a rare form of brain cancer.

Sampras had kept his nerve throughout the event. But this time, tears streamed down his face during his match against Jim Courier. No wonder his longtime rival and friend shouted across the net: "Are you all right, Pete? You know, we can do this tomorrow if you want."

Courier's words hit a nerve. Sampras would have nothing of that. The world No. 1 snapped back into form, put his game face back on and fired his 20th ace of the match. He beat Courier that night and went on to win his semifinal against Michael Chang before succumbing to Andre Agassi in the final.

His beloved coach no longer could attend Sampras' matches, but he still gave him advice. Sampras vowed to win more big titles. Simply winning the U.S. Open men's title in 1990 at the youngest age in history, adding Wimbledon trophies in 1993 and 1994, then the Aussie crown in '94 were not enough.

The serve-and-volley maestro from Southern California kept his promise. Sampras hauled in the Wimbledon and U.S. Open singles titles a few months after his wrenching match with Courier.

In 1996, the year Gullikson died, Pistol Pete defended his U.S. Open crown, despite vomiting during his quarterfinal marathon against Alex Corretja. Sampras dedicated the victory to his late coach.

Sampras was far from finished. He went on to win at Wimbledon four years in a row from 1997 to 2000.

"Most guys, when they win, they want to take a break," Pat Etcheberry, a former conditioning coach for Sampras, said in a Tennis magazine article in 1994. "Not this guy."

At Wimbledon in 1999, Sampras tied Roy Emerson's record of 12 career Grand Slam singles titles. Sampras' hard work and concentration on his game helped him add two more championships to end his 15-year career with a record 14 Slam singles titles -- seven at Wimbledon, five at the U.S. Open and two at the Australian Open.

The media -- especially the British tabloids -- faulted him for not oozing with personality like Jimmy Connors, John McEnroe and Andre Agassi. Tennis fans wanted rivalry and controversy.

In reality, Sampras was full of character. He gave it his all and let his racket do the talking. Most of all, Sampras showed his burning desire to stand at the sport's summit and stay there.

"It's not a good year unless I win two majors. They're what count," he told reporters.

Sampras held the top spot in the Association of Tennis Professionals rankings at the end of the year from 1993 to 1998 and won 64 career titles, fourth most among men in the Open era.

He will be inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame on July 14 in Newport, R.I.

The only trophy missing in Sampras' case was for the French Open, where he reached the semifinals in 1996 before losing to eventual winner Yevgeny Kafelnikov.

Sampras' effort still affects players. In this year's event on red clay, French native Marion Bartoli credited Sampras' determination as inspiration for her success in reaching the women's fourth round.

Sampras' tennis career started at the family home in Potomac, Md., when as a kid he found an old wooden tennis racket in the basement and began hitting the ball against a wall. At the age of 6, Sampras and his family moved to Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif. There, the family discovered warm, dry weather year-round and an abundance of public outdoor tennis courts.

The son of an aerospace engineer and a former beauty parlor employee, Pete quickly showed talent for the game. At 10, he declared his goal to become a tennis star.

Meanwhile, Sampras caught the eye of Pete Fischer, a physician who treated coaching tennis as a serious hobby. Fischer offered to coach Sampras for free and made a huge impact on Sampras' career.

Fischer drilled Sampras hard on the court. He also helped Sampras build the mental machinery needed to become a world champion.

Fischer visited the Sampras home and showed 16-millimeter films of past great Rod Laver, the Australian tennis wonder who twice won all four Grand Slam singles events in a year. Laver was also known for keeping his cool. Sampras learned to show no emotion on the court, to keep opponents guessing as to how he was feeling. In Fischer's eyes, such a player was the most feared.

Sampras became a complete player partly because he was flexible and trusted his coaches.

When Pete was 14, Fischer made him switch from a two-handed backhand to a one-handed stroke. The coach thought this change would spark his play at the net, so crucial at Wimbledon. Sampras suffered in the early going. At the Easter Bowl junior tourney in 1985, he bowed out in the first round. Other players attacked his weakened backhand, and Pete pleaded with his coach to switch back.

Fischer refused. Over time, Sampras mastered the stroke and soon was able to knock backhand winners down the line. The backhand became a weapon.

"I accepted that it was a shot I was going to hit forever," he said in "Pete Sampras" by Calvin Craig Miller. "The older and stronger I got, the better the shot became."

