Legg Mason Tennis Classic Announces Andre Agassi and Lleyton Hewitt

April 19, 2004 02:17 PM

Tickets for August 14-22 Event On Sale February 16

Andre Agassi returns a shot to Juan Carlos Ferrero of Spain during the 2003 US Open men's singles semifinals© Alex Livesey
WASHINGTON, DC – Legg Mason Tennis Classic Tournament Director Jeff Newman is pleased to announce that two of the world’s top players, five-time champion Andre Agassi and Australia’s Lleyton Hewitt, have committed to play in the Washington summer classic, August 14-22 at the William H.G. Fitzgerald Center (16th and Kennedy Streets, N.W.). “With the renewal of Legg Mason as title sponsor along with the commitments from Agassi and Hewitt, we expect yet another exciting week of world-class tennis in Washington,” said Newman. He also noted that tickets for the 36th edition of the 2004 Legg Mason Tennis Classic, one of Washington’s most prestigious events, go on sale Monday, February 16.

Andre Agassi, a perennial fan favorite and one of the sport’s great champions returns to the nation’s capitol, a wonderful coup as the eight-time Grand Slam champion cuts back on his playing schedule. He had another remarkable year in 2003, capturing four tournaments (including the Australian Open in January) and reached the finals of the year-end Tennis Masters Cup in Houston. He finished the season No. 4 in the world, a position he continues to hold. Agassi is only the fifth player to ever win all four Grand Slam singles titles. He has won a total of 58 singles titles and over $27 million in prize money, and has finished in the year-end Top Ten 14 times since 1988!

Hewitt, a fiery competitor from Australia, said, "I have not played in Washington since my rookie year (1998), so I am definitely looking forward to it - and hopefully winning a few more matches!" He was one of several “youngsters to watch” when he first hit the hard courts in Rock Creek Park – losing in the first round to Justin Gimelstob. However, he quickly went on to prove that the sobriquet was well-earned, jumping 91 ranking positions in 1999, as he reached four finals (winning once) and helped his country defeat France to capture the Davis Cup. The following year he won four tournament titles, finishing as the Australian No. 1.

In 2001, Hewitt jolted anyone who hadn’t been paying attention, when he captured a total of six tournament titles, including his first Grand Slam crown at the U.S. Open with a straight sets victory over Pete Sampras. He capped the year with the title at the Tennis Masters Series, and was the youngest player and first from his country to finish No. 1 in the history of the ATP Rankings (since 1973). He won his second Grand Slam at Wimbledon in 2002, a year in which he became only the fourth player ever to rank No. 1 for every week of the calendar year, alongside Jimmy Connors, Ivan Lendl and Sampras. He captured five titles in seven finals. While he took time off in 2003, playing only 13 tournaments, he led Australia to a 3-1 win over Spain for the Davis Cup title, captured titles at Scottsdale and Indian Wells, and reached the finals at Los Angeles.

Currently No. 6 in the ATP Champions Race, Hewitt – who turns 23 this month – has 20 total singles titles and two doubles crowns. Already this year, he has won a title, at Sydney, and has a singles match record of 9-1.

A portion of the proceeds from the Legg Mason Tennis Classic benefits the Washington Tennis & Education Foundation (WTEF), the owner and beneficiary of the tournament.

To order ticket packages or for more information, please call 202.721.9500, or visit www.leggmasontennisclassic.com. Single session tickets will be available at all TicketMaster outlets beginning Monday, February 16, or phone 202.432.SEAT (7328).