A great week of tennis was capped off by Andre Agassi, who defeated fellow rival Pete Sampras at the Mercedes-Benz Cup(2001) at the UCLA Tennis Center. The final was 6-4, 6-2 in front of a sell out crowd of 7,109. Agassi reached the finals by beating up and coming local James Blake in the first round, followed by victories over Greg Rusedski of England, USA’s Jan Michael Gambill, and finally #1 seed Gustavo Kuerten of Brazil.
Sampras had to beat Americans Chris Woodruff in the first round and then Michael Chang before disposing of Greg Norman of Sweeden and surprise semi-finalist Xavier Malisse of Belgium to reach the finals.
Twins Mike and Bob Bryan teamed to win the Doubles final over Gambill and Andy Roddick, whose future looks bright despite his opening round loss to Marat Safin. The 2002 Tournament will start July 19 and the finals will conclude on July 28th. Scheduled to appear in this years event are defending U.S. Open champion Leyton Hewitt of Australia, Roddick, Kuerten, and Agassi to name a few. Agassi and Hewitt have also committed to playing with celebrity partners to be named later on Monday, July 22 at 7:30 for the annual "A Night at the Net" fundraiser. Proceeds benefit MusiCares(the Recording Academy’s charitable foundation), which focuses on health an human services for the music community.
There is a 32 player single’s draw and 16-team doubles competition as every year here. For more information, tickets or to find out who else is scheduled to play, please call (310)824-1010 or toll-free (877)LA TENNIS. There are day and evening sessions and some of the best players in the world will be in action. The conditions, weather, and crowds are always great for this popular L.A. tennis event. Proceeds from the Mercedes-Benz Cup benefit the grassroots program of the non-profit Southern California Tennis Association(SCTA) and UCLA. The SCTA offers programs, leagues, and tournaments that involve 300,000 juniors and at least 50,000 adults and seniors.