fellow american

AROUND THE CORNER

Open 13 – Marseille, France

With six players in the top-fifty of the ATP rankings system, France is certainly well represented in the upper echelon of the men’s game. The tournament in Marseille enjoys a significant French presence that starts with number two seed, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga. The defending champion from a year ago has had a solid start to 2010, reaching the semi-finals of the Australian Open where he lost in straight sets to Roger Federer. France enjoyed a sweep in this tournament a year ago with Arnaud Clement and Michael Llordra taking the doubles title as well.

Top seed Robin Soderling will be trying to prevent a Frenchman from hoisting the trophy and is currently experiencing a deep-run in Rotterdam where he knocked-off Nikolay Davydenko in the semi-finals. Soderling has a first-round bye in Marseilles, and could encounter Marcos Baghdatis in the quarter-finals.

Other locals to keep an eye on include Gael Monfils and Gilles Simon.

Expect a Frenchman to hoist the trophy in a week’s time.

Regions Morgan Keegan Championships – Memphis, Tennessee

Andy Roddick will make the move from San Jose to Memphis for back-to-back hard court tournaments. With so many top players skipping these smaller events, it is nice to see regular appearances from Andy. The only World Tour 500-level tournament this coming week, there is some serious prize money to be had and I’m surprised we are not seeing more top-ranked players in attendance.

Roddick faces fellow-American James Blake in a tough first round match. Blake has dropped to 52nd in the world and is realizing how tough it is to enter tournaments without a seeding. He faced Del Potro in the second round of the Aussie Open, and Baghdatis in the first round last week in Rotterdam. Things do not get any easier for him here in Memphis.

Roddick leads their career head-to-head meetings 6-3, however Blake has won their last three matches in a row. They have only met once in the last three years, with Blake winning by default at the Queen’s tournament in 2009 when Roddick pulled-out with injury at 4-4 in the first set. With the way he has played thus far this year, Roddick should prevail in straight sets in this one.

Fernando Verdasco is the number two seed and has a pretty good draw in the bottom half. He;ll have to keep an eye on big-servers John Isner and Ivo Karlovic as well as veteran Tommy Haas. Haas has not looked sharp thus far in 2010, and faces a stiff challenge from veteran Xavier Malisse in the first round. The German might finally be showing his age – although he has won this very tournament three times before, in 1999, 2006 and 2007.

Copa Telmex – Buenos Aires, Argentina

David Ferrer takes the pole position in Buenos Aires but has lacked the consistency so far this year to lead him to the title. Ferrer has lost to lower ranked players such as Stephane Robert, Marcos Baghdatis and Arnaud Clement in his three tournament appearances up to now.

The tournament has quite the interesting mix of players including clay court specialists such as Juan Monaco, Nicolas Almagro, Albert Montanes and even wildcard entry Gaston Gaudio. Having dropped off the radar in recent years, Gaudio’s name still pops up from time to time on the challenger circuit and he is obviously benefiting from the hospitality of his local Argentinian Tennis Federation. He’ll always have his lone Grand Slam title to look back on, from Roland Garros in 2004.

Gaudio isn’t the only former French Open winner present, as Juan Carlos Ferrero and Carlos Moya are also in the draw. Richard Gasquet is also lurking, which is a surprise since you would think he would be playing in his home country’s tournament in Marseille. Perhaps he is not yet ready to face the French press over his doping suspension from a year ago.

Also showing in the draw as of right now is Argentinian David Nalbandian who has been off the tour since May 2009 due to a serious hip injury. Nalbandian was supposed to return to play a month ago at the Australian Open but had to withdraw after sustaining an abdominal injury in practice. Nalbandian will ease back into competition with a favorable first round opponent in Italian Potito Starace.

Agassi To Face Martin In Outback Champions Series Final In Surprise

SURPRISE, Ariz., Oct. 10, 2009 – Andre Agassi advanced into the final of the $150,000 Cancer Treatment Centers of America Tennis Championships at Surprise Saturday with a 6-3, 6-3 win over Wayne Ferreira of South Africa. Agassi, playing in his debut event on the Outback Champions Series tennis circuit, will face Todd Martin in Sunday’s final at the Surprise Tennis & Racquet Complex. Martin advanced to the final with a 7-6 (3), 6-3 win over fellow American Aaron Krickstein in Saturday evening’s second semifinal.