Sampras also learned from Fischer the art of concealing his intentions with the serve. Sampras would toss the ball, and Fischer would call the serve -- flat or topspin. Whether he was going to serve the ball wide or down the T, Sampras learned to do so with the same serving motion.

It may seem hard to imagine, but Sampras started out as a baseliner. He took Fischer's advice to attack the net and take advantage of his blasting serve, speed and long reach.

When Pete was 18, his nine-year relationship with Fischer ended over a spat with Sampras' family regarding coaching compensation and goal-setting.

Sampras continued to search for good coaches and learn as much as he could. Tim Gullikson gave him valuable training against left-handed opponents. He taught the high school dropout how to build points one shot at a time.

Gullikson also "helped me to grow up, compete, focus, learn to play on grass. I owe so much to him," Sampras said in a Bud Collins column.

With trainer Etcheberry, Sampras achieved supreme fitness. Under the coach's eye, Sampras worked out six days a week, doing stomach crunches and 500-pound leg presses and throwing a medicine ball around the room.

When Sampras asked him to ease up on the leg-press weight, Etcheberry would add another plate. The coach called it "inflation."

Sampras, now 35, paid attention to the details. In a 1994 interview with Tennis magazine, he said he could sleep for 11 hours if he wanted, but only if he did the following: cover the cable TV set-top box light, cover the alarm clock light, crank the thermostat down to as chilly as an icebox and use perfectly smooth sheets.

"I'm a world-class sleeper," he said. "I'm obsessed."

07-03-2007, 10:27 PM,,2112929,00.html

07-06-2007, 03:49 PM
Sampras will serve, volley in Dallas

02:02 AM CDT on Friday, July 6, 2007

Chip Brown

When Pete Sampras wasn't taking his 4-year-old son, Christian, and 2-year-old son, Ryan, out to the putting green or swimming pool in the back yard of his Los Angeles home this week, he was sneaking peeks at Wimbledon on his big-screen, high-definition television.

It became a little too clear to the all-time record holder for Grand Slam titles (14) that an important part of the game on grass – the serve and volley – was dying. He wondered what damage his unreadable serve and will-stealing volleys could do at age 35 on Centre Court, where he was dubbed king and won a record-tying seven singles titles.

"It makes me sad to see not one guy serve and volley," Sampras said. "I'm curious to see what I could do at Wimbledon with my game. I know I can still serve the way I used to."

Sampras, however, cut down the notion of a grass-court return in 2008 with the conviction of those jump overheads he hammered during a career that included 64 singles titles and nearly $44 million in prize money.

"It's just a curiosity," he said. "I'm not coming back."

Sampras will leave his perfect exit from competitive tennis – a 2002 U.S. Open final victory over Andre Agassi – intact. But he will be in the Dallas area on Sept. 22 for the FedEx Tennis Shootout presented by Lexus. Sampras will take on Robby Ginepri at the Deja Blue Arena at the Dr Pepper StarCenter in Frisco. Tickets go on sale today.

"The last time I played in Dallas, against Andy Roddick, we had a sold-out event with great tennis fans," Sampras said. "Dallas is one of America's great tennis cities."

Sampras barely touched a racket the first three years of his retirement, but he's having fun playing again. Sampras even had Roger Federer come to his house for two days in March before Federer played at Indian Wells. There were intense practice sessions and relaxed conversations on the patio.

"Roger's a great guy, really funny," said Sampras, who will play Federer in three exhibition matches in Asia in November. "I feel like he and I are cut from the same cloth. Both pretty humble and let our rackets do most of the talking. If there's a person I'd like to see break my record, it's Roger. He handles himself and the game with class."

Pete Sampras will be inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame on July 12 in Newport, R.I. After their time together, Federer lost in the first round at Indian Wells. Sampras sent him a text message saying he hoped it wasn't Sampras' fault.

Federer, who has 10 Grand Slam titles, is closing in on his record-tying fifth straight Wimbledon championship at the rain-ravaged All England Club. Sampras believes Federer, at the age of 25, could win as many majors as Jack Nicklaus won in golf – 18.

"The window is shorter for a tennis player than a golfer," said Sampras, a 4 handicap on the links. "But Roger is still head and shoulders above everyone else."

Sampras believes he's, without a doubt, still one of the five best players in the world on grass. But when Sampras is inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame on July 12 in Newport, R.I., he will be at peace with his career.

