Pete's Play WTT 2007. [Archive] - MensTennisForums.com

Pete's Play WTT 2007.

angiel
02-05-2007, 09:23 PM
WTT announces 2007 Pro League schedule
02/05/07 - World TeamTennis (WTT)


NEW YORK, N.Y. (February 5, 2007) --- The regular season schedule for the 2007 World TeamTennis Pro League presented by Advanta was released today and features appearances from some of the top names in tennis, including Venus Williams, Pete Sampras, John McEnroe, Anna Kournikova, Nicole Vaidisova and the Bryan Brothers. The 2007 WTT schedule includes 77 matches in 11 markets beginning July 5 and running through July 25.

The top two teams in both the Eastern and Western Conferences will advance to the season- ending WTT Championship Weekend, set for July 27-29, in Roseville, Calif.

Five teams exercised their option to protect returning marquee players for their 2007 lineups. Venus Williams returns to the defending WTT Champions, the Philadelphia Freedoms, and the Newport Beach Breakers, who lost to the Freedoms in the 2006 WTT Finals, are bringing back tennis legend Pete Sampras.

John McEnroe returns to the New York Sportimes for his seventh WTT season and the world's top-ranked doubles team and 2007 Australian Open doubles champions, Mike and Bob Bryan, will be back on the multi-colored WTT courts this summer for the Kansas City Explorers. The Sacramento Capitals protected both of their marquee players, two-time Grand Slam doubles champion Anna Kournikova and world No. 9 Nicole Vaidisova, who recently advanced to the singles semifinals at the Australian Open.

Team lineups will be completed on March 27 when WTT holds their annual player draft in Miami.

2007 Schedule - World TeamTennis Pro League presented by Advanta

7.5.2007 Delaware Smash @ New York Sportimes
New York Buzz @ Philadelphia Freedoms
Springfield Lasers @ Sacramento Capitals Featuring Anna Kournikova
St Louis Aces @ Houston Wranglers

7.6.2007 Philadelphia Freedoms @ Delaware Smash
Houston Wranglers @ Kansas City Explorers
Sacramento Capitals @ Newport Beach Breakers Featuring Anna Kournikova
St Louis Aces @ Boston Lobsters

7.7.2007 Boston Lobsters @ Philadelphia Freedoms
Houston Wranglers @ St Louis Aces
Springfield Lasers @ Newport Beach Breakers

7.8.2007 New York Sportimes @ Boston Lobsters
Delaware Smash @ New York Buzz
Sacramento Capitals @ Houston Wranglers Featuring Anna Kournikova
Newport Beach Breakers @ Kansas City Explorers

7.9.2007 New York Buzz @ St Louis Aces

7.10.2007 Kansas City Explorers @ New York Sportimes Featuring the Bryan Brothers
Delaware Smash @ Philadelphia Freedoms
St Louis Aces @ Houston Wranglers
New York Buzz @ Springfield Lasers
Sacramento Capitals @ Newport Beach Breakers Featuring Pete Sampras

7.11.2007 Boston Lobsters @ New York Buzz
Springfield Lasers @ New York Sportimes
Kansas City Explorers @ Delaware Smash Featuring the Bryan Brothers
Houston Wranglers @ Sacramento Capitals

7.12.2007 New York Sportimes @ Boston Lobsters
Philadelphia Freedoms @ Delaware Smash
Newport Beach Breakers @ Springfield Lasers

7.13.2007 Delaware Smash @ Boston Lobsters
Newport Beach Breakers @ Houston Wranglers
Philadelphia Freedoms @ New York Buzz
Kansas City Explorers @ St Louis Aces Featuring the Bryan Brothers

7.14.2007 New York Buzz @ New York Sportimes
Boston Lobsters @ Philadelphia Freedoms
Springfield Lasers @ Delaware Smash
Houston Wranglers @ Kansas City Explorers Featuring the Bryan Brothers
St Louis Aces @ Sacramento Capitals

7.15.2007 Kansas City Explorers @ Springfield Lasers
St Louis Aces @ Newport Beach Breakers

7.16.2007 Houston Wranglers @ Boston Lobsters
Sacramento Capitals @ New York Buzz
New York Sportimes @ Philadelphia Freedoms Featuring John McEnroe
Kansas City Explorers @ Newport Beach Breakers

7.17.2007 Philadelphia Freedoms @ New York Sportimes Featuring Venus Williams
New York Buzz @ Delaware Smash
Springfield Lasers @ Houston Wranglers
Sacramento Capitals @ St Louis Aces

7.18.2007 Philadelphia Freedoms @ Boston Lobsters Featuring Venus Williams
Newport Beach Breakers @ New York Buzz Featuring Pete Sampras
New York Sportimes @ Delaware Smash Featuring John McEnroe
St Louis Aces @ Springfield Lasers
Kansas City Explorers @ Sacramento Capitals

7.19.2007 Boston Lobsters @ New York Sportimes Featuring John McEnroe
Newport Beach Breakers @ Philadelphia Freedoms Featuring Pete Sampras
Springfield Lasers @ Kansas City Explorers

7.20.2007 Houston Wranglers @ Philadelphia Freedoms Featuring Venus Williams
Springfield Lasers @ St Louis Aces
Delaware Smash @ Sacramento Capitals

7.21.2007 New York Buzz @ New York Sportimes
Delaware Smash @ Houston Wranglers
Boston Lobsters @ Springfield Lasers
St Louis Aces @ Kansas City Explorers
Newport Beach Breakers @ Sacramento Capitals Featuring Nicole Vaidsova

7.22.2007 New York Sportimes @ New York Buzz
Boston Lobsters @ Kansas City Explorers
Philadelphia Freedoms @ Newport Beach Breakers Featuring Venus Williams

7.23.2007 Boston Lobsters @ Delaware Smash
Houston Wranglers @ Springfield Lasers
New York Sportimes @ St Louis Aces
Philadelphia Freedoms @ Sacramento Capitals

7.24.2007 New York Buzz @ Boston Lobsters
Kansas City Explorers @ Houston Wranglers
Sacramento Capitals @ Springfield Lasers
Newport Beach Breakers @ St Louis Aces Featuring Pete Sampras

7.25.2007 Sacramento Capitals @ Kansas City Explorers
Delaware Smash @ New York Buzz
New York Sportimes @ Newport Beach Breakers Featuring John McEnroe

7.29.2007 TBA WTT Finals

angiel
02-05-2007, 09:50 PM
This is a 2006 WTT photo.


http://www.philadelphiafreedoms.com/images/Pete%20Sampras%20Match%20097.jpg

angiel
02-05-2007, 11:24 PM
Sampras coming to Schenectady in July

By DAVID FILKINS, Staff writer

Last updated: 3:30 p.m., Monday, February 5, 2007

SCHENECTADY -- Former tennis great Pete Sampras will play World TeamTennis in Schenectady this summer, when the 14-time Grand Slam champion faces the New York Buzz as a member of the Newport Beach Breakers.

Buzz owner Nitty Singh made the announcement Monday, when the team released its schedule. The Buzz will play seven home matches at CDPHP Stadium in Central Park this July. Sampras and the Breakers are scheduled to play here July 18.