The Cancer Treatment Centers of America Tennis Championships at Surprise is the seventh and final event on the 2009 Outback Champions Series, the global tennis circuit for champion tennis players age 30 and over.

Agassi jumped on Ferreira early and opened the match by breaking serve with a series of well-struck backhand returns. Agassi hit two aces in each of his next three service games and broke Ferreira again to close out the first set 6-3. Ferreira was able to break Agassi’s serve twice in the second set, but was unable to solidify his breaks with service holds and succumbed in straight sets.

“I was able to find my swing early which was really the key to the whole match,” said Agassi. “I served well and really was able to run away with the first set. I knew which shot I was going to hit and that’s such a huge difference to be able to do that. I played a few really good games to hold serve and things just got very comfortable.”

During their ATP careers, Agassi held an 11-0 career record against Ferreira, while losing only one set in their 11 meetings. Agassi’s final-round match with Martin will be a re-match of their five-set U.S. Open final 10 years ago in 1999.

Said Agassi of his 1999 U.S. Open win over Martin, “I think about that match a lot. It was a really good time in my life and that was a beautiful match.”

Martin needed only one service break to defeat Krickstein and advance into his 11th career Outback Champions Series final and his first of the 2009 season. After taking the first set in a tie-breaker, Martin registered the only service break of the match to take a 3-1 lead and held on to advance into the final.

“I served great tonight, especially in the tiebreaker,” said Martin. “He knows where I am vulnerable so serving well is important.”

Said Krickstein, “It was a one break match. Todd served extremely well and there’s not much you can do when that happens. He had 15 or 20 aces and was hitting a lot of corners. This match was all about the serve.”

Sunday’s order of play is as follows;
12pm
Wayne Ferreira vs. Aaron Krickstein – Third Place Match
Followed by
Andre Agassi vs. Todd Martin – Championship Match

John McEnroe won the inaugural event in 2008 in Surprise defeating Martin in the final. Ticket, travel and tournament information can be found by visiting www.ChampionsSeriesTennis.com.

Pete Sampras won the opening event on the 2009 Outback Champions Series, defeating McEnroe in the final of the Champions Cup Boston in February. McEnroe won the second event of the year in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, defeating Jim Courier in the final. Sampras won his second title of the year at the Del Mar Development Champions Cup in Los Cabos, Mexico, defeating Patrick Rafter in the final. Courier won his first title of the 2009 season in April at the Cayman Islands, defeating Arias in the final. Pat Cash successfully defended his title on the grass courts at the Hall of Fame Champions Cup in Newport, R.I. in August, defeating Courier in the final. Courier won his second title of the season in Charlotte in September, defeating Sampras in the final.

Founded in 2005, the Outback Champions Series features some of the biggest names in tennis over the last 25 years, including Agassi, Sampras, McEnroe, Courier and others. To be eligible to compete on the Outback Champions Series, players must have reached at least a major singles final, been ranked in the top five in the world or played singles on a championship Davis Cup team. The Outback Champions Series features seven events on its 2009 schedule with each event featuring $150,000 in prize money as well as Champions Series points that will determine the year-end Champions Rankings No. 1.

InsideOut Sports + Entertainment is a New York City-based independent producer of proprietary events and promotions founded in 2004 by former world No. 1 and Hall of Fame tennis player Jim Courier and former SFX and Clear Channel executive Jon Venison. In 2005, InsideOut launched its signature property, the Outback Champions Series, a collection of tennis events featuring the greatest names in tennis over the age of 30. In addition, InsideOut produces many other successful events including “Legendary Night” exhibitions, charity events, corporate outings and tennis fantasy camps such as the annual “Ultimate Fantasy Camp”. Through 2008, InsideOut Sports + Entertainment events have raised over $4 million for charity. For more information, please log on to www.InsideOutSE.com or www.ChampionsSeriesTennis.com.

