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pj80 04-15-2007 10:31 PM

Pete Sampras to play Queens
 
Tennis News
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March 31st, 2007

Sampras to play at the 2007 Artois Championships


Ian Wight the Tournament Director of the Artois Championships today announced that Pete Sampras, the holder of a record 14 Grand Slam men's singles titles and one of the greatest tennis players of all time, will join the field of players at the 2007 Artois Championships. The Queens Club in West Kensington will host the event from Monday 11th Sunday 17th June 2007. "I'm thrilled that Pete has committed to play at the Queens Club, which was a tremendous event last year with sold-out crowds and a fantastic atmosphere. It surely will be an event that should not be missed" said Ian Wight.

Sampras, 35, established himself as arguably the greatest tennis player of all time, winning a men's record 14 Grand Slam singles titles - seven Wimbledon titles (1993, 1994, 1995, 1997, 1998, 1999 and 2000), five US Open titles (1990, 1993, 1995, 1996, 2002) and two Australian Open titles (1994, 1999). He won 64 career ATP singles titles and was ranked No. 1 in the world for a record 286 weeks, including a record six-year stretch as year-end No. 1 from 1993 to 1998. In addition, Sampras helped the United States to Davis Cup titles in 1992 and in 1995.

Jim Courier, a Davis Cup team-mate of Sampras, convinced Pete to come out of retirement after his strong performances in the Outback Champions Seniors Series. "I am looking forward to watching Pete play again. I hope he does well and takes the next step of completing a dream return to Wimbledon."

The event will be the first tournament appearance for Sampras since he won the 2002 US Open, which eventually became his swan song event as a professional. Sampras speaking on ESPN last night said having his children watch him play now that they are old enough was one of his motivations for coming back. Sampras was also buoyed from a recent friendly match at his home in Los Angeles against Federer. It was rumoured Sampras took the current number 1 in the world Roger Federer to two tie breaker sets. A rematch won't happen at this tournament as Federer plays his Wimbledon warm up in the Halle ATP tournament in Germany. The question remains will Sampras step up a gear while playing on the grass courts of the Queens club and foreseeably request a wildcard from the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club?

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The Queen's Club grass-court event will now be known as The Artois Championships and has expanded its centre court stadium with more than 400 seats to increase seating capacity to 6,858. The rebranding is a result of the growing Artois family of beers 'La Famille Artois,' which includes the addition of two other beers, Peeterman Artois and Artois Bock. For the first time at an ATP event in the UK, the electronic line-calling system Hawk-Eye will be used at the Artois Championships. Giant Screens will be installed at opposite ends of the centre court showing replays of line-calls challenged by players.

Apart from Pete Sampras, reigning champion Lleyton Hewitt, who beat James Blake, 6-4, 6-4, last June to claim his fourth career Queen's Club title, headlines a field that features three-time champion Andy Roddick, second-ranked Rafael Nadal, Australian Open finalist Fernando Gonzalez, Andy Murray, Tim Henman, Novak Djokovic and Gael Monfils.

With its global audience, the Artois Championships are recognised as one of the top 10 tennis events in the world. Held in the run up to Wimbledon, the Championships are consistently supported by the cream of men's singles and doubles players. Since its inception in 1979, 25 of the last 27 Wimbledon champions have played at the Championships. Connors, Lendl, Edberg and Sampras are amongst the legends of the game who have proudly held the massive silver Artois Championships trophy aloft.

BreakPoint 04-15-2007 10:36 PM

Oh, come on now! Enough is enough! We all would like to see Sampras come back but it's only a dream and not reality. Please stop with the phoney press releases already.

Fedfan4life 04-18-2007 01:03 AM

If only it was true.

lawrence 04-18-2007 01:44 AM

i read in a newspaper today that pete was going to play at some championship event for 30+ age group over at greece
mark phillopousus was also going as well as courier

Azzurri 04-18-2007 11:04 AM

I am a bit annoyed that I actually read half this crap. Please MODS...delete this garbage!

pj80 04-18-2007 01:34 PM

it was a april fools joke...

Azzurri 04-18-2007 05:12 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by pj80 (Post 1387727)
it was a april fools joke...

on April 16?? Guess I would love for him to come back for one more tourney....

lawrence 04-18-2007 05:50 PM

Quote:

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

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 Associated Press.

"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 (U.S.) 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."
its alll over the net and newspapers btw

chiru 04-18-2007 06:18 PM

what the crap?

Fedfan4life 04-19-2007 12:38 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by pj80 (Post 1387727)
it was a april fools joke...

How long exactly were you asleep?

pj80 04-19-2007 03:33 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Fedfan4life (Post 1388922)
How long exactly were you asleep?

no the article was written as april fools joke...see the date on it.

dommod 04-19-2007 07:47 PM

This not so funny joke, no?

psamp14 04-19-2007 08:08 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BreakPoint (Post 1381714)
Oh, come on now! Enough is enough! We all would like to see Sampras come back but it's only a dream and not reality. Please stop with the phoney press releases already.

where have i been? i just read this and it is pretty well written, looks almost directly copy and paste from a site

little late for the april fool's though....lol ;)

but sampras' professional tennis career is over, and he is arguably the GOAT right now......

kingdaddy41788 04-19-2007 08:10 PM

if it's from a site, then someone should post the link instead of copying and pasting... without a link it isn't credible.

Gugafan_Redux 04-20-2007 05:23 AM

Not bloody likely!

http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/tennis/2026770.stm


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