Singh said Sampras is the biggest name to come to Central Park in the 13 years WTT has been played there. Former marquee players to play in Schenectady include Venus and Serena Williams, Martina Hingis, Martina Navratilova, John McEnroe, Boris Becker, Anna Kournikova and Lindsay Davenport.

``Sampras is the greatest tennis player of all time,'' Singh said. ``He was No. 1 in the world six years in a row. Roger Federer is not even close. Sampras has 14 Grand Slam titles and Federer only has 10. By the time (Sampras) comes here, he will be in the Hall of Fame.''

Sampras, 35, retired in 2002 after winning the U.S. Open for the fifth time. He also won Wimbledon seven times and the Australian Open twice, for a record 14 Grand Slam titles. Sampras won 64 singles titles and is one of only two players to win events in his teens, 20s and 30s. He will be inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame on July 14.

Tickets for the Sampras match are on sale and can be purchased by calling 518-378-BUZZ. Unreserved seats are $39 and reserved seats are $49. For more information visit http://nybuzzwtt.com.

Greg-Pete fan
02-06-2007, 05:51 PM
Great news:worship: :) :D

angiel
02-06-2007, 09:50 PM
Great news:worship: :) :D


Yep, hope we got lots of photos this year.:worship: :angel: :D

angiel
02-06-2007, 10:32 PM
Posted on Tue, Feb. 06, 2007
McEnroe, Sampras on Freedoms' list

By Marc Narducci
Inquirer Staff Writer


The defending World Team Tennis champion Freedoms released their schedule yesterday, and among the visitors coming to their home site at Cabrini College will be Pete Sampras and John McEnroe.

In addition, Venus Williams will again play a limited schedule for the Freedoms, which includes one home match.

The Freedoms will play 14 matches, seven home and seven away, in the 11-team WTT. The season will again be played during a three-week period in July.

The top teams from the Eastern and Western Conferences will meet in the playoffs at the end of July.

While rosters for the WTT teams will be finalized March 27 with the draft in Miami, the teams announced their marquee players yesterday. Those are players such as Williams, McEnroe and Sampras who will compete in a limited number of selected matches.

All three tennis stars will be visiting at Cabrini in a week's span. McEnroe will visit July 16 with the New York Sportimes.

Sampras comes to Cabrini on July 19 with the Newport Beach Breakers. This will be the second consecutive year that Sampras has visited the Philadelphia area.

Williams will make her only home appearance July 20 against the Houston Wranglers.

Jeff Harrison, the vice president of league properties and general manager of the Freedoms, is optimistic that the team will also retain the services of Wayne's Lisa Raymond.

She has been a member of the Freedoms in five of the last six seasons, including both title teams, in 2001 and last year.

"We're hopping Lisa Raymond plays for the Freedoms again and will determine that if she signs for the draft on March 27," Harrison said.

The Freedoms will open their season at home July 5 against the New York Buzz.

All Freedoms home matches are 7 p.m. According to Harrison, not all WTT teams have finalized their starting times.

Freedoms Schedule

Philadelphia Freedoms' 2007 schedule, with home matches starting at 7 p.m. at Cabrini College in Radnor:

July 5, vs. New York Buzz

July 6, at Delaware

July 7, vs. Boston

July 10, vs. Delaware

July 12, at Delaware

July 13, at New York Buzz

July 14, vs. Boston

July 16, vs. NY Sportimes (with John McEnroe)

July 17, at NY Sportimes

July 18 at Boston

July 19, vs. Newport Beach (with Pete Sampras)

July 20, vs. Houston (Venus Williams will play for the Freedoms)

July 22, at Newport Beach

July 23, at Sacramento


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Contact staff writer Marc Narducci at 856-779-3225 or mnarducci@phillynews.com

angiel
02-06-2007, 10:36 PM
Sampras returning, years after invite
Tennis legend, 35, to play on July 18 in Central Park :D :)

By DAVID FILKINS, Staff writer

First published: Tuesday, February 6, 2007

SCHENECTADY -- Nearly 20 years ago, a little-known tennis player named Pete Sampras came to Central Park for the OTB Open. He was 16 and ranked No. 247 in the world.

As Sampras played on Court 6, tournament director Nitty Singh snapped photos of the skinny teen smacking the ball over the net with power and precision. Sampras later asked Singh why she wasn't taking pictures of anyone else.


"Because you're going to be No. 1 someday," Singh said.

Sampras reached the semifinals of the tournament before losing to No. 1 seed Tim Mayotte 6-2, 7-6 (5). Singh invited Sampras to dinner, but he declined because Indian food wasn't part of his diet. He did, however, say he would accept the offer if he reached the U.S. Open that summer.

One month later, Sampras made it to the U.S. Open and, as promised, took up Singh's offer. Over Indian cuisine, Singh asked Sampras if he would play in Schenectady the next summer. In reply, he rubbed his thumb against his middle and index fingers, indicating his appearance would cost Singh.

"You're an ungrateful wretch," Singh joked, and that talk ended.

Nearly 20 years later, Singh is getting her wish.

Sampras, now 35, the winner of a record 14 Grand Slam titles and arguably the greatest tennis player ever, will return to Schenectady on Wednesday, July 18 for a World TeamTennis match as a member of the Newport Beach Breakers.

Singh, owner of WTT's New York Buzz, made the announcement Monday during a news conference at City Hall. She also released the Buzz's schedule, which includes seven home matches in July at CDPHP Stadium in Central Park.

Singh said Sampras is the biggest name to come to Central Park in the 13 years WTT has been played there. Stars who have played in Schenectady include Venus and Serena Williams, Martina Hingis, Martina Navratilova, John McEnroe, Boris Becker, Anna Kournikova and Lindsay Davenport.

"Sampras is the greatest tennis player of all time," Singh said. "He was No. 1 in the world six years in a row. Roger Federer is not even close. Sampras has 14 Grand Slam titles, and Federer only has 10."

Singh also announced Sportime at Schenectady is sponsoring the Buzz in 2007. Sportime purchased the former Schenectady Racquet Club, which will be the Buzz's practice facility and will host matches when the weather is poor.

David Filkins can be reached at 454-5456 or by e-mail at dfilkins@timesunion.com.

angiel
02-07-2007, 08:26 PM
Another 2006 WTT photo.


:angel: :wavey: :D :)


http://static.flickr.com/73/210221901_948c769575.jpg

angiel
02-10-2007, 12:10 AM
Posted date: 2/9/2007

Newport Breakers to Play for Hoag

By Vita Reed

Orange County Business Journal Staff

The Newport Beach Breakers professional tennis team now has a cause to play for: Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian.

Under a recently struck pact, the team, co-owned by Billie Jean King, is set to give profits to the Hoag Hospital Foundation, the Newport Beach hospital's fund-raising arm.

The deal also calls for the foundation to manage the Breakers.

The Breakers’ matches are set to be played at a 2,200-seat, ocean-view stadium that will be erected at the Newport Beach Country Club.

The regular season runs July 5 to 25, with playoffs and championship finals running July 27 to 29.