Martin Edges Krickstein; To Vie For Fourth Straight Charlotte Final

CHARLOTTE, N.C., September 24, 2009 – Todd Martin defeated fellow American Aaron Krickstein 2-6, 7-6(3), 11-9 (Champions Tie-Breaker) Thursday to advance into the semifinals of the $150,000 Breezeplay Championships at The Palisades at The Palisades Country Club in Charlotte, N.C.  Martin, a singles finalist at the Outback Champions Series event in Charlotte for all three years of the tournament’s existence, will look to advance to a fourth straight final when he next plays the winner of Friday’s quarterfinal between Jim Courier and Mikael Pernfors.

In 2006, in the first-year of the event in Charlotte, Martin reached the tournament final, falling to Courier 5-7, 7-6 (6), 10-4 (Champions Tie-Breaker). In 2007, Martin lost to Pete Sampras 6-4, 6-4 in the championship match, while last year, Martin reached the final at The Palisades for a third straight year, losing to Courier again 6-2, 3-6, 10-5 (Champions Tie-Breaker).

Against Krickstein, Martin had his serve broken twice in the first set as Krickstein surprised Martin with penetrating forehand returns and consistent play from the baseline. Martin appeared frustrated and flustered on court and struggled with his consistency, but was able to hold serve six times in the second set to force the tie-breaker. Martin connected on some strongly hit forehands and timely first serves to win the tie-breaker 7-3 and force the first-to-10-point “Champions Tie-Breaker,” played in lieu of the third-set. Martin jumped out to an 8-4 lead and appeared ready to cruise to the come-back win but Krickstein rallied to win five straight points to hold match point at 9-8. Martin, however, rallied to save the match point and win the next two points to close out the match.

“The match for me was horrible in the beginning,” said Martin. “I knew it couldn’t get any worse. I always play my best when I’m not playing to win. At one point tonight I was just trying to lose gracefully. The courts are very slow which doesn’t suit me well. I rushed an awful lot in the first set and Aaron played really well.”

Martin will have Friday off as Courier and Pernfors play to determine who will play the 1999 U.S. Open singles finalist in the semifinals. Courier and Pernfors, however, were on the court Thursday night as both players competed in a special celebrity match that opened up the evening session, with Charlotte Mayor Pat McCrory pairing with Pernfors to defeat Olympic Gold Medalist Skater Dan Jansen and Courier 6-4.

The remaining schedule of play for the tournament is as follows:

Friday, Sept. 25
Starting at 7 pm
Jim Courier vs. Mikael Pernfors
Followed By
Pat Cash vs. Jimmy Arias

Saturday, Sept. 26
Starting at 2 pm
Doubles Match
Followed By
Pete Sampras vs. Pat Cash/Jimmy Arias winner
Starting at 7 pm
Doubles Match
Followed By
Todd Martin winner vs. Jim Courier/Mikael Pernfors winner

Sunday, Sept. 27
Starting at 2 pm
Third Place Match
Followed by
Championship Match

Sampras won the opening event on the 2009 Outback Champions Series, defeating John McEnroe in the final of the Champions Cup Boston in February. McEnroe won the second event of the year in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, defeating Courier in the final. Sampras won his second title of the year at the Del Mar Development Champions Cup in Los Cabos, Mexico, defeating Patrick Rafter in the final. Courier won his first title of the 2009 season in April at the Cayman Islands, defeating Arias in the final. Cash successfully defended his title on the grass courts at the Hall of Fame Champions Cup in Newport, R.I. in August, defeating Courier in the final. Following Charlotte, the next event on the Outback Champions Series will be held in Surprise, Ariz., where Andre Agassi will make his debut Oct. 8-11.

