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Old 10-10-2003, 06:27 AM   #22
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Default Re: Grand Prix de Lyon

->> - IN LYON… ROBBY GINEPRI, NICOLAS MAHUT, THOMAS ENQVIST, MARDY FISH and JULIEN BENNETEAU kicked off this week's off-court activities in Lyon with a little champagne happy hour on Sunday, serving up a few glasses of the famous bubbly Möet & Chandon to the many French journalists covering this event. There was also fine art in the air in this refined city along the Rhone, as RAFAEL NADAL, ARNAUD CLEMENT, FABRICE SANTORO, GINEPRI and ENQVIST all painted for a cause. Benefitting the children of the Yannick Noah Foundation, all five ATP stars painted their own art canvasses, which were then put on display in the VIP area and auctioned off. That wasn't all that was done for children by the organizers in Lyon. On Wednesday afternoon, former champion IVAN LJUBICIC joined recent Metz doubles champion JULIEN BENNETEAU in making a visit to the Hopital Neuro-Cardio de Lyon, to deliver t-shirts, balls, ATP pins and some smiles to children being treated in the hospital…Tennis fans around Lyon have been hearing invitations to come out and watch the action directly from the players this week. PARADORN SRICHAPHAN, RAINER SCHUETTLER, ARNAUD CLEMENT and PAUL-HENRI MATHIEU all taped radio spots before the tournament, promoting the event to the French public…On Thursday, American MARDY FISH was present for the trophy ceremony of the "Junior Grand Prix" held for players from several different elementary schools around Lyon. Fish presented the trophies to the schools alongside Lyon's Director of Sport from the mayor's office and Salt Lake Olympic gold medalist Marina Anissina, who together with partner Gwendal Peizerat won the ice dancing competition at the 2002 Winter Games…Later on Thursday evening, Möet & Chandon sponsored the annual "Most Fashionable" and "Most Popular" player awards for the Grand Prix de Tennis de Lyon. MARAT SAFIN was voted Most Popular, with PARADORN SRICHAPHAN Most Fashionable. Each player was presented with a magnum of the famous French champagne and toasted the occasion. "I was very proud to be voted most popular," said Marat Safin. "But Paradorn is better than me - he got the most fashionable." (For various pix from Lyon, log on to www.atptennis.com/en/media/insiderpics/)
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