It took him a while to get there. He said his lowest moment came at Wimbledon in 2002, when he lost on Court 2 in the second round to 145th-ranked George Bastl, a clay-court specialist from Switzerland.

Sampras was mocked by the press for reading notes of encouragement during that match from his wife, actress Bridgette Wilson-Sampras. It had been two years since he broke Roy Emerson's record of 12 Grand Slam titles.

"I was lost," Sampras said.

After reconnecting with former coach Paul Annacone, Sampras gave the sports world one last magic act two months later at the U.S. Open. He joined Michael Jordan and John Elway as Hall of Fame athletes who ended their playing careers with a championship trophy in their hands, taking down his friend and rival Agassi in a memorable, four-set final.

Because of rain, Sampras, then 31, had to win five matches in seven days, including a quarterfinal victory over Roddick.

"That was so special to go out that way," Sampras said. "Especially looking at where I came from. I was basically on death watch."

Sampras went through an eight-month funk while contemplating whether to play Wimbledon one last time. He said he struggled to bond with Christian, who was born two months after Sampras' U.S. Open victory, because he was having trouble letting tennis go.

In the weeks leading up to Wimbledon in 2003, Sampras went out to practice one day and realized, "I didn't have anything left to prove." He officially announced his retirement at the U.S. Open in 2003 and put the rackets down for the next three years, becoming a full-time dad.

"My dad worked two jobs, so he didn't get to spend the time he wanted to with his kids," Sampras said. "I'm lucky that I get to spend so much time with my boys. I take Christian to lunch every Thursday before I have the guys over for poker night."

Sampras is a regular in World Team Tennis and plays a few events on the Outback Champions Tour, featuring tennis legends over 30. Now, however, he's thinking about coaching. He doesn't see himself going on the road with established pros, but rather getting involved in the United States Tennis Association's junior development program.

"I would like to help the USTA," Sampras said. "To what level, I'm not sure. But I think you have to teach serve and volley at a young age. And I would like to contribute in that area."

Sampras, like most tennis observers, thinks it may be a while before an American is once again atop the sport.

"I think Andy Roddick and James Blake are really good. I'm not sure they're great," said Sampras, who held the No. 1 ranking a record 286 weeks and was year-end No. 1 for a record six straight years (1993-98). "We need Andy to step up and win another major and challenge Roger for the No. 1 ranking."

For tennis to thrive as a sport, Sampras said the game needs rivalries. He noted tennis' TV ratings have always been highest when there were epic, on-court histories between players like John McEnroe, Bjorn Borg and Jimmy Connors or his own matches with Agassi and Jim Courier

"People who weren't into tennis tuned in for matches between me and Andre," Sampras said. "Right now, we have Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, but no Americans. The most compelling story line may be Roger and his challenge to break my records."

Over the next week, Sampras will put together a thoughtful acceptance speech for his Hall of Fame induction. He is a tennis historian who has studied the careers of former greats such as Roy Emerson, Rod Laver and Lew Hoad and is excited to take his place with them.

"It's a time of reflection and overwhelming emotion because my wife, boys and family members will all be there," Sampras said. "But I've got to be honest, I felt like the chances were pretty good that I would get in."


Presented by Lexus

WHO: Pete Sampras vs. Robby Ginepri

WHEN: Saturday, Sept. 22 at 7 p.m.

WHERE: Deja Blue Arena at the Dr Pepper StarCenter in Frisco

TICKETS: On sale today for $28.50, $47.50 and $77.50 through or by calling 214-GO-STARS (214-467-8277).

NOTABLE: Ginepri defeated Andy Roddick and Taylor Dent to win the U.S. Open Series in Indianapolis in 2006. He reached the U.S. Open semifinals in 2005 and holds two career singles titles. ... In addition to the Sampras-Ginepri singles match, the Shootout Series also features local players in an innovative tiebreak format. ... The sponsors of the Shootout Series include FedEx, Your Dallas-Ft. Worth Lexus Dealer, Golfsmith, Wilson Sporting Goods and the Tennis Channel.