Founded in 2005, the Outback Champions Series features some of the biggest names in tennis over the last 25 years, including Andre Agassi, Sampras, McEnroe, Courier and others. To be eligible to compete on the Outback Champions Series, players must have reached at least a major singles final, been ranked in the top five in the world or played singles on a championship Davis Cup team. The Outback Champions Series features seven events on its 2009 schedule with each event featuring $150,000 in prize money as well as Champions Series points that will determine the year-end Champions Rankings No. 1.

InsideOut Sports + Entertainment is a New York City-based independent producer of proprietary events and promotions founded in 2004 by former world No. 1 and Hall of Fame tennis player Jim Courier and former SFX and Clear Channel executive Jon Venison. In 2005, InsideOut launched its signature property, the Outback Champions Series, a collection of tennis events featuring the greatest names in tennis over the age of 30. In addition, InsideOut produces many other successful events including “Legendary Night” exhibitions, charity events, corporate outings and tennis fantasy camps such as the annual “Ultimate Fantasy Camp”. Through 2008, InsideOut Sports + Entertainment events have raised over $4 million for charity. For more information, please log on to www.InsideOutSE.com or www.ChampionsSeriesTennis.com.

US Open – Day 1 Recap

No shocking upsets on day one at the U.S. Open in New York, although there very nearly was. Third seeded American Venus Williams nearly suffered her first loss ever in the opening round at Flushing Meadows against VeraDushevina of Russia before winning 6-7 (5-7), 7-5, 6-3. Fighting a knee injury that seems to have been bothering her since at least Wimbledon, Williams was down a set and a break in the second set before self-correcting.

Meanwhile, defending champions Roger Federer and Serena Williams both advanced with ease. Federer over-matched NCAA champion Devin Britton 6-1, 6-3, 7-5 while Serena defeated fellow American Alexa Glatch 6-4, 6-1. Expectations for both Britton and Glatch were low, but for different reasons.

Britton is only 18 years old and has only played in one prior professional level tournament before today. The young American was clearly overtaken by nerves as he attempted to play his serve and volley game against the world number one. You have to give this kid credit though, he did manage to breakFederer’s serve in both the second and third sets. At 6’3” he has some pop on his serve and seems more than willing to come to the net. We’ll be hearing from him again down the road.

Glatch meanwhile has been bothered by a serious back injury lately. According to her coach, Kevin O’Neill, she has only been able to even hit a tennis ball for the past six days or so and had not played a tournament match since Wimbledon, failing to get past the qualifying rounds of both Stanford andLos Angeles. It was the 20 year old’s fifth U.S. Open appearance.

The $19,000 first round losers paycheck should help both Britton and Glatch cope with the tough draw they received this year.
Overall the day provided American players with a winning record of 9 wins and 7 losses. Not all that bad considering that two of the matches involved Americans facing off against each other.

While there were no big upsets, Mikhail Youzhny from Russia did knock off 26th seeded Paul-Henri Mathieu from France while Kai-Chen Chang of China defeated 25th seeded Kaia Kanepi of Estonia.

The “thanks for coming out award” goes to Rossana de los Rios who was defeated 6-1, 6-0 by 14th seed Marion Bartoli.
The evening session began with a tribute to the humanitarian work Andre Agassi has done with the Andre Agassi College Preparatory Academy. Agassi gave a brief, but moving speech about the motivation behind his charity work and the success of its first-ever graduating class this past June. One hundred percent of the students made it to graduation and also gained acceptance into a college program. The tribute made no mention of Agassi’s tennis achievements and instead gave fans some insight into the huge accomplishments the American champion has made off the court.

Birthday Boy Courier Looking For First Grass Court Title

NEW YORK, N.Y., August 17, 2009 – Jim Courier, who turns 39 years old today, is hoping to have a belated birthday gift this coming Sunday in the form of his first professional grass court tournament title at the $150,000 Hall of Fame Champions Cup at the International Tennis Hall of Fame in Newport, R.I. Courier, the No. 1-ranked player on the Outback Champions Series, the global tennis circuit for champion tennis players age 30 and over, is looking to add a grass court tournament title to his trophy shelf and grab his second Outback Champions Series title of 2009.

