Articles Comments

Samprasfanz » Archives 2003 to 2011 » Sampras to play exhibition match in New Mexico

Sampras to play exhibition match in New Mexico

July 1, 2008 – Pete Sampras, considered by some tennis experts to be the greatest player ever, is coming to the Pit.

Sampras, a seven-time Wimbledon winner and holder of a record 14 Grand Slam tournament singles titles, will play a two-out-of-three-set exhibition Friday night, Sept. 12.

His opponent will be rising American star Sam Querrey, ranked No. 42 in the world and winner of his first ATP event, the Tennis Channel Open in Las Vegas, Nev., in March. Querrey has been named to the U.S. Olympic team.

Sampras will also conduct a clinic earlier that day and be available for a “meet-and-greet” with the public.

“For Sampras to be here is incredible,” said Tim Cass, former UNM men’s coach and now senior associate AD for the school. “He’s definitely one of the all-time greats.”

Tim Stallard, who runs Prolink-Sports Entertainment -Media, out of Austin, Texas, started working on an Albuquerque event early in January.

“A lot of markets in the country are really underserved by tennis,” said Stallard. “There’s a strong and supportive tennis community in Albuquerque, but there are few chances there to see top players.”

The Pit hasn’t had a tennis exhibition since the mid-1980s when Martina Navratilova played an exhibition with Chris Evert.

“This event celebrates tennis in the community,” said Stallard. “It creates more awareness for tennis.”

Stallard, who does tennis exhibition around the country involving Sampras, Navratilova, Andy Roddick, the Bryan brothers and Justin Gimelstob, said he contacted Cass six months ago. The two have known each other for more than a decade, going back to Cass’ tenure as the men’s tennis coach at Texas A&M.

Originally, Stallard considered bringing Sampras to Albuquerque to play Novak Djokovic. “But that fell through when Djokovic won the Australian Open.” Then Stallard looked at a foursome, Navratilova-Anna Kournikova and Querrey-Mardy Fish.

Finally, Sampras and Querrey worked out.

Retired from competitive tennis, Sampras, 36, lives in Los Angeles with his wife and two small children. Sampras agreed to come to Albuquerque for a fee that is “very manageable,” according to Stallard.

The 6-foot-6 Querrey is 20. Like Sampras, Querrey lives in Los Angeles and relies heavily on a big serve. In one recent tournament Querry banged an astonishing 10 aces in a row.

The New Mexico Sports Authority is helping to promote and advertise the event locally.

One-hundred percent of the proceeds of the exhibition will benefit the UNM Children’s Hospital. In addition, ticket presales will help raise money for the ColemanVision tournament and for the Loren Dils Fund, which has been set up to combat amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, often referred to as Lou Gehrig’s Disease. Dils is the UNM men’s assistant tennis coach.

Pete Sampras vs. Sam Querrey
University Arena
Sept. 12, 7 p.m.
Ticket prices range from $28.50 to $88.50

Ticket presales begin at 7 a.m. July 6 and end at midnight July 13. During this one week presale, you must visit and enter the code of the organization you wish to contribute to through the presale. The code for Loren Dils is unmtennis. The code for ColemanVision is cvtennis.

Source: Albuquerque Journal

Filed under: Archives 2003 to 2011

Leave a Reply