07-07-2007, 09:10 PM

Sampras Coming to Dallas

6/26/07 7:31 PM


Tickets Available to the Public Starting July 6th

One of the greatest tennis players of all time, “Pistol” Pete Sampras, and ATP Tour star Robby Ginepri will headline the FedEx Tennis Shootout Series Presented by Lexus on Saturday, September 22 at 7 p.m. in the Deja Blue Arena at the Dr. Pepper StarCenter in Frisco (2601 Avenue of the Stars).

Sampras retired from the ATP Tour following his dramatic U.S. OPEN victory over longtime rival Andre Agassi in 2002. His resume boasts 14 grand slam titles, including seven Wimbledon titles, and he was ranked World No. 1 for six consecutive years from 1993-1998.

Sampras is still on top of his game and is excited about the opportunity to return to Dallas. Sampras says, “I look forward to returning to Texas to play in the 3rd Annual FedEx Tennis Shootout. Last time I played in Dallas, against Andy Roddick, we had a sold-out event with great tennis fans. Dallas is one of America’s great tennis cities. I know Robby looks forward to teeing it up in September.” Ginepri defeated Sampras in April of 2006 in Houston as part of the River Oaks International Championship, and Sampras returned the favor by defeating Ginepri at the FedEx Shootout in Atlanta last December.

Robby Ginepri staked his claim as one of the top players in the world last year when he defeated Andy Roddick and Taylor Dent to win the USOPEN Series in Indianapolis. In 2005, Ginepri reached the semifinals of the USOPEN. He currently holds two career singles titles.

In addition to the Sampras and Ginepri men’s singles match, the FedEx All-American Tennis Shootout Series also features local players in an innovative tiebreak shootout format. The format highlights the skills of local club pros, wheelchair athletes and local college players. A portion of ticket sales will benefit the Maureen Connolly Brinker Tennis Foundation (MCB), the National Junior Tennis League (NJTL) and the Arthur Ashe Legacy Program. The sponsors of the Shootout Series include FedEx, Lexus, Golfsmith, Wilson Sporting Goods and the Tennis Channel.

“This will be an amazing night of world class tennis and family entertainment,” says Tim Stallard, President of ProLink Sports & Entertainment. “I know that Pete and Robby are excited to come to Dallas and provide tennis fans with the best in men’s tennis.”

Tickets are available on-line starting July 6th through or by calling 214-GO-STARS (214) 467-8277. Ticket prices are $28.50, $47.50 and $77.50.

07-11-2007, 05:05 PM
Pete is playing an exhibition at the Kennedy Funding Invitational the day after he gets inducted into the Hall of Fame. Here is a link to the article:

07-11-2007, 08:50 PM
:lol: Sampras and Justin playing on clay. It's definitely fun for them. ;)

07-11-2007, 09:48 PM
Alumni Legends Cup: Sampras to join the fun at Tiburon Peninsula Club

Dave Albee
Article Launched: 07/10/2007 07:19:31 PM PDT

Pete Sampras plans to play exhibition matches against Wimbledon champion Roger Federer in Asia in November.

He'll tune up for it in Marin this September. Sampras will play a fund-raising exhibition match on Sept. 9 at the Tiburon Peninsula Club as part of the inaugural Alumni Legends Cup, a team competition between Pac-10 schools Cal, Stanford, USC and UCLA. Past and present players from those schools in five age groups will battle in Cup play, which will be held in Tiburon for matches on Sept. 7-9, with the Sampras match scheduled for 6 p.m. that Sunday.

The team captains for the event are Paul Goldstein (Stanford), Steve Devries (Cal), Justin Gimelstob (UCLA) and Rick Leach (USC).

Sampras has been retired from professional tennis since 2002 after he won a record 14 Grand Slam titles, including Wimbledon seven times. Federer last week won his fifth consecutive Wimbledon singles title and now has 11 Grand Slam championships in hot pursuit of Sampras' record.

"He (Sampras) is going to probably be playing as well as he can when he gets here," said Steve Jackson, tennis director at the Tiburon Peninsula Club.

Sampras started playing World Team Tennis last year but was not pleased with his play and conditioning. Gimelstob,

a friend, was hanging out playing tennis and basketball with Sampras when he suggested the all-time Grand Slam-winning record holder ought to try playing an exhibition in the Alumni Legends Cup, which is being organized by Jackson and Mill Valley's Brandon Coupe, who coaches Gimelstob.

"The e-mails going back between former players is fantastic," Jackson said. "There's all these guys coming out of the woodwork who wants to play."