“I’m still on the hunt for my first grass court title,” said Courier. “I lost in the finals of this tournament last year and also made the finals of a little tournament outside of London once but I’ve never lifted a trophy on grass. I know I’m running out of time so the hunger is there to change that in Newport.”

Courier opens play at the Hall of Fame Champions Cup on Thursday, August 20 during the 1 pm session against fellow American Jimmy Arias. A win over Arias would place Courier in the semifinals, where he would meet the winner of two former grass-court winners at the prestigious Queen’s Club event – 1994 champion Todd Martin and 1993 champion Wayne Ferreira.

Courier’s best grass court showing during his ATP Tour career came in reaching the Wimbledon final in 1993, where he was defeated by Pete Sampras 7-6, 7-6, 3-6, 6-3. On the Outback Champions Series, Courier reached the final at Newport in 2008, losing to Pat Cash 6-3, 6-4. In 2007, he finished in third place in Newport, beating Cash 4-6, 6-3, 10-8 (Champions Tie-Breaker) in the third-place match.

Rounding out the field this year in Newport are Cash, Mats Wilander, Mark Philippoussis and Mikael Pernfors. Individual and series tickets for the event can be purchased at 866-914-FAME (3263) or by visiting www.tennisfame.com. The Hall of Fame Champions Cup is the fifth of eight events on the 2009 Outback Champions Series and runs from August 20-23. The tournament will be an eight-player, single-knock-out event with the winner earning $60,000.

The complete schedule of play for the Hall of Fame Champions Cup is as follows;

Thursday, August 20th – 1pm

Singles Quarterfinal – Todd Martin vs. Wayne Ferreira

Followed by Doubles Exhibition – Mats Wilander & Mikael Pernfors vs. Mark Philippoussis & Pat Cash

Followed by Singles Quarterfinal – Jim Courier vs. Jimmy Arias

Friday, August 21st – 1pm

Singles Quarterfinal – Mark Philippoussis vs. Mikael Pernfors

Followed by Doubles Exhibition – Jim Courier & Wayne Ferreira vs. Todd Martin & Jimmy Arias

Followed by Singles Quarterfinal – Pat Cash vs. Mats Wilander

Saturday, August 22nd – 1pm

Singles Semifinal – Martin/Ferreira winner vs. Courier/Arias winner

Followed by Doubles Exhibition

Followed by Singles Semifinal – Philippoussis/Pernfors winner vs. Cash/Wilander winner

Sunday, August 23rd – 1pm

3rd Place Match

Followed by

Championship Match

Pete Sampras won the opening event on the 2009 Outback Champions Series, defeating John McEnroe in the final of the Champions Cup Boston in February. McEnroe won the second event of the year in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, defeating Courier in the final. Sampras won his second title of the year at the Del Mar Development Champions Cup in Los Cabos, Mexico, defeating Patrick Rafter in the final. Courier won his first title of the 2009 season in April at the Cayman Islands, defeating Arias in the final. Following Newport, remaining events on the Outback Champions Series will be held in Charlotte (Sept. 24-27), Surprise, Ariz. (Oct. 8-11) and Dubai, U.A.E. (Nov. 18-21).

Courier leads the current Champions Rankings on the Outback Champions Series with 2000 points, followed by Sampras with 1600 points and McEnroe with 1300 points. Arias sits at a career-high No. 4 in the Champions Series ranking with 1050 points, followed by Cash with 700 points at No. 5 and Philippoussis at No. 6 with 600 points. Wilander, Pernfors and Patrick Rafter are tied at No. 7 with 500 points, while Martin rounds out the top 10 with 400 points.

Founded in 2005, the Outback Champions Series features some of the biggest names in tennis over the last 25 years, including Andre Agassi, Sampras, McEnroe, Courier and others. To be eligible to compete on the Outback Champions Series, players must have reached at least a major singles final, been ranked in the top five in the world or played singles on a championship Davis Cup team. The Outback Champions Series features eight events on its 2009 schedule with each event featuring $150,000 in prize money as well as Champions Series points that will determine the year-end Champions Rankings No. 1.