Pete Sampras, who is the all-time Grand Slam winner in men’s tennis, is going to play for the Breakers during the 2007 season. John McEnroe, Venus Williams and Anna Kournikova are the other marquee players that will be featured during the season.

angiel
03-06-2007, 04:18 PM
2006 WTT photo.


http://www.nbcsports.com/2007/0129/939721_240X320.jpg

angiel
03-27-2007, 09:14 PM
World TeamTennis finalizes rosters at WTT Roster Player Draft
03/27/07 - World TeamTennis (WTT)

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


World TeamTennis franchises finalized their lineups today at the WTT Roster Player Draft in Miami, Fla., completing the player selection process that began last month when marquee player protections were announced. The Houston Wranglers protected their rights to American Jan-Michael Gambill with the opening pick in the WTT Player Draft.

Forty-four roster players representing 17 countries join previously announced marquee players including Venus Williams (Philadelphia Freedoms), Pete Sampras (Newport Beach Breakers), Anna Kournikova (Sacramento Capitals), John McEnroe (New York Sportimes) and Mike and Bob Bryan (Kansas City Explorers) to fill out the player list for the 2007 season.

The schedule for the WTT Pro League presented by Advanta includes 77 matches in 11 markets beginning July 5 and running through July 25. The top two teams in both the Eastern and Western Conferences will advance to the season-ending WTT Championship Weekend, set for July 27-29, in Roseville, Calif., home of the Sacramento Capitals.

The Player Draft was a mix of WTT veterans, tour champions and some new faces. There will certainly be a buzz around the Sacramento Capitals' third round pick since at age 14, Michelle Larcher de Brito, will be the youngest player in WTT history. Tour stars Maria Sharapova and Nicole Vaidisova were both 15 years old when they first played World TeamTennis.

The 2006 WTT MVPs, Angela Haynes and Daniel Nestor, return in 2007. The Delaware Smash protected their rights to Haynes in the second round. Haynes joins doubles standout Liezel Huber, Chris Haggard and Lester Cook on the 2007 Smash team.

The Philadelphia Freedoms look strong with a nearly identical lineup to their 2006 WTT Championship team. The Freedoms protected Nestor, world doubles No. 1 Lisa Raymond and Frederic Niemeyer and added Olga Savchuk to their squad.

Rik de Voest, the 2005 WTT Rookie of the Year, returns to the League as the first round pick of the New York Buzz.

Other first round picks included Nicole Pratt (Boston Lobsters), Jarmila Gajdosova (Kansas City Explorers), Jasmin Woehr (St. Louis Aces), Tamarine Tanasugarn (Springfield Lasers), Ashley Harkleroad (New York Sportimes), Elena Likhovtseva (Sacramento Capitals), and Ramon Delgado (Newport Beach Breakers).

For details on the complete draft results and the 2007 schedule, visit www.WTT.com.

WTT ROSTER PLAYER DRAFT

ROUND 1: 1. HOUSTON WRANGLERS: Jan Michael-Gambill (protection) 2. NEW YORK BUZZ: Rik de Voest 3. BOSTON LOBSTERS: Nicole Pratt (protection) 4. KANSAS CITY EXPLORERS: Jarmila Gajdosova 5. ST. LOUIS ACES: Jasmin Woehr 6. DELAWARE SMASH: Liezel Huber (protection) 7. SPRINGFIELD LASERS: Tamarine Tanasugarn 8. NEW YORK SPORTIMES: Ashley Harkleroad (protection) 9. SACRAMENTO CAPITALS: Elena Likhovtseva (protection) 10. NEWPORT BEACH BREAKERS: Ramon Delgado (protection) 11. PHILADELPHIA FREEDOMS: Lisa Raymond (protection)

ROUND 2: 1. HOUSTON WRANGLERS: Mashona Washington 2. NEW YORK BUZZ: Ashley Fisher 3. BOSTON LOBSTERS: Amir Hadad (protection) 4. KANSAS CITY EXPLORERS: Corina Morariu (protection) 5. ST. LOUIS ACES: Aleke Tsoubanos (protection) 6. DELAWARE SMASH: Angela Haynes (protection) 7. SPRINGFIELD LASERS: Martin Verkerk 8. NEW YORK SPORTIMES: Jesse Witten 9. SACRAMENTO CAPITALS: Mark Knowles (protection) 10. NEWPORT BEACH BREAKERS: Rick Leach (protection) 11. PHILADELPHIA FREEDOMS: Daniel Nestor (protection)

ROUND 3: 1. HOUSTON WRANGLERS: Bryanne Stewart (protection) 2. NEWPORT BEACH BREAKERS: Lauren Albanese# (moved up to 2nd pick in the 3rd round following a draft position trade with New York Buzz) 3. BOSTON LOBSTERS: Nikita Kryvonos 4. KANSAS CITY EXPLORERS: David Macpherson (protection) 5. ST. LOUIS ACES: Jonathan Erlich (protection) 6. DELAWARE SMASH: Chris Haggard 7. SPRINGFIELD LASERS: Glenn Weiner 8. NEW YORK SPORTIMES: Hana Sromova 9. SACRAMENTO CAPITALS: Michelle Larcher de Brito 10. NEW YORK BUZZ: Gabriela Navratilova # (traded draft positions with Newport Beach Breakers for financial considerations; selected G. Navratilova with the 10th pick in the 3rd round 11. PHILADELPHIA FREEDOMS: Frederic Niemeyer (protection)

ROUND 4: 1. HOUSTON WRANGLERS: Goran Dragicevic 2. NEW YORK BUZZ: Greta Arn 3. BOSTON LOBSTERS: Julie Ditty * (rights acquired via trade with New York Buzz) 4. KANSAS CITY EXPLORERS: Dusan Vemic 5. ST. LOUIS ACES: Andy Ram (protection) 6. DELAWARE SMASH: Lester Cook 7. SPRINGFIELD LASERS: Andreea Vanc 8. NEW YORK SPORTIMES: Mirko Pehar 9. SACRAMENTO CAPITALS: Sam Warburg (protection) 10. NEWPORT BEACH BREAKERS: Michaela Pastikova 11. PHILADELPHIA FREEDOMS: Olga Savchuk

Trades: * New York Buzz traded their rights to Julie Ditty to Boston for the Lobsters 4th round pick.

# New York Buzz traded their 3rd round selection position to Newport Beach for their 3rd round selection position and undisclosed financial considerations.

