Novak Djokovic and Pete Sampras to play in LA Tennis Challenge

February 13, 2013

It has been announced that world No. 1 Novak Djokovic, fresh off his third straight Australian Open title, will be participating in the inaugural Los Angeles Tennis Challenge. The event takes place on March 4th at UCLA's Pauley Pavilion and offers a unique opportunity for Southern California tennis fans to see the explosive 25-year-old Serbian in action. He is scheduled to take part in both singles and doubles play.

In addition to Djokovic, the top tennis player of the present, fans will also get to see arguably the greatest tennis player of all time in 14-time Grand Slam champion Pete Sampras, along with former World Top 10 player Mardy Fish and the most successful doubles duo of all time, the Bryan Brothers.

The event is being co-hosted by Fish and former ATP World Tour player and Tennis Channel broadcaster Justin Gimelstob. The star-studded night of exciting exhibition matches falls just days before the start of the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells. Calif.

"I am very excited about playing professional tennis in Los Angeles for the first time on March 4 at the LA Tennis Challenge,” Djokovic said. “To be playing against my good friend Mardy Fish, and partnering with my childhood tennis Idol, Pete Sampras, against the No. 1 doubles team in the world will be an amazing experience. In addition, to be able to help raise valuable funds for so many wonderful charities in the process will certainly make being at the newly refurbished Pauley Pavilion, the place to be Monday night, March 4th!”

Proceeds from the event will benefit the Justin Gimelstob Children’s Fund, the Mardy Fish Children’s Foundation, the Novak Djokovic Foundation, Call to Cure and the Southern California Tennis Association’s community tennis initiatives.

“It’s going to be an unforgettable night of tennis starring some of the biggest names in the game,” said Gimelstob, a former UCLA All-American in the mid-1990s. “We’re proud to be bringing professional tennis back to Los Angeles and playing the matches indoors at historic and newly renovated Pauley Pavilion.”

Three exhibition pro-set matches will take place beginning at 7 p.m. Djokovic will take on Los Angeles resident Fish in singles followed by a doubles match pitting Djokovic and his childhood idol Sampras against Southern California natives Bob and Mike Bryan. An opening singles match between two marquee players will be announced shortly.

The doubles match currently set is especially intriguing for knowledgeable tennis fans. The opportunity to see Djokovic and Sampras playing together simply doesn't come around too often. It will be truly intriguing to see what the 41-year old Sampras will play like in this setting. Can he turn the clock back for one evening and remind us of why he is considered an all-time great? Does he still have that booming serve? Or will he struggle against the almost unbeatable Bryan Brothers?

Bob Bryan expects to see the best of his all star opponents on March 4th. “We will need to be sharp in order to beat two legends of the sport. Novak Djokovic and Pete Sampras are going to be a tough team, but we are looking forward to the challenge of playing two of the greatest players of all time.”

The Bryan Brothers are very comfortable on the UCLA campus having won an all-time best six doubles titles at the Los Angeles Tennis Center and former home to the Farmers Classic.

"We are so thankful that a new professional tennis event will be in Los Angeles,” Mike Bryan said. “Los Angeles is home to us and it is vital that competitive and entertaining tennis is accessible here. The LA Tennis Challenge will grow into the premiere tennis event in Los Angeles, and we are proud to support it.”

Djokovic is a winner of six Grand Slam titles and the current No. 1 player in the world. Sampras is considered the greatest American champion ever with 14 career Grand Slam singles titles, including seven Wimbledon crowns. Fish has six career ATP World Tour titles to his name and is an Olympic silver medalist. The Bryan twins won gold at the 2012 London Olympics and have won an all-time record 84 ATP World Tour doubles titles, including an incredible 13 Grand Slams.

The LA Tennis Challenge will be broadcast by Tennis Channel in the United States.

Tickets will be available starting Saturday morning, Jan. 19, at 10 a.m., at www.TicketMaster.com, or can be purchased by calling the UCLA Central Ticket Office at 310-825-2101 Monday-Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., or by calling the event directly at 310-824-1010, ext. 251.

To learn more about the LA Tennis Challenge go to www.LATennisChallenge.com. Like the event on Facebook at www.facebook.com/LATennisChallenge and follow on Twitter at @LA10sChallenge. For more information you can email: info@latennischallenge.com.

By Staff of TheDailySportsHerald.com and news services

1 comment:

  1. Magnificent post. Sampras is undoubtedly the best.

    ReplyDelete

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