The International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum, established in 1954, is a non-profit institution dedicated to preserving the history of tennis, inspiring and encouraging junior tennis development, enshrining tennis heroes and heroines, and providing a landmark for tennis enthusiasts worldwide. It was recognized as the sport’s official Hall of Fame in 1986 by the International Tennis Federation, the governing body of tennis. The International Tennis Hall of Fame’s legendary grass courts remain the only competition grass courts available for professional events and exhibitions, while also available for public play. For more information about the International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum, events and programs, please call 401-849-3990 or log on to www.tennisfame.com

InsideOut Sports + Entertainment is a New York City-based independent producer of proprietary events and promotions founded in 2004 by former world No. 1 and Hall of Fame tennis player Jim Courier and former SFX and Clear Channel executive Jon Venison. In 2005, InsideOut launched its signature property, the Outback Champions Series, a collection of tennis events featuring the greatest names in tennis over the age of 30. In addition, InsideOut produces many other successful events including “Legendary Night” exhibitions, charity events, private corporate outings and tennis fantasy camps such as the annual “Ultimate Fantasy Camp”. Through 2008, InsideOut Sports + Entertainment events have raised over $4 million for charity. For more information, please log on to www.InsideOutSE.com or www.ChampionsSeriesTennis.com.

Epic matches and major upsets at Roland Garros

Epic matches and major upsets highlight the May 31 landscape at Roland Garros through the years. The following excerpt from the book ON THIS DAY IN TENNIS HISTORY summarizes the excitement.

1983 – Twenty-five-year French journeyman Christophe Roger-Vasselin, ranked No. 130 in the world, registers one of the biggest upsets in the history of the French Open, upsetting No. 1 seed Jimmy Connors 6-4, 6-4, 7-6 in the quarterfinals at Roland Garros. Roger-Vasselin’s countryman No. 6-seeded Yannick Noah, accounts for the second big upset on the day, defeating No. 3 seed Ivan Lendl by a 7-6, 6-2, 5-7, 6-0 margin.

1994 – Jim Courier defeats Pete Sampras 6-4, 5-7, 6-4, 6-4 in the quarterfinals of the French Open, ending Sampras’ hopes of winning a fourth consecutive major tournament title. Sampras, falls short in his attempt to join Don Budge and Rod Laver – both of whom won Grand Slams – as the only men to win four straight major titles. Sampras, the 1993 Wimbledon and U.S.  Open champion and the 1994 Australian Open champion, sees his major tournament winning streak end at 26 matches. Says Sampras, “”I’m kind of down and disappointed. To win four in a row would have been something that would have been written about for years.” Says Courier after his first win over Sampras in 18 months, “I was in a lot more rallies and I was able to be the dictator rather than being the person dictated to…It has been a long time since I have won a big match in a big tournament like this against a top player.”

1989 – Thirty-six-year-old Jimmy Connors plays one of the longest four-set matches in the history of the sport, falling to fellow American Jay Berger 4-6, 6-3, 7-5, 7-5 in 4 hours, 26 minutes in the second round of the French Open. Berger is not surprised that the French crowd is so firmly rooting for the five-time US Open champion. “Hey, if I was in the stands, I would have cheered Jimmy Connors, too,” he says. Says Connors after the match, “For me to go out and grind out a match like that. It’s fun. To play a kid like that, 14 years younger – I could have played a fifth set. My mouthpiece wasn’t knocked out.”

1974 – Reigning Australian Open champions Jimmy Connors and Evonne Goolagong lose in French appeals court in an attempt to gain entry into the French Open. Both stars are denied entry into the tournament due to their involvement with World Team Tennis. French judge Jean Regnault denies the appeal stating that there was no “emergency” and that both players earned substantial incomes from tennis – with or without playing the French Championships. The decision costs Connors a serious opportunity to become only the third man to win the Grand Slam as he decisively wins Wimbledon and the U.S. Open later in the year. Says Connors of Parisien court experience, “I’m in the wrong court. I should be on clay.”

