8 Jun 2007

Attention All Tennis Fans...


Following press conferences in Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia) and Macao (China), IMG, the world's premier sports, entertainment and media company, confirmed that tennis Superstars Pete Sampras and Roger Federer have agreed to play each other in a Series of matches in three Asian cities in November.

The best-of-three set matches will be played on indoor carpet surfaces on November 20 (Tue) in a city to be announced at a later date, November 22 (Thu) in Kuala Lumpur and on November 24 (Sat) in Macao. The Malaysian match billed as the Merdeka International Tennis Challenge will be a tourism driven initiative held as part of the celebrations of Merdeka - the 50th anniversary of the Malaysia. The "Venetian Macao Tennis Showdown" will be title sponsored by the Venetian Macao Resort Hotel and take place at the Venetian Macao Resort Hotel's stunning new 15,000 seat arena.

Both players recently trained together in Los Angeles though they faced each other only once in professional match play, which was in the round of 16 at Wimbledon in 2001. Federer won that match in five sets 7-6 (9-7), 5-7, 6-4, 6-7 (2-7), 7-5.

Sampras retired from professional tennis five years ago after beating Andre Agassi to win the 2002 US Open and capture a record fourteenth singles Grand Slam title. During his career, Sampras won sixty-four top-level singles titles (including fourteen Grand Slams and eleven ATP Masters Series titles). He was ranked the World No. 1 for a record 286 weeks and was year-end No. 1 for a record six consecutive years from 1993 through 1998. He resumed training earlier this year and recently won Champions tournaments in Boston and in his native Greece. He remains undefeated and is on an eight match winning run.

Roger Federer is currently the #1 ranked player in the world and many experts and his own p
eers believe he may prove to be the greatest player in history. He has won ten Grand Slam men's singles titles in thirty-one appearances, three Tennis Masters Cup titles and thirteen Masters Series titles. In 2004, the Swiss became the first man since Mats Wilander in 1988 to win three of four Grand Slam singles tournaments in the same year. In 2006, he repeated this feat and became the first man in the open era to win at least ten singles tournaments in three consecutive years. He is also the only player to have won both the Wimbledon and U.S. Open singles titles in three consecutive years (2004-2006). In 2007, when Federer won his third Australian Open title, he became the only male player to have won three separate Grand Slam tournaments three times. There has been considerable speculation about Federer possibly becoming in 2007 the first player since Rod Laver in 1969 to win all four Grand Slam tournaments in the same calendar year.

Federer already has won the first Grand Slam tournament of this year, the Australian Open and he ended Rafael Nadal's 81 match record clay court winning streak, when he won the Hamburg Masters Series tournament.

Federer has been ranked No. 1 in the world since February 2, 2004 and holds the all-time record for most consecutive weeks as the top-ranked male player. On April 2, 2007 he was named Laureus World Sportsman of the Year for a record third consecutive time.

"We at IMG are excited to be putting together these matches featuring two of the greatest athletes of our time in three different Asian cities and look forward to some spectacular tennis entertainment come November," said Nick Freyer, Senior Vice President, IMG Tennis in Asia.

Latest News:-
Rafael Nadal rubber-stamped his status as the world's best claycourter by winning the French Open title on Sunday to once again ruin Roger Federer's bid to claim the only grand slam missing from his collection. By bringing the world number one to his knees with a 6-3 4-6 6-3 6-4 exhibition, Nadal followed Bjorn Borg to become only the second man in 93 years to clinch a hat-trick of trophies at Roland Garros.


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