2007 WTT lineups

HOUSTON WRANGLERS: Jan-Michael Gambill, Mashona Washington, Bryanne Stewart, Goran Dragicevic. Coach: Thomas Blake

NEW YORK BUZZ: Rik de Voest, Ashley Fisher, Gabriela Navratilova, Greta Arn. Coach: Jolene Watanabe

BOSTON LOBSTERS: Nicole Pratt, Amir Hadad, Nikita Kryvonos, Julie Ditty. Coach: Anne Smith

KANSAS CITY EXPLORERS: Mike Bryan, Bob Bryan, Jarmila Gajdosova, Corina Morariu, David Macpherson, Dusan Vemic. Coach: TBD

ST. LOUIS ACES: Jasmin Woehr, Aleke Tsoubanos, Jonathan Erlich, Andy Ram. Coach: TBD

DELAWARE SMASH: Liezel Huber, Angela Haynes, Chris Haggard, Lester Cook. Coach: Mariaan de Swardt

SPRINGFIELD LASERS: Tamarine Tanasugarn, Martin Verkerk, Glenn Weiner, Andreea Vanc. Coach: TBD

NEW YORK SPORTIMES: John McEnroe, Ashley Harkleroad, Jesse Witten, Hana Sromova, Mirko Pehar. Coach: Chuck Adams

SACRAMENTO CAPITALS: Anna Kournikova, Elena Likhovtseva, Mark Knowles, Michelle Larcher de Brito, Sam Warburg. Coach: Wayne Bryan

NEWPORT BEACH BREAKERS: Pete Sampras, Ramon Delgado, Rick Leach, Lauren Albanese, Michaela Pastikova. Coach: TBD

PHILADELPHIA FREEDOMS: Venus Williams, Lisa Raymond, Daniel Nestor, Frederic Niemeyer, Olga Savchuk. Coach: Craig Kardon

angiel
03-30-2007, 04:53 PM
Kronemann to Coach Newport Beach WTT team


The Newport Beach Breakers, World TeamTennis Pro League presented by Advanta champion in 2004 and runner-up in 2006, announced that former ATP Tour and Breakers player Trevor Kronemann will coach the team this season in the hopes of leading the Breakers to their second consecutive trip to the World TeamTennis finals and their second WTT championship. Kronemann’s return home to Orange County has now come full circle.



“Trevor is the perfect fit to lead the Breakers this season, given his vast experience in World TeamTennis with the Breakers and on the ATP Tour, and his familiarity with the Orange County community,” Breakers executive director Jeff Purser said. “Trevor is a tremendous asset to the Breakers and will settle for nothing less than guiding the Breakers to the franchise’s second World TeamTennis title.”



Kronemann, 37, will have the opportunity to coach Pete Sampras – the all-time leading Grand Slam winner in men’s tennis – and Rick Leach, Lauren Albanese, Ramon Delgado and Michaela Pastikova, who were acquired in the WTT Player Draft March 27. Sampras’ only home appearance at Newport Beach Country Club will be Tuesday, July 10, when the Breakers host the Sacramento Capitals.



World TeamTennis shares a deep history with Kronemann, the 1990 WTT Rookie of the Year and two-time league MVP who played with WTT’s Newport Beach Dukes in 1993 and 1994. He guided the Dukes to the WTT finals in 1993, when he was named the Male Co-MVP with Jimmy Connors. In 2005, Kronemann was named to the World Team Tennis All-Star 30, a group of the best men's and women's players in the 30-year history of the WTT. He coached the Springfield Lasers for the previous seven seasons, leading the team to the Western Conference title in 2001.



“I have been involved with Team Tennis for the last 18 years as a player, coach, and TV commentator,” Kronemann said. “The last seven months have been about returning to my roots, being near my family. My best memories as a student and player revolve around the Newport Beach community. It is a homecoming that I have looked forward to on many fronts, and this is an opportunity to be involved with a great organization that has been a part of this community for a long time in both golf and tennis. One of the final strokes to the canvas gets to be painted with the two Masters, Pete Sampras and Rick Leach.”



Kronemann played on the ATP Tour from 1990-98, ranking as high as No. 19 on Tour. During his career, he won six ATP Tour doubles titles, was a finalist in five other championships, competed in all of tennis’ Grand Slams and served as vice president of the ATP Tour player council.



In addition to his new Breakers’ duties, Kronemann is in his first season as head coach of the men’s tennis team at UC Irvine, where he played and graduated in 1990. He returns to his alma mater after compiling a 64-65 record in five seasons at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo.



Kronemann was an All-American at UC Irvine in singles each of his four years and in doubles in 1989, when he reached the NCAA finals with partner Mike Briggs. He helped UC Irvine to four Big West Conference championships and won four conference singles titles. He finished his UCI career with a 127-63 singles record, the 1990 Big West Player of the Year award and the National ITA Van Nostrand Award, which goes to a promising collegiate player entering the professional circuit. In 1999, he was inducted into the UC Irvine Athletics Hall of Fame.



Kronemann lives in Mission Viejo with his wife, Melanie, daughters Anika, 7, and Nadia, 2, and son, Nikolas, six months.



“Everyday now I get to climb in my car and pursue the two goals that have eluded me for the last 20 years,” Kronemann said. “It is a canvas that has been in the works since leaving the Newport area in 2000. The goals were to be a NCAA champion and to become a professional tennis player. The Newport Beach area allowed all of the tools for this to happen. Having been lucky enough to play as a professional and serve for a NCAA national title and a WTT title, I get to chase both of these goals with the organizations that made me into a player.”



Newport Beach-based Hoag Hospital Foundation has contracted to manage the Breakers in 2007. Profits from the team’s operations for the season will go towards Hoag Hospital, the Breakers’ primary benefactor. Hoag’s expert involvement with professional sports also extends to its organization of the PGA Champions Tour’s Toshiba Classic in March.



For tickets, sponsorship and more information on the Newport Beach Breakers, visit www.NewportBeachBreakers.com or call 949-916-6682.



The Breakers’ tennis stadium (seating capacity 2,200) will be erected in the parking lot of the Newport Beach Country Club, located along Pacific Coast Highway and overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Fans will have the opportunity to watch tennis and capture breathtaking views of the Pacific from the Ocean Deck, which will be used for hospitality receptions and player Q & A sessions among other purposes.



The WTT regular season runs from July 5-25. The Breakers’ seven home ties will be played at Newport Beach Country Club and feature marquee opponents such as John McEnroe, Anna Kournikova and Venus Williams. The Breakers are co-owned by WTT founder Billie Jean King.

angiel
03-31-2007, 04:40 PM
Published Wednesday, March 28, 2007 12:24 AM PDT

Breakers much of the same
TENNIS: Newport Beach team selects Leach, Delgado, Albanese and Pastikova in draft.



The 2007 version of the Newport Beach Breakers will be similar to last season's team which advanced to the World Team Tennis finals.

In the four-round WTT Player Draft held in Miami, the Breakers selected Rick Leach and Ramon Delgado from last season's squad, along with Lauren Albanese and Michaela Pastikova. The four will play with Pete Sampras, the all-time leader in Grand Slam titles, who returns for his second year on the Breakers.


Sampras will play only one home match this season, July 10 against the Sacramento Capitals, for the Breakers who won the WTT title in 2004.

The WTT format consists of a set to five in men's singles and doubles, women's singles and doubles and mixed doubles.

Leach gives the Breakers strength in doubles as in 19 years he has won 46 ATP doubles titles, five of which were Grand Slams. At USC, Leach was the first four-time NCAA Division I All-American in singles and doubles.

Delgado's strength lies in singles. The 30-year old is currently ranked No. 145 on the ATP Tour.

Newcomer Pastikova, 27, from the Czech Republic, has seven singles and 10 doubles titles from the ITF Women's Circuit.

Albanese will give the Breakers lineup an injection of youth. The 17-year old is ranked No. 273 on the WTA Tour.