1998 – Alex Corretja completes a 6-1, 5-7, 6-7, 7-5, 9-7 third round victory over Hernan Gumy of Argentina at the French Open in a match that lasts 5 hours, 31 minutes, the longest match in major tournament history at the time. The match was five minutes longer than Stefan Edberg’s semifinal victory against Michael Chang at the 1992 US Open, but it is eclipsed in 2004 when Fabrice Santoro and Arnaud Clement play a two-day 6 hour, 33 minute match in the first round of the French Open.

1996 – Pete Sampras outlasts fellow American Todd Martin 3-6, 6-4, 7-5, 4-6, 6-2 in 3 hours, 21 minutes in the third round of the French Open. Sampras serves 19 aces to Martin’s 29, believed to be the highest number in one match at the French Open.

2000 – Dominique Van Roost of Belgium celebrates her 27th birthday with a 6-7 (5), 6-4, 6-3 win over No. 2 seed Lindsay Davenport in the first round of the French Open.

2001 – Pete Sampras is foiled again at the French Open, falling in the second round at the world’s premier clay court championship to Spain’s Galo Blanco 7-6 (4), 6-3, 6-2. “If I go through my career not winning the French, sure, it’s disappointing,” Sampras says. “But it’s not going to take away from my place in the game, what I’ve been able to do over the years. I mean, there’s still time. There’s no reason to think this is it. I mean, I’ve got plenty of years left.”  Sampras plays at Roland Garros for only one more year in 2002, losing in the first round to Andrea Gaudenzi. He plays his final match in winning in the 2002 U.S. Open and retires having only reached one French Open semifinal in 1996.

2003 – In a 4 hour, 38-minute epic, defending champion Albert Costa of Spain defeats Nicolas Lapentti of Ecuador 4-6, 4-6, 6-3, 6-4, 6-4 in the third round of the French Open for his third five-set victory in a row at Roland Garros. Lapentti leads two-sets-to-love and 4-1 in the third set before Costa begins his comeback charge. ”I’m feeling so proud of myself because I’m not playing my best tennis, but I’m still fighting all the time,” Costa says. No. 1 seed Lleyton Hewitt is dismissed in the third round by Spaniard Tommy Robredo by a 4-6, 1-6, 6-3, 6-2, 6-3 margin. “”This was the match of my life,” Robredo says after his victory “To be two sets down and 0-3 down in the fifth and to have this crowd chanting my name in Paris against a guy like Hewitt, it’s close to perfection.”

1995 – Pete Sampras is sunk in the first round of the French Open, losing a darkness-suspended match Austria’s Gilbert Schaller 7-6 (3), 4-6, 6-7 (4), 6-2, 6-4 in 4 hours, 2 minutes. The match resumes with Sampras leading 3-1 in the third set, but his serve is immediate broken in the first game of the resumption, setting the tone for the rest of the afternoon. “I think this loss is probably going to sit with me for quite a while,” says Sampras to reporters after the match. “I could talk about turning points, but we would be here all day.”

1980 – John McEnroe was hit with a $1,250 fine for his ungraceful exit in his third round French Open loss to Peter McNamara of Australia, in which he made an insulting remark to the umpire and an obscene gesture to the crowd.

The Bud Collins History Of Tennis Documents Ed Kauder’s 59 Aces at 1955 US Championships as All-Time Record

Ivo Karlovic came up short against Lleyton Hewitt and four aces shy of equaling the all-time ace record Sunday on the opening day of play at the 2009 French Open.

The 6-10 Croatian fired 55 aces in his 6-7 (1), 6-7 (4), 7-6 (4), 6-4, 6-3 first-round loss to Hewitt, nearly breaking the all-time match record of 59 aces, according to the book THE BUD COLLINS HISTORY OF TENNIS.

THE BUD COLLINS HISTORY OF TENNIS ($35.95, 784 pages, New Chapter Press, www.tennistomes.com), the most authoritative compilation of the records and histories of tennis written by Bud Collins, the Hall of Fame tennis journalist, broadcaster and personality, documents American Ed Kauder as the holder of the record of striking the most aces in a match. Kauder fired 59 aces in a 6-2, 3-6, 9-11, 10-8, 6-0 first-round loss to fellow American Ham Richardson at the 1955 U.S. Championships at Forest Hills. Karlovic’s 55 aces stands as the second-most all-time tally and as the most aces in a match at Roland Garros.