Players and matches will not be finalized until later this summer, but the fact that Sampras has committed to the event helps the cause for the Tiburon Peninsula Club to host another USTA satellite challenger tournament in the future.

To purchase tickets for the Alumni Legends Cup or for more information about the event, log onto or contact Jackson at 713-6984.

Contact Dave Albee by e-mail at

07-11-2007, 09:55 PM

By Frank Malley, PA Chief Sports Writer

Venus Williams served so hard to win her fourth Wimbledon singles title that opponent Marion Bartoli was left nursing a painful wrist.

The Williams power was epitomised by the winning shot, a 126mph unreturnable serve straight into the midriff of the 22-year-old Frenchwoman.

And Williams later revealed that Pete Sampras was the inspiration behind it all.

Venus and sister Serena studied tapes of Sampras in his prime when he was recognised as the world's most consistent server. And as they practised in Compton, California, they vowed that they would dominate the women's game as he did the men's.

After Venus had beaten Bartoli 6-4 6-1 in a final which was more hard-fought than the scoreline suggests and paraded her fourth Venus Rosewater Dish around the Centre Court she said: "Serena and I were inspired by anything and everything and we always tried to have something to be an example to us.

"We would always say we needed to hold serve the way he (Sampras) did. Look, he didn't lose serve all summer. C'mon why are we losing serve?

"We would pump each other up, do whatever it took to get to the next level. For a few years when he was playing obviously we would try to study it."

The power Williams generated was all the more remarkable considering she had months out of the game with a damaged wrist last year and had struggled in the first half of this year to regain the form which once made her the most intimidating player on the women's tour.

She had even struggled in her earlier matches at this Wimbledon.

But as Bartoli, the shock finalist after beating Justine Henin in the semi-final, said: "She served 120 miles on first serve. Sometimes it was hurting my wrist so bad because the ball was coming so fast to me.

"It was a little tight because when you receive a ball at 120 miles you get some shock into the wrist which I'm not used to because I don't play against girls every day hitting the balls like this."

That's because, other than Serena, no other woman comes close to Venus' power on a regular basis.

The intriguing question now is whether Williams, who joined the four-times Wimbledon champion club inhabited by Martina Navratilova, Steffi Graf and Billie-Jean King in the Open era, can go on to win more Wimbledons and more Grand Slams.

At 27 she is young enough given health and fitness and the desire and concentration which has sometimes been lacking in the Williams sisters.

At times they have appeared to get bored with tennis and been unwilling to do the hard yards required of a champion, preferring instead to pursue other challenges such as acting and fashion.

Venus, however, insisted that possessing more Wimbledon titles than Serena, who has three, will act as an incentive for them both.

"It's not necessarily a competition," said Venus. "But we do motivate each other to get more. When she sees me win here she's just going to go for it.

"When I saw her win in Australia I knew I could do it. We inspire each other like that."

As it was Venus saved her best tennis for the final, her telescopic arms and legs allowing her to get to the punishing groundstrokes of an opponent who battled for every ball.

The first set might have gone either way until Williams pulled out a brilliant 10th game and one sublime backhand drive volley.

The second was Williams dominated, before and after the bizarre 11-minute medical time-out at 3-0, during which both players had treatment from the trainer, Williams for a strained adductor muscle and Bartoli for blisters.

When they returned it was routine for Williams who received a generous tribute from her opponent.

"When she plays like this on grass it's not possible to beat her," said Bartoli. "She's just too good."

07-12-2007, 08:54 PM
U.S. men lose aura in tennis

Raleigh News & Observer
Thursday, July 12, 2007

At 35, Pete Sampras can still play a little bit. John McEnroe, at 48, still draws a crowd.

Those two legends will face off in an exhibition in Raleigh, N.C. on July 21, but it might as well be a funeral for American tennis, at least as far as the male gender is concerned.

Those two, both retired, can sell more tickets than any of the male Americans on tour now.

Sampras and McEnroe held No. 1 rankings during their careers, but now there are only two Americans in the top 10 and four in the top 50.

Both were part of some of tennis' greatest rivalries _ Sampras and Andre Agassi, McEnroe and Jimmy Connors, Americans all -- but men's tennis today is dominated by a Swiss and a Spaniard, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.

Sampras was the leader of one of the greatest generations of American tennis. It wasn't just him and Agassi, but Michael Chang and Jim Courier, too, winning 28 slams among them. (Sampras won a record 14 of them.)

