ATP INSIDER -- Giving you an inside look into the ATP this week February 26, 2004 UP FRONT.... ->> – MESSAGE FROM THE PRESIDENT…Former U.S. President Bill Clinton made a special visit to the Andre Agassi College Preparatory Academy on Tuesday afternoon. President Clinton toured the model charter school, designed to foster innovation and excellence in education, and visited a sixth grade class when the students were discussing a Civil Rights project and conducted an informal question and answer session with the students in the auditorium. “Later in life, you’ll be glad that you’ve worked hard,” President Clinton told the students. “Education is vital to your success, and it will help you prepare for the future. Education gives you values and knowledge which, in turn, allows you to make good choices.” When asked by a student what it was like to be President, he added: “It’s hard work, and you try to make the right decisions for future generations. I enjoyed being the President of the United States, even on the tough days. The key is that you have to find a job that you truly love, that inspires you, and that will make all the difference.” Designed to improve educational opportunities in Las Vegas, Agassi Prep currently welcomes socio-economically challenged youth in grades 3-7, with grades K-2 and 8-12 opening through 2008. Located at the corner of ‘J’ Street and West Lake Mead Boulevard in West Las Vegas, it is situated within a mile of the 25,000-square-foot Boys & Girls Club, built by the Andre Agassi Charitable Foundation (AACF) in 1997. To date, the AACF has raised more than $36.1 million for local charities and causes that benefit at-risk children in Nevada. ->> – HAIR TODAY, GONE TOMORROW… When JAMES BLAKE had his hair cut for a good cause just before he left home in Connecticut for Australia in January, he had no idea it was going to raise over $2,300. After undergoing the razor cut, his famous locks were auctioned on **** to raise money for a local girls basketball team in New Haven. The money will be used to fund traveling expenses to tournaments where they will hopefully get picked up by scouts looking to award scholarships. When asked whether Blake had expected his hair to raise so much money, he replied: “I’m amazed! I can’t believe people would pay that much money for my hair. I’ve no idea what they’re going to do with it – maybe it’s better not to ask. It was a lot of work for three years.” So does he miss the hair? “Not at all,” he joked. “I get out of the shower and it’s already dry, I don’t need to worry about it getting in my face, it’s awesome. Everyone was always telling me how much they liked it long and I was listening to them. I’ve got to worry about low maintenance and that’s all I care about. It’s fun now.” ->> – KEEPING IT IN THE ‘FAMILY’…After claiming his first career ATP title at the Kroger St. Jude in Memphis last week, JOACHIM JOHANSSON soon found out what it was like to be a man in demand. After conducting his post-match press conference and photo shoot outside the Racquet Club, the man more affectionately known as “Pim-Pim” spent the next three hours talking to well wishers calling him in the press room. Still in his tennis clothes, the 21-year-old Swede juggled two phones at times while trying to refuel with a chicken sandwich and some fries in between callers. Among the first was his girlfriend Jaslyn, the sister of Lleyton Hewitt who won the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament in Rotterdam on the same day, while Lleyton’s girlfriend Kim Clijsters also won the WTA Tour event in Antwerp. “I think Jaslyn’s going to be very happy, especially as it’s her birthday on Monday,” said Johansson. “With all three of us winning on the same day is very special.” Meanwhile, $320,216 was raised for the St. Jude Children’s Hospital during the tournament. THOMAS ENQVIST, XAVIER MALISSE and JUSTIN GIMELSTOB were among those visiting the children during the week. TOURNAMENT TALES… ->> – IN MARSEILLE…JUAN CARLOS FERRERO visited some of the most picturesque spots in Marseille during the Open 13. Ferrero went to visit the port of the Vallon des Auffes as well as the giant poster of French soccer star Zinedine Zidane on the Corniche. The Spaniard also attended an interview and photo shoot with La Provence newspaper, the biggest daily in Marseille, which made the front page…MARAT SAFIN was a guest on the France Television studios in Marseille for the 12 o'clock news on Monday. The Russian talked about his comeback to form and his goal to return to the No. 1 spot in the INDESIT ATP Entry Ranking…Swiss veteran MARC ROSSET played his first ATP main draw event of the year in Marseille, one of his favorite spots on the ATP circuit. The 33-year-old Rosset won the inaugural Open 13 event in 1993 and also took the title in '94 and 2000. "I know I am a better player than my ranking says,” said Rosset. “My goal is to play ATP events this year even if it means having to qualify. The qualifying events are really tough because you have to win three matches just to get into the draw and everybody is so hungry and everybody is a good player." After his first round match Rosset, who also serves as the Swiss Davis Cup captain, met with countryman and soccer player Fabio Celestini, who plays for Olympic Marseille…Local players ARNAUD CLEMENT and CYRIL SAULNIER launched their respective official Web sites (www.arnaudclement.com and www.cyrilsaulnier.com) by doing an online chat from the Open 13 site on Wednesday…GREGORY CARRAZ fired down 27 aces during the biggest win of his career against top seed Juan Carlos Ferrero in the first round, but it wasn’t as many as he managed in his first round victory over Tomas Zib in the Andrezieux Challenger the previous week, when he sent down an amazing 50 aces in three tie-break sets. "They told me it will not be considered as a world record because it was a challenger match,” said Carraz. ”But it is actually more satisfying to serve 27 aces against the No. 2 in the world!" ->> – IN COSTA DO SAUIPE…MARIANO ZABALETA and FLAVIO SARETTA took time out from the Brasil Open to try their hand at surfing on the local beach…CARLOS MOYA, FLAVIO SARETTA, NICOLAS LAPENTTI, NICOLAS MASSU, ANDRE SA, MARIANO ZABALETA and FERNANDO MELIGENI all donated tennis shirts to be put up auction on the internet for charity. The players appeared on stage on Wednesday night to help raise money for Crianza Esperanca, a charity organized by the tournament…Local hero GUSTAVO KUERTEN appeared on TV show Terceiro Tempo, the most popular television program in Brazil, on Saturday night. Millions throughout Brazil watched the 40-minute program. MEDIA MONITOR…Muscle & Fitness Magazine listed ANDY RODDICK’s 149 mph serve at the Stella Artois Championships at Queen’s last June among their 2003 Greatest Feats of Strength. Roddick's previous record (now 150 mph) chimed in at No. 10 on the list in the April 2004 issue, which also included Toronto BlueJays slugger Carlos Delgado hitting four home runs in a single game (No. 7), and weightlifter Gene Rychlak's 900-pound bench press (No. 1)….Roddick also was featured in Men's Health Magazine's March Issue in a fashion spread titled "Red Hot, Right Now," which included actors Omar Epps and Olivier Martinez, among others. In addition to the photos taken from Roddick's new house in Austin, Texas, they review a brief history of tennis attire and its influence on popular culture. Also included in the issue's section "Malegrams" is a detailed explanation of how Roddick discovered his talents for record-setting serve speeds. "In the process the ‘Roddick serve’ entered courtside vernacular the way that the ‘Agassi forehand’ had a decade before. As with most weapons of mass destruction, though, Roddick's rocket came not from a place of light, but from one of darkness."