THE BUD COLLINS HISTORY OF TENNIS is the ultimate compilation of historical tennis information, including year-by-year recaps of every tennis season, biographical sketches of every major tennis personality, as well as stats, records, and championship rolls for all the major events. The author’s personal relationships with major tennis stars offer insights into the world of professional tennis found nowhere else. Among those endorsing the book include the two women who hold the Wimbledon record for most total titles – Martina Navratilova and Billie Jean King – who both won 20 Wimbledon titles in their careers. Said Navratilova, “If you know nothing about tennis, this book is for you. And if you know everything about tennis-Hah!-Bud knows more, so this book is for you too!” Said King, “We can’t move forward if we don’t understand and appreciate our past. This book not only provides us with accurate reporting of the rich tennis history, it keeps us current on the progress of the sport today.” Also endorsing the book is author, commentator and Sports Illustrated contributor Frank Deford, who stated, “No tennis encyclopedia could be written by anyone but Bud Collins because Bud Collins is the walking tennis encyclopedia-the game’s barefoot professor. The only thing missing about the sport from his new edition is a section about Bud himself. But everything else is there-and it’s easy to open and use for the whole family.” Said Dick Enberg of CBS Sports and ESPN, “Did you ever see an encyclopedia walking? That’s Bud Collins (who sometimes runs, too). Plunge into his book and swim joyfully through the history of tennis. It’s all here.”

New Chapter Press is also the publisher of The Roger Federer Story, Quest for Perfection by Rene Stauffer and Boycott: Stolen Dreams of the 1980 Moscow Olympic Games by Tom Caraccioli and Jerry Caraccioli. Founded in 1987, New Chapter Press is an independent publisher of books and part of the Independent Publishers Group.

Andy Roddick: A Sporting Gesture

Andy Roddick may have performed his best act when he married Sports Illustrated model Brooklyn Decker last month, but his act of sportsmanship at the 2005 Italian Open would rank high as well. The following excerpt from the May 5 chapter of the book ON THIS DAY IN TENNIS HISTORY ($19.95, New Chapter Press, www.tennishistorybook.com) details what happened.

May 5

2005 – Andy Roddick performs one of the greatest gestures of sportsmanship on a tennis court when he overturns an apparent double-fault – that would have given him the match – and eventually loses to Spain’s Fernando Verdasco 6-7 (1), 7-6 (3), 6-4 in the round of 16 of the Italian Open in Rome.  Roddick is leading 5-3 in the second set and has triple match point with Verdasco serving. Verdasco’s serve appears to land just wide and is called out by the linesperson. Roddick, however, says the ball was in after checking the mark on the clay court and concedes the second serve ace to Verdasco. “I didn’t think it was anything extraordinary,” says Roddick. “The umpire would have done the same thing if he came down and looked. I just saved him the trip.”  Famed American sports journalist Frank Deford say on National Public Radio of the gesture, “In one moment with victory his for the taking – no, not for the taking – is given, is assumed, Andy Roddick went against the way of the world and simply instinctively did what he thought was right. Once upon time we called such foolish innocents sportsmen.”

1981 – New Yorkers John McEnroe and Vitas Gerulaitis are eliminated from the WCT Tournament of Champions at the West Side Tennis Club in Forest Hills, N.Y. McEnroe is defeated by Brazil’s Carlos Kirmayr 5-7, 7-6 (7), 6-2 in a second-round match, while Gerualitis is defeated by fellow American Fritz Buehning 7-5, 7-5. McEnroe holds a match point in the second-set tie-break but is unable to convert, while Gerulaitis loses the last six games of the match after taking a 5-1 lead in the second set. ”Inexcusable,” says McEnroe of the loss. ”He ran me around like a yo-yo and he deserved to win.”