"It goes in cycles," Sampras said in a telephone interview earlier this week. "I remember when I was coming up, everyone was saying, 'What's wrong with American tennis?' It really does kind of come and go. Unfortunately, we just got done with one of the best American eras ever.

"We all hit No. 1. We won over 20 majors. It was a pretty unique pool of guys. Now, even though American fans and the media expect that to happen every 10 years, it may not happen again."

Sampras, who will be inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame this weekend in Newport, R.I., will play two other exhibitions against McEnroe _ in Charlottesville, Va., and Little Rock, Ark. -- while he is on the East Coast. (He normally stays on the West Coast with his wife, actress Bridgette Wilson.)

He caught the fifth set of Federer's win over Nadal at Wimbledon last weekend, Federer's 11th grand-slam title, and marveled at the way he bounced back in the fifth after crumbling in the fourth set.

Sampras, who lost to Federer in their only meeting, has no doubt Federer will win more than 14 majors, but he doesn't think the Federer-Nadal rivalry measures up to what he and Agassi had.

Their battle spanned 34 matches (Sampras won 20, going 4-1 in their grand-slam finals) over 13 years, culminating in Sampras' win at the 2002 U.S. Open, a match that amounted to a four-set farewell tour for the rivalry.

They provided a classic contrast in styles, the flamboyant Agassi banging out shots from the baseline and the clean-cut Sampras pounding near-unhittable serves and following them to the net.

"Andre and I brought a little more contrast, in our personalities and the way we looked," Sampras said. "That rivalry might have been juicier to the media. We were both very intriguing, both Americans. It transcended the sport, and that really is hard to do in the United States with so much competition."

It's not just hard but almost impossible to do without an American involved, as good as Federer and Nadal may be.

Things aren't much better among the women. While Venus and Serena Williams have resurrected their careers with wins at Wimbledon and the Australian Open, respectively, they're the only American women in the top 40.

There are only three American men in the top 40. Andy Roddick, ranked fourth in the world, has one major title. James Blake, ranked ninth, has none. Meanwhile, McEnroe half-joked earlier this summer that Sampras would be a top-five seed at Wimbledon if he came out of retirement.

"Andy's close, but he's not quite there," Sampras said. "The guys (Federer and Nadal) are getting better and they're a little younger. Andy's going to have to get it going. The next few years are pretty key. James, too. When you're 25 or 26, it's a pivotal time. And after James and Andy, there's not much out there."

(Contact Luke DeCock at

07-16-2007, 06:52 AM
Sampras makes appearance in New City
(Original Publication: July 16, 2007)

NEW CITY - He might have just been inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame, but yesterday Pete Sampras could have passed for a USTA player just trying to finish a match.

The rain came down on the clay courts of Dellwood Country Club, but Sampras continued his exhibition match with Justin Gimelstob, even as spectators fled the stands to find shelter.

"A Hall of Famer playing in the rain!" shouted Gimelstob, as the remaining crowd voiced its approval.

The downpour eventually became too much, and play was stopped after Gimelstob won the first set 6-1 and Sampras was leading the second set 4-1. While the match was brief - 45 minutes, including a 10-minute stoppage for an earlier shower - more than $100,000 was raised for charity, and local tennis fans got a chance to see a legend.

"It was just nice to see him play since he retired," said Steve Kastens of Suffern, one of 980 ticketholders. "I know it's not his favorite surface (clay). He had to work out the cobwebs in the first set, and in the second set he began hitting the ball beautifully."

Sampras came to New City to play an exhibition match against Gimelstob, his hitting partner in Los Angeles, as part of the Kennedy Funding Invitational tennis tournament. Tickets were sold at $100 for the event, with the proceeds going to the Breast Care Centers at Englewood (N.J.) and Nyack hospitals. Organizers continued the fundraising efforts right to the end - while the players were warming up, tournament co-director Mitch Klein auctioned off a picture with Sampras ($2,600) and Gimelstob's racket ($900).

Combined with the money raised during the men's and women's tournaments, more than $500,000 will be given to the two hospitals.

"I'm happy to be a part of it. I'm happy to help," said Sampras, who is on the board of the Revlon/UCLA Breast Center and has lost two aunts to the disease. "Breast cancer is something that's been a part of my family. It's a tough disease, and I'm just happy to help out a little bit and play a little tennis."