The Breakers are expected to announce their new coach later this week. Dick Leach, Rick Leach's father, coached the team last year.

angiel
04-13-2007, 05:12 PM
Serena, Sampras added to Aces


04/12/2007



Australian Open winner Serena Williams will join the St. Louis Aces for their match July 23 against the New York Sportimes at Dwight Davis Tennis Center in Forest Park. Williams, winner of eight Grand Slam singles titles, joins Pete Sampras and the top-ranked doubles team of Bob and Mike Bryan as headliners appearing on the Aces' home schedule.

Season tickets are on sale. Single-match tickets for Williams' appearance will be $60 and will go on sale June 1. For more information, call 314-647-2237 or log on to www.stlouisaces.com.

angiel
04-17-2007, 06:21 PM
Support The Caps At Newport Beach
04/16/07 - World TeamTennis (WTT) Sacramento Capitals


The Sacramento Capitals are traveling to play Newport Beach on July 6th and July 10th, and want their fans to join them at the beautiful Newport Beach Country Club, Newport Beach!
Anna Kournikova will play for the Capitals July 6th while Pete Sampras will play for the Breakers on July 10th.

Burton Travel is partnering with the Capitals to offer special accommodation rates for Cap fans at the Island Hotel. For more information, please visit http://home.comcast.net/~burtontravel/

angiel
06-07-2007, 09:01 PM
http://www.letsgodigital.org/en/14759/world-team-tennis/

angiel
06-13-2007, 07:32 PM
Updated: Jun 12, 2007 - 23:11:51 PDT


Volunteers needed for Breakers Stadium matches

The Newport Beach Breakers of World Team Tennis will play seven home matches at the new Breakers Stadium at the Newport Beach Country Club on July 6, 7, 10, 15, 16, 22 and 25.

Pete Sampras, Anna Kournikova, Maria Sharapova, Venus Williams and John McEnroe are Breakers team members and will be competing.

Net proceeds from the 2007 season will benefit the Hoag Hospital Foundation and other Orange County charities.

All matches will start at 7 p.m. Gates open at 5:30 p.m.

Volunteers are needed to help with duties, including admissions/ will call, corporate hospitality, scoring and transportation, and are required to work a minimum of three home matches.

To help offset the cost of the package provided to each volunteer, a $25 fee will be charged. The volunteer package includes a polo shirt, preferred parking, concession vouchers and discounts on season tickets.

For information, call (949) 660-0277. To download a volunteer application, go to www.newportbeachbreakers.com.

— Sue Thoensen

angiel
07-06-2007, 04:55 PM
Posted on Wed, Jul. 04, 2007

Sampras stays in the swing of things

Retirement means exhibition games, and observing many changes.

By Zach Berman
For The Inquirer

Even though tennis legend Pete Sampras is retired, he practices three times a week, will travel to Asia in November to face No. 1-ranked Roger Federer in three exhibitions, and will be in Radnor on July 19 as part of his commitment to World TeamTennis.

Not your typical retirement.

Sampras, who won a record 14 Grand Slam singles titles, retired after beating longtime rival Andre Agassi in the 2002 U.S. Open. As he prepares for his second season in WTT, Sampras knows that retirement could become boring if he's not playing.

"After I retired and I didn't do anything for three years, I think I was getting a little restless, a touch bored," he said. "I needed to start to do something."

Sampras, 35, played his first exhibition match 15 months ago. He became involved in WTT last year and has other exhibitions scheduled, including three matches against Federer in November.

Sampras spoke fondly of Federer, who is attempting to win his fifth consecutive Wimbledon championship and has a legitimate chance of surpassing Sampras' records.

"I think he will break any foreseeable tennis record that's out there," Sampras said. "He is my sort of player. He is not grouchy. He is not abrasive. He is smooth. He is fun to watch. I don't see anyone really threatening him seriously, so, you know, I am pulling for him. I always pull for the favorite."

The Wimbledon that Sampras has been watching from his Southern California home is different from the tournament when he was playing in it. Sampras enjoyed the grass-court event because he can serve and volley, but he doesn't see those players anymore.

"It is sad for me to see Wimbledon today and everyone staying back," he said. "It is not one-serve-and-volley playing.

"In my generation, that's what everyone did. You look at the French and Wimbledon - the only thing that's different is the color of the court."

The style of play is not all that's changed since Sampras was in his prime. He said men's tennis was popular in the United States in the 1990s because of American-born stars such as Agassi, Jim Courier and Sampras. Today's game is dominated by Federer, a native of Switzerland, and Rafael Nadal of Spain.

"Ultimately, what sells sports is some sort of rivalry," Sampras said. "The more you have with Federer and Nadal, there's not an American in there, and that hurts it. . . . I think it is unfair to live up to what we had. Jim and Andre and I won over 20 majors. We hit No. 1 in the world. It is a unique situation."

Despite his honesty, Sampras said he had no interest in becoming a television commentator. He said he was informally approached by NBC, although there was never an official offer. Nor does Sampras desire to become a full-time coach. He plays with young players in his area and provides insight but isn't looking for a major commitment.

Sampras is content with his current schedule, playing in exhibitions and dabbling in WTT. The league runs from July 5 to 25 in 11 cities.

He will participate in four matches for the Newport Beach Breakers, including one July 19 against the Philadelphia Freedoms on the Freedoms' home courts at Cabrini College in Radnor. WTT doesn't offer the same brand of tennis as the majors, but it is still Sampras and it is still tennis.

"Tennis is such a traditional sport," he said. "And to get into some of the things that World TeamTennis is doing, it might be a stretch and it might be tricky to hit the mainstream, but I think there is a definite market for it."

angiel
07-06-2007, 04:59 PM
Sampras laments lack of grasscourt specialists
Wed Jul 4, 2007 7:39 AM IST


By Mark Lamport-Stokes

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Five years after retiring from top-level tennis, Pete Sampras is confident he can still challenge the best over three sets on his favourite grasscourt surface.

The former world number one bemoans the dearth of serve-and-volley players in the modern game and is eager to take on Roger Federer in a series of exhibition matches later this year.

"Grass is such a unique surface, I can probably still be competitive against anyone in a two-out-of-three (sets) match," Sampras said during a World TeamTennis conference call on Tuesday.

"I can still hold serve and I am volleying pretty well. Grass is definitely a surface that is a bit of an advantage (considering) the guys staying back like they are today, you know.

"I would like to play a set with one of these guys and see," added the 35-year-old, who retired after winning the 2002 U.S. Open final against fellow American Andre Agassi in his last professional match.

"Certainly a hard court would be a little bit different. But on grass, when I was playing, when I saw guys stay back, that's when I started licking my chops."

Sampras, who won 14 grand slam titles and more than $43 million in prize money during his 15-year career, regrets the disappearance of genuine serve-and-volley players from Wimbledon.


STAYING BACK

"It is sad for me to see everyone staying back, to see that sort of game being extended," the seven-times Wimbledon champion said. "There is not one serve-and-volleyer playing.

"I felt grasscourt tennis is the attacking guy, the serve-and-volley guy. In my generation, that's what everyone did."

Sampras, an unabashed fan of Federer who is bidding to win his fifth successive Wimbledon title, is looking forward to locking horns with the Swiss in Asia later this year.

The two men are scheduled to compete in a series of exhibition matches, starting in Malaysia in October.

