Sampras To Battle Courier in Exhibition

July 14, 2006 05:42 PM

The 37th Annual Open also includes a Fireworks Extravaganza, Giant Tennis Ball Giveaway and Courtside Cuisine by Wolfgang Puck

Pete Sampras will take on Jim Courier on Aug. 7© CAROL NEWSOM/AFP/Getty Images
CARSON, CA – Pete Sampras, winner of 64 career tennis titles including a record 14 Grand Slam titles, will play an exhibition tennis match vs. Jim Courier, owner of 23 career titles including four Grand Slams, during the ‘Ultimate Tennis Celebration’ at the 2006 JPMorgan Chase Open presented by Herbalife, it was announced today by Tournament Director Bill Peterson.

The two former world No. 1’s will play a best of three sets on Monday, Aug. 7, during the first evening session of the annual southern California stop on the Sony Ericsson WTA tour. Matches begin that evening at 7 p.m. The special match will also feature a guest umpire and guest ball boys.

“If you are going to have an Ultimate Tennis Celebration, then it is natural to have champion tennis players like Pete Sampras and Jim Courier involved,” said Peterson. They are a tremendous addition for us this year and part of the week-long festivities including a weekend post-match fireworks exhibition, great promotions and excellent food inspired by chef Wolfgang Puck held in one of the nation’s best tennis stadiums.”

Sampras, who grew up in Southern California, posted a 762-222 career record and finished the year as No. 1 on the ATP Rankings a record six consecutive years (1993-98) including holding a number 1 world ranking for 286 weeks, also a record. Courier, who retired in 2000 after compiling a 506-227 lifetime record, has four Grand Slam singles titles including two at the French Open and two at the Australian Open.

“Jim and I have played some great tennis matches over our careers so it's exciting to have the chance to rekindle our friendly rivalry in my backyard,” said Sampras.

The two champions met just once in a Grand Slam finals match with Sampras defeating Courier 7-6, 7-6, 3-6,

6-3 for his first Wimbledon title in 1993. They met 20 times during their professional careers, the last time in Key Biscayne, Florida in 1999 with Sampras holding a 16-4 career edge in match play.

“It's fantastic to blend Champions tennis with this tremendous women’s event to give Southern California tennis fans a true tennis feast,” said Courier. “This is going to be an exciting match as Pete and I are both actively playing and have a great history of hard fought matches. I look forward to renewing our rivalry.”

Early entries for the 2006 JPMorgan Chase Open presented by Herbalife have been announced and include No. 4 ranked Maria Sharapova, No. 5 Nadia Petrova, No. 6 Elena Dementieva as well as hometown favorites Venus and Serena Williams.

For the third consecutive year, the tournament will feature a fireworks extravaganza on Saturday night as well as Courtside Cuisine by Wolfgang Puck throughout the week-long tournament. The annual fireworks show is one of the biggest and best fireworks shows in Southern California and Courtside Cuisine is a special hospitality area that will serve a menu of items prepared daily from recipes created by Puck.

Other event promotions slated for this year’s tournament include a Health & Wellness Day presented by Herbalife on Friday, including a Jumbo Tennis Ball Giveaway scheduled for the night session. Saturday features a JPMorgan Chase Open Tennis Racquet Giveaway during the day session for the first 5,000 fans. Additionally, all tournament guests arriving in Land Rover vehicles will receive complimentary VIP parking throughout the week, compliments of Land Rover.

All session ticket packages starting at just $225 are currently on sale for the 2006 JPMorgan Chase Open presented by Herbalife with groups of 10 or more starting at only $10. In addition, weekend ticket packages, which sold out last year, are also currently on sale. The weekend package includes a total of five sessions over Friday (two sessions), Saturday (two sessions) and the finals on Sunday. Weekend packages for the tournament start at just $115. Also available is the Legends Pack, which includes tickets for Opening Night and Thursday Night starting at just $40.50. Other VIP experiences are available for Opening Night which include special clinics and a reception with appearances from Pete Sampras and Jim Courier.

For more information on all ticket packages, call 1-877-AEG-TICKETS (1-877-234-8425) or log on to

The JPMorgan Chase Open is also a part of the prestigious US Open Series, which links 10 summer hard-court tournaments to the famed US Open. This year’s JPMorgan Chase Open marks the third time players competing in the US Open Series tournaments will be vying for bonus prize money at the US Open. Players competing in the “summer season” of tennis at the participating Sony Ericsson WTA Tour tournaments will receive US Open Series points which will ultimately earn the winner of the series the opportunity to double her US Open prize money.


About the 2006 JPMorgan Chase Open presented by Herbalife
The JPMorgan Chase Open, at 37 years old one of the most historic events in women’s tennis, is being held for the fourth consecutive year at The Home Depot Center. The Sony Ericsson WTA Tour Tier II event offers prize money of $600,000 to the 56-player singles and 16-team doubles draws. The distinguished tournament champions’ list includes Kim Clijsters, Serena Williams, Lindsay Davenport, Monica Seles, Steffi Graf, Chris Evert, Martina Navratilova and Billie Jean King.

About JPMorgan Chase
J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. is a leading global financial services firm with assets of $801 billion and operations in more than 50 countries. The firm is a leader in investment banking, financial services for consumers and businesses, financial transaction processing, investment management, private banking and private equity. A component of the Dow Jones Industrial Average, JPMorgan Chase is headquartered in New York and serves more than 30 million consumers nationwide, and many of the world's most prominent corporate, institutional and government clients. Information about JPMorgan Chase is available on the Internet at

About The Home Depot Center
The Home Depot Center is southern California’s home of world-class competition and training facilities for amateur, Olympic, collegiate and professional athletes. The $150 million, privately financed facility was developed and is operated by AEG on a 125-acre site on the campus of California State University, Dominguez Hills (CSUDH) in Carson, California. The Home Depot Center features an 8,000-seat tennis stadium, a 27,000-seat stadium for soccer, rugby and other athletic competitions and outdoor concerts, a 10,000-seat facility for track & field and lacrosse, the ADT Event Center (a 2,450-seat indoor velodrome for cycling) and other facilities for softball, baseball, beach volleyball, basketball and other sports. The Home Depot Center is home to three professional sports teams – Major League Soccer’s 2005 MLS and U.S. Open Cup Champion Los Angeles Galaxy; Club Deportivo (CD) Chivas USA; and Major League Lacrosse’s (MLL) Los Angeles Riptide. Named an Official U.S. Olympic Training Site, The Home Depot Center is also home of the United States Tennis Association (USTA) USA Tennis High Performance Training Center and is the national team training headquarters for the U.S. Soccer Federation (USSF). The David Beckham Academy for youth soccer, Andre Agassi’s Safe Passage All-Stars at-risk youth tennis program and Athletes’ Performance training center for elite and professional athletes are all based at The Home Depot Center. The Home Depot Center has additionally been designated official training sites for USA Cycling and USA Track & Field. For more information, please visit