His appearance capped an event that drew six players ranked in the top 100 and issued $250,000 in prize money over the past five days.

"This was way past my wildest dreams," co-director James Miller said. "From a charity contribution, the tennis tournament, everything. The amazing thing is, at all times people just keep saying what can't be done, and I've never let it stop me. I am beyond blown away right now."

After playing a set against Todd Martin for a Hall of Fame exhibition in Newport, R.I., yesterday morning, Sampras flew into Westchester County Airport and Gimelstob picked him up and drove him to Dellwood. Only in the locker room before the match did he find out he would be competing on clay.

"He beat me on every other surface. He should have a chance to do it on clay," said Gimelstob, who lived up to his billing as the most quotable person on tour with his frequent dialogue during the match.

Sampras said it was the first time in his career that he had played on two surfaces in one day, and he didn't look comfortable until the end. In the first game of the second set, Sampras started out with two double faults, then hit two aces, then double-faulted again before finally winning the game with an ace.

Sampras has played events for World TeamTennis and Jim Courier's senior tour and will face Roger Federer in an exhibition November in Hong Kong, leading to speculation he is planning a comeback.

"When I was ready to retire, it was emotional. I had nothing left in my heart to keep going," said Sampras, who didn't play for three years after his retirement. "After that decompression, I missed the sport a little bit. I feel like I was getting a bit restless just playing golf and staying home a lot. I decided to really open myself up and play more exhibitions. That's what I'm looking for - nothing stressful. I can dictate my schedule, where before tennis really dictated my life. It's a good place to be."

And for the first time, that place happened to be Rockland County.

"I'm a dreamer, always have been, and this is my dream," Miller said. "What we had today is what I've been dreaming about for the past five years."

Reach Harold Gutmann at or 845-578-2465.

08-26-2007, 12:30 AM
Pete Sampras to play Sam Querrey in exhibition

Pete Sampras has agreed to play Sam Querrey as the feature event in a weekend fundraiser September 7-9, 2007, at the Tiburon Peninsula Club (TPC), 1600 Mar West Street in Tiburon, California (just outside of San Francisco).

Also part of the weekend is an unusual make-up of an all-star lineup of former Pacific 10 Conference tennis stars in the first-ever Hennessy Funds Alumni Legends Cup, starring tennis greats Roscoe Tanner, Justin Gimelstob, Rick Leach, Paul Goldstein, Steve Devries among others to compete along with fellow Pac-10 alumni from UCLA, USC, California and Stanford, the Alumni Legends Cup will extend the intensity these historic matches produced throughout the years, in a unique multi-generational format.

Twenty (20) alumni players have been selected to represent their specific generation for their alma mater. Former collegiate and professional superstars such as Justin Gimelstob, captain of the UCLA team, Rick Leach, captain of the USC team, Paul Goldstein (captain of the Stanford team and Steve Devries (captain of the Cal team are among the Pac 10 legends participating in the tournament.

A portion of the proceeds from the tournament will go to the men’s tennis programs at Cal, Stanford, UCLA and USC, as well as Athletes for Life, a non-profit organization providing guidance and leadership programs to young athletes throughout California since 1989.

Information at

08-29-2007, 11:53 PM
August 28th, 2007

US Open Notes: Sampras to Play ATP?

by Richard Vach

SAMPRAS ANNOUNCEMENT — Pete Sampras will hold a teleconference Thursday in regard to playing the Hennessey Funds Alumni Legends Cup exhibition Sept. 7-9, with organizers throwing out a tantalizing “Amidst rumors of a potential return to professional tennis.” Sampras will face Sam Querrey, while Roscoe Tanner, Justin Gimelstob, Rick Leach, Paul Goldstein, and Steve Devries compete along with fellow Pac-10 alumni at the Tiburon Peninsula Club in Santa Rosa, Calif. A portion of the proceeds from the event will go to the men’s tennis programs at Cal, Stanford, UCLA and USC, as well as Athletes for Life, a non-profit organization providing guidance and leadership programs to young athletes throughout California. With John Isner in the news as a collegiate player to make a successful transition to the pro tour, Steve Jackson, one of the Hennessy Funds Alumni Legends Cup three founders, said “This event is very special because it will serve as a showcase for the student-athlete and what these athletes can achieve both on and off the court.”