"People are going to be interested in the outcome," Sampras said. "I don't think I am going to win any of these matches but if I can push him to a few (tie) breakers, I would feel ecstatic."

Sampras, who will be inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame on July 14, acquitted himself well in a practice match with Federer in Los Angeles earlier this year.

"I was serving quite well and holding serve pretty handily," the American added. "If there is anything Roger doesn't like to see it is someone coming in and serving and volleying, someone putting pressure on him.

"I think my game matched up reasonably well against his."



© Reuters 2007. All Rights Reserved.

angiel
07-06-2007, 05:11 PM
Updated: Jul 03, 2007 - 23:34:50 PDT

'Pistol Pete' reloads
TENNIS: Sampras returns for second season with Newport Beach Breakers, hoping to show how much he can still dominate.

By Matt Szabo


Some would say that Pete Sampras is the greatest tennis player to ever play the sport.

Even legends can get rusty. Sampras showed that at times last season while playing for World Team Tennis' Newport Beach Breakers, when he went 2-5 in regular-season singles sets.

The showing probably wasn't what many would expect from Sampras, who won a professional tennis record 14 Grand Slams from 1990-2002, including seven championships at Wimbledon and five at the U.S. Open.

Last year with the Breakers was his first professional competition since winning the 2002 U.S. Open. But Newport Beach, which advanced to the WTT championship match before losing to the Philadelphia Freedoms, was 0-6 at one point with Sampras in the lineup.

Still, part of the stuff that made Sampras legendary — his resolve — remains strong. After Sampras won a Boston senior series event in May, another tennis legend, John McEnroe, said Sampras could still be a top-five seed at Wimbledon some five years after retirement.

And, during a telephone conference call with reporters on Tuesday, Sampras said he expects to do well when he debuts for the Breakers in a home match July 10 against the Sacramento Capitals.

"I hope to perform better this year at the Team Tennis than I did last year," Sampras said. "Last year I wasn't very good. But I have been playing. I have been hitting three days a week for the past six months. It's amazing what a little bit of practice will do for you, so my tennis has gotten a little bit better."

Sampras will also play three road matches with the Breakers: July 18 in Schenectady, N.Y., July 19 in Philadelphia and July 24 in St. Louis. The 35-year-old who resides in Los Angeles did improve as the season went on last year, winning a set in the playoffs for the Breakers.

It promises to be a fun summer for Sampras, who will be inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame on July 14 in Newport, R.I. He said he enjoys the World Team Tennis format and wants to give the fans their money's worth.

"I enjoy the night," Sampras said Tuesday. "It is actually a fun night. It is competitive tennis. It is real tennis. It is definitely an environment that I want to play well, I want to win.

"Actually, not playing well, I enjoyed the experience last year and a lot of them have been friends of mine for many, many years and I hope playing helps the tour out and helps their cause … And it is summer. It is a great time to be outside playing tennis."

Sampras finished the year ranked No. 1 in the world six straight years from 1993-98, which is also a record. But he was criticized by then-Breakers Coach Dick Leach last season for being out of shape.

"You can't put down your racquet in 2003, then pick it up three months before you play a match," Leach said to the Daily Pilot last July. "That's too hard. He's a great guy, great to his teammates and the fans love him. But [with him in the lineup] we can't win."

New Breakers coach Trevor Kronemann, also the men's tennis coach at UC Irvine, has no such reservations.

"That's going to be a lot of fun [to coach players like Sampras and Maria Sharapova, who will play a home date on July 25]," Kronemann said. "The great thing about being a coach of people like that is that they know what they're doing. They're professionals."

But regardless of how much he has he has improved over the past year, Sampras remains a big draw. He helped the Breakers sell out his debut with the team last July, and the team expects another big crowd this July 10.

After all, there are only so many chances to see possibly the greatest player in history.

"Last year was great," Sampras said. " … People look forward to seeing me play again, and it has been a while. I think this year will be the same; I'm inducted into the Hall of Fame right before I play some of these matches. That's the icing on the cake for having a good career and I will just hopefully play well.

"That's kind of my goal. People want to see me play well and hopefully I will perform this year better than last year."


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


MATT SZABO may be reached at (714) 966-4614 or at matthew.szabo@latimes.com.

angiel
07-11-2007, 09:28 PM
Updated: Jul 11, 2007 - 00:39:05 PDT

Sampras not enough
TENNIS: Legend shows flashes of brilliance, but the Breakers lose all five sets to visiting Sacramento, 25-18.
By Matt Szabo


NEWPORT BEACH — Pete Sampras was nearly out of the point in Tuesday night's Newport Beach Breakers match against the Sacramento Capitals.

Of course, with Sampras, the 14-time Grand Slam singles winner, the point is never over.

He whipped a wicked crosscourt forehand past Sam Warburg, earning a break of serve and throwing in several small fist pumps.

"Is this what you came to see?" the announcer asked, and the sellout crowd of 2,311 roared in approval.

But Warburg broke Sampras' serve back in the next game, looking into the crowd while making a fist pump of his own.

Sacramento always seemed to have a response Tuesday, downing the Breakers, 25-18, for the home team's third straight loss.

Sampras, 35, wasn't playing around in his only home match of the season for Newport Beach. After all, during halftime, this was the same guy who accidentally whipped a serve past an unknowing contestant in a "return a Sampras serve" contest.

The contestant had bent down to stretch.

"It's a work in progress, retirement," said Sampras, in his second year with the Breakers, in a pre-match press conference. "It's good for a man to get his hands dirty. Playing tennis keeps me in focus … Every couple of months I need something to look forward to, something to focus on. I feel good waking up in the morning and hitting some balls."

But the Breakers (1-3) couldn't solve the Capitals (2-2), who won all five sets of the match.

In mixed doubles, 2007 French Open men's doubles champion Mark Knowles and Elena Likhovtseva took a 5-3 win over the Breakers' Rick Leach and Michaela Pastikova.

Newport Beach's Lauren Albanese then had the hard-luck set of the night, losing 5-4 in games and 5-4 in a tiebreaker to Likhovtseva.

Albanese nearly came back from a 4-2 games deficit, earning the tiebreaker with a cross-court passing shot.

But Albanese's shot on set point was long, and she flung her racquet across the ground in frustration.

The dream doubles combination of Sampras and Leach, who have won a combined 19 Grand Slam titles in singles and doubles, didn't fare much better.

They lost, 5-3, to Knowles and Warburg, giving Sacramento a 15-10 games lead.

Sampras' game, which he has admitted wasn't up to par with the Breakers last season, didn't appear rusty when he smashed a 132 mph service ace in singles against Warburg.

But it did when he double-faulted twice in a service game at 2-3, leaving Warburg a game away from victory.

Sampras, who will be inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame on Saturday, rebounded to win two straight games, setting up another tiebreaker.

But Warburg stormed to a 3-0 lead and won it, 5-1, to give Sacramento a 20-14 games lead and send many of the fans to the exits.

In the last set of the night, Albanese and Pastikova lost the Breakers' third tiebreaker to Likhovtseva and Michelle Larcher De Brito, who, at 14, is the youngest player in World Team Tennis this season. Breakers Coach Trevor Kronemann was left bemoaning the fact that Sampras in men's singles, and Sampras and Leach in men's doubles, couldn't hold their leads.