09-04-2007, 02:24 AM
Not bouncing back

By John Ryan
Mercury News
Article Launched: 08/31/2007 01:44:19 AM PDT

This week, at the U.S. Open, he's The Man Who Wasn't There. Next weekend, at the Tiburon Peninsula Club, he'll be The Man Who Isn't Coming Back.

Pete Sampras, 36 years old and retired since 2002, will play his latest exhibition match against up-and-coming Sam Querrey. While it should quench his competitive thirst more than hit-and-giggle events with Jim Courier and Justin Gimelstob, it is not the beginning of the end of his retirement.

Not. Not. Got that? Not.

"To come back with the intensity to come out of retirement is not going to happen," Sampras said Thursday, in another effort to quell persistent chatter.

Sampras will face Querrey on Sept. 9 to end the three-day Hennessy Funds Alumni Legends Cup, a new event that features former players from Stanford, Cal, UCLA and USC and benefits each program. (For info and tickets, visit Sampras agreed that playing Querrey - 19, 6-foot-6 and ranked 48th in the world - "is different" from previous ceremonial engagements.

"It's just kind of a matter of holding my own and seeing what I can do against these guys," he said.. "I've held my own for the most part, but I'm not like I used to be."

That sounds like a man more interested in Family (he and actress Bridgette Wilson Sampras have two boys) than Federer.

John Ryan at or (408) 920-5266.

09-07-2007, 04:45 PM
Marin briefs: Sampras set for Tiburon exhibition
Staff Report
Article Launched: 09/06/2007 08:33:42 PM PDT

IJ report

If tennis fans are not encouraged by the future of American men's tennis, they'll have a chance to remember how good the past was this weekend when the Tiburon Peninsula Club plays host to record 14-time Grand Slam singles champion Pete Sampras and former All-American tennis players from Cal, Stanford, USC and UCLA in the first Hennessy Funds Alumni Legends Cup.

Sampras, who has never played a competitive tennis match in the Bay Area north of the Golden Gate Bridge, will battle Santa Rosa native Sam Querrey in an exhibition match at the intimate 2,500-seat Tiburon tennis facility, beginning at 3 p.m. on Sunday.

The weekend event begins on Friday at 4 p.m. with pro/am matches. Gates open on Saturday and Sunday at 9:30 a.m. On Saturday, UCLA, captained by Justin Gimelstob (who is scheduled to appear as a U.S. Open correspondent for NBC's "Tonight Show" on Friday with Jay Leno), will oppose USC, led by team captain Rick Leach, in a dual match at 10:30 a.m. Stanford and its captains, Paul Goldstein and Roscoe Tanner, will meet Cal, captained by Steve Devries, at 2 p.m. following the UCLA-USC match.

On Sunday, the winners will advance to the Alumni Cup finals, scheduled to start at 10:30 a.m.

"I'm excited about

the Alumni Cup. It's a great idea," said Sampras, who will play Roger Federer in three exhibition matches in Asia following his appearance in Tiburon. "I like the college format of the tournament."
To purchase tickets or for more information, log onto or call TPC tennis director Steve Jackson at 713-6984. The TPC is located at 1600 Mar West Street.

- The Marin Tennis Open League is hosting Alumni Cup Kids Day on Saturday at the Tiburon Peninsula Club lower courts. From 9-11 a.m., kids can meet the players, play games, win prizes, run an obstacle course and listen to music entertainment. Information, contact Carrie Zarraonandia at or 717-5431.

09-09-2007, 01:10 AM
2002 -- Pete Sampras beats Andre Agassi 6-3, 6-4, 5-7, 6-4 to win his 14th Grand Slam title and the U.S. Open for the fifth time. At 31, Sampras is the Open's oldest champion since 1970

Greg-Pete fan
09-28-2007, 08:04 PM
Two photos of Bridgette from September 2007 :)

09-29-2007, 01:39 AM
Two photos of Bridgette from September 2007 :)

Thanks for photos.:angel: :angel:

Greg-Pete fan
10-05-2007, 07:29 AM
A short mention about Pete's son - Christian - enjoying tennis

From The George Street Observer - College of Charleston, SC

September 27, 2007

"My five-year-old is loving tennis and having a great time with it, but he doesn't listen to me really," Pete Sampras said. "I'm telling him a few things with his technique and he wants me to go away, and I think that is a sign of things to come."