"We've just been really unlucky lately," Kronemann said. "We just couldn't convert. We've had a lot of 3-all points and a lot of break points where we just haven't been taking advantage of those opportunities. We'll go and try to put it together on the road, and come back here [with a] 3-3 [record]."

Newport Beach plays at Springfield on Thursday and at Houston on Friday.

The Breakers return home on Sunday at 7 p.m. against the St. Louis Aces.


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


MATT SZABO may be reached at (714) 966-4614 or at matthew.szabo@latimes.com.

angiel
07-11-2007, 09:31 PM
Warburg defeats Sampras
By Paul Bauman - Bee Assistant Sports Editor
Last Updated 12:05 am PDT Wednesday, July 11, 2007




Beating Pete Sampras is getting to be routine for Sam Warburg.

Granted, the victories have come in World TeamTennis sets up to five games each, but Warburg will take them.

The lifelong Sacramentan defeated Sampras in singles and doubles Tuesday night as the visiting Capitals topped the Newport Beach Breakers 25-18.

The Capitals won every set and evened their record at 2-2.

Warburg edged Sampras 5-4 in singles and teamed with Mark Knowles to down Sampras and Rick Leach 5-3 in doubles.

Warburg also beat Sampras 5-2 last year in Citrus Heights.

Sampras, who was making his season debut for Newport Beach (1-3), will be inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame on Saturday. He retired from regular competition in 2002 after winning a record 14 Grand Slam singles titles.

Michelle Larcher de Brito, the youngest player in WTT history at 14 years and five months, debuted for the Capitals. She combined with veteran Elena Likhovtseva to beat Lauren Albanese and Michaela Pastikova 5-4 in the final set.

Larcher de Brito makes her home debut tonight against the Houston Wranglers. Country singer Kevin Sharp is scheduled to perform for 90 minutes before the match.

angiel
07-18-2007, 09:35 PM
Pete Sampras comes to the Capital Region
7/18/2007 10:45 AM
By: Web Staff



SCHENECTADY, N.Y. -- A tennis legend is coming to the Capital Region today.

Pete Sampras will speak in Schenectady this afternoon at Rose Gardens in historic Central Park.

Later tonight, Sampras will take out the racket and play at the Central Park Stadium in front of a sold out crowd.


He will be playing for the Newport Beach Breakers against the New York Buzz.

This is the first time Sampras will speak in public since being inducted into the Tennis Hall of Fame.

angiel
07-18-2007, 09:38 PM
Sampras match sold out
Tickets to see former star gone by last week

Staff reports
First published: Wednesday, July 18, 2007

SAMPRAS

If you want to see Hall of Famer Pete Sampras play tennis at Schenectady's Central Park tonight, you're out of luck unless you already have a ticket.

The World TeamTennis match between the New York Buzz and the Newport Beach Breakers has been sold out for a week.


"We're sorry, but we are sold out," said Buzz owner and general manager Nitty Singh. "If we were holding this match at the Times Union Center, we could have gotten over 10,000 people."

Instead, there will be between 2,400 and 2,500 jammed into the quaint Schenectady tennis park. They paid between $39 and $49 for the opportunity to see one of the game's greatest players ever.

Sampras, 35, was inducted Saturday into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in Newport, R.I.

His appeal comes from what he did during his stellar career. Sampras is a former No. 1 player in the world, and during his 15-year career he won a record 14 Grand Slam men's singles titles in 52 appearances. He won the singles championship at Wimbledon seven times, the U.S. Open five times and the Australian Open twice.

This will not be the first time he has played at Central Park.

In 1988, Sampras, then just 16, reached the semifinals of the now defunct OTB Open. He lost to Tim Mayotte in the semifinals, 6-2, 7-6 (7-5).

Singh expects Sampras will play in two sets tonight: men's singles and men's doubles.

In the 13 years of the Buzz's existence, Singh said there have been 31 Grand Slam singles winners at Central Park.

"They have all been here," she said. "Andre (Agassi), Venus (Williams) last year. But I would say if you look at it from the point of view that he (Sampras) just went into the Hall of Fame, yes, right now he is the greatest player in history."

angiel
07-18-2007, 09:42 PM
Sampras' match in Schenectady still on


Last updated: 12:43 p.m., Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Tonight's World Team Tennis match between the New York Buzz and the Newport Beach Breakers, featuring tennis Hall of Famer Pete Sampras, has not been postponed or canceled due to rain.

Buzz owner and general manager Nitty Singh said everything will remain on schedule, including the news conference and party. As for the match, Singh said ``in case of inclement weather, we will just wait it out.''

The forecast calls for scattered showers and thunderstorms for most of the day. The match is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m.

angiel
07-20-2007, 07:23 PM
Posted on Fri, Jul. 20, 2007

For Sampras, it all began here The tennis great, back for a WTT match, won his first pro title in Phila.

By Zach Berman
For The Inquirer

Pete Sampras drove by the stadium area on South Broad Street after arriving in Philadelphia on Wednesday night, saw the skyline in the distance, and was taken back in time.

Sampras won his first professional championship in Philadelphia in 1990. The win launched one of the most prolific tennis careers in history.

"This is when I went from a young guy ranked 40 to a guy ranked 12th in the world to a couple of months later winning the U.S. Open," Sampras said. "This is a city that was my first time, and I'll always remember that."

He was back in Philadelphia with the Newport Beach Breakers for a World TeamTennis match last night. The Freedoms beat the visitors, 25-16, at Cabrini College in Radnor.

A sellout crowd of 2,500 watched Frederic Niemeyer defeat Sampras in men's singles, 5-4, and team with Daniel Nestor to beat Sampras and Rick Leach, 5-2, in men's doubles.

Sampras, who will turn 36 next month, is playing in his second season of WTT. He retired in 2003 and was inducted into the tennis Hall of Fame last weekend.

During his 15-year career, Sampras won a record 14 Grand Slam men's singles titles. He was a model of consistency and remained stoic, never the showman like other tennis greats Jimmy Connors, John McEnroe and Andre Agassi. But after his retirement and remarkable career, the appreciation for Sampras is growing.

"I'm probably more appreciated the last couple of years than I was in my prime, but that's probably longevity and people finally got a hold of it and saw there was something pretty special," Sampras said.

Sampras said he has not changed - just his life has. He is married to actress Bridgette Wilson-Sampras, and has witnessed a different professional tennis landscape in his absence. There are few American stars, and as No. 1 Roger Federer draws closer to Sampras' records, tennis fans are noticing exactly how impressive those records are.

The validation of his storied career came Saturday in Newport, R.I., when Sampras was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame. During his induction speech, he displayed emotion seldom seen in his career. Sampras was brought to tears throughout the speech and drew applause each time.

Sampras said he was brought back to his days as a child playing tennis and junior competition. He realized exactly how much he had achieved in his career, beginning with that first win in Philadelphia.

"For the first time in many years - maybe my whole career - I appreciated what I was able to do," Sampras said. "It hit me when I was there, when I saw my display, the history of the game, having my folks there. It was a pretty emotional couple of days. It hit me when I was speaking that it's a big part of my life, tennis, and it always will be."

Note. Wimbledon champion Venus Williams will join the Freedoms tonight when they play the Houston Wranglers at Cabrini. The Freedoms improved to 5-6 with last night's victory.

angiel
07-27-2007, 08:28 PM
Sampras shows his playful side
By Kathleen Nelson
ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
07/25/2007



Tennis has crept back into the life of Pete Sampras since he retired almost five years ago.

He dipped his toe back in a year ago, playing a limited schedule of World TeamTennis. He returned for a second season with the Newport Beach (Calif.) Breakers, who lost 22-18 to the Aces before a sellout crowd of 2,000 Tuesday night at Dwight Davis Tennis Center in the final match of the season.

"I was pretty rusty last year," Sampras said. "But I've been pretty consistent this year, playing more events."

Last year's foray led to appearances this spring with the Champions Series and a return to team tennis for four matches with the Breakers.




"I want to play well, but I can be a little more lighthearted, have fun with fans," Sampras said. "I still want to serve well. When people come to see me play, they want a taste of what it used to be like."

Sampras showed his playful side, voicing mock displeasure with the musical selection. "Is this the 1980s?" he said and ripped an ace, one of three against Andy Ram.

The public address announcer responded: "Do you have any requests, Pete?"

Sampras defeated Ram in the opening set 5-3, but he and Rick Leach lost 5-4 in men's doubles to Ram and Jonathan Erlich.

"Young guys playing in team tennis are a little more eager, a little more hungry. I don't know their games as well," Sampras said. "As a result, I'm not playing all that well. I'm playing OK."

Sampras played a lot better than OK in his 15-year career, winning a record 14 Grand Slam singles titles. He finished six consecutive seasons ranked No. 1 and was in the top 10 for 12 straight years.

His body of work earned him a spot in the International Tennis Hall of Fame. Sampras, 35, spent much of the induction ceremony two weeks ago in tears.

"It gets pretty emotional reflecting on your career, your life staring you in the face," he said.

Sampras' schedule has changed from the first few years following his retirement, which were devoted to sharpening his golf and poker skills, playing husband to Bridgette Wilson and dad to his sons, Ryan, 2, and Christian, 4.

"When I first retired, I didn't want to see tennis, didn't want to read about tennis, didn't want to play tennis," he said. "But after being away from it, I've enjoyed playing. I've enjoyed watching. There's still a part of me that misses Wimbledon or the U.S. Open. But I'm very content with my life today, playing a little tennis, my wife and two kids."

Sampras will take one more break from family life this year for a three-match exhibition series with Roger Federer, scheduled for November in Asia.

"I'm looking to make it competitive. He's in his prime; I'm way past my prime," Sampras said. "I think it's good for the game that he and I can still compete. It gives the sport something to talk about, and that's good for the game. I'm still competitive enough that people want to watch."

After Sampras' win in singles, the Aces' Jasmin Woehr dispatched Lauren Albanese 5-1 in women's singles. The Aces (5-9) extended their lead to 13-9 when Ram and Woehr defeated Leach and Michaela Pastikova 5-3 in mixed doubles. The Breakers (3-10) trimmed the lead to 17-14 in women's doubles, when Albanese and Pastikova beat Woehr and Aleke Tsoubanos 5-4.

knelson@post-dispatch.com | 314-340-8233

angiel
07-30-2007, 05:20 PM
Updated: Jul 29, 2007 - 22:09:32 PDT

• TENNIS:Breakers a hot ticket at NBCC



Even as the losses kept piling up for the Newport Beach Breakers this season, the fans kept coming.

The Breakers sold out five of seven home matches, including a season-high 2,358 fans for Wednesday's match featuring Maria Sharapova and John McEnroe.

First-year coach Trevor Kronemann said the venue, which moved from the Palisades Tennis Club to the Newport Beach Country Club this year, couldn't have been better. Kronemann said of the various venues in World Team Tennis, the Breakers' stadium is top-notch.

"It's first-rate," Kronemann said. "There's only one that even compares, and it's Sacramento, where they're having the final. It's a great atmosphere, and I think it's only going to get better from here on out."

Kronemann hopes he can say the same about the Breakers, who finished 3-11 and ended the year on a six-match losing streak. The talent on the team was evident with legends like Pete Sampras and Rick Leach, as well as the steady veteran Ramon Delgado. But Delgado wasn't 100% with his right knee issues, and 17-year-old phenom Lauren Albanese also battled problems with her right ankle.

All of these issues, along with playing in the tough Western Conference, were factors in Newport Beach finishing in fifth place in the six-team conference.

"I loved doing this," said Kronemann, who coached the Springfield Lasers for seven years before the Breakers. "I'm already counting the days to get back into this next year. It was just a tough season all the way around. My first losing season in 18 years , so it's a little bit of a shock.

"Nobody likes to lose. We were just a little beat up all year … The fans were great. Had we been winning, it would have been a tough ticket to get every single night. As with all L.A. teams, if you win, people are going to start coming."

LOVE FOR THE O.C.

Billie Jean King, the tennis legend who was the co-founder of World Team Tennis, would probably disagree with part of Kronemann's last statement.

At a pre-match press conference on Wednesday, King said the Breakers are distinctly not an L.A. team. Rather, they are an Orange County team.

King grew up in Long Beach, which straddles the southern border of Los Angeles County. She said having a WTT team in Newport Beach was important, as the Breakers were formed in 2003 following a nine-year period when the area had no franchise.

The Newport Beach Dukes played from 1990-94 before disbanding.

"The reason I brought this team here is because I didn't want it to be an L.A. team," King said. "I wanted it in Orange County. I wanted something in this area. It belongs to them, not just the step-sister or step-daughter of Los Angeles.

"I was upset when [Major League Baseball's Los Angeles Angels of] Anaheim changed their name. I thought they should have kept it [the Anaheim Angels]. I thought that was a huge mistake."

SAMPRAS IS STREAKY

Sampras, who said before the season that he was looking forward to a better showing in his second year with the Breakers, never really got it.

The tennis legend, who owns a record 14 Grand Slam men's singles titles, won 16 games and lost 18 for Newport Beach in men's singles.

He won just one of four singles matches, a 5-3 victory over St. Louis' Andy Ram on July 24.

In men's doubles with Rick Leach, Sampras won 14 games and lost 16. Again, he won just one of four doubles matches, a 5-1 win over the New York Buzz's Rick de Voest and Ashley Fisher on July 18.

But Sampras did still prove to be a big draw for the Breakers. His only home match of the season on July 10 drew 2,311 fans, which was the second-largest total of the seven-match season.

WHAT'S NEXT?

One positive for the Breakers is that they will have a high draft pick for the 2008 World Team Tennis Player Draft, scheduled for next March.

Teams select in reverse order of finish from the season before. So the Breakers, whose 3-11 record was the second-worst in the league behind Houston (1-13), should have the second pick in the draft.

This year the Breakers used their first pick to protect their rights to Delgado, the 2004 WTT Most Valuable Player.


[I]MATT SZABO may be reached at (714) 966-4614 or at matthew.szabo@latimes.com.