SANTA MONICA, February 21, 2007 —
Three-time French Open Winner and Four-Time Wimbledon Semifinalist add to
Strong Tournament Field, which Features more Grand Slam Winners than 2006
LOS ANGELES, Feb. 21, 2007 – Panasonic presents the Tennis Channel Open – the Las Vegas-based ATP tournament owned and operated by The Tennis Channel – today announced that tennis stars Gustavo Kuerten and Tim Henman will receive wild cards to this year’s competition, which runs Feb. 25-March 4, 2007. The event will again be held at the Amanda & Stacy Darling Memorial Tennis Center.
Brazilian tennis star Kuerten is a three-time French Open champion, winning the Grand Slam event in 1997, 2000 and 2001. In 2004 he was the only player to beat the indomitable Roger Federer in Grand Slam play, defeating the top-ranked star in the French Open. This is his first year in the Tennis Channel Open.
This is also the first time in Las Vegas for perennial English favorite Tim Henman. Henman is the owner of 11 career titles, including a 2003 ATP Masters Series championship in Paris. He has been a Wimbledon semifinalist four times (1998, 1999, 2001, 2002), and in 2001 defeated Roger Federer in the event’s quarterfinal.
“It’s tremendous to add two wild cards of this caliber who have had so much success on tennis’ biggest stages,” said David Egdes, tournament director and senior vice president, tennis industry relations, The Tennis Channel. “Both play exciting, high-level tennis and have been among the most popular players in the world over the last decade. We’re excited to have them in front of the crowds in Las Vegas for the first time.”
The addition of Kuerten brings yet another of tennis’ Grand Slam champions to Las Vegas. He joins Lleyton Hewitt (2001 US Open, 2002 Wimbledon), Marat Safin (2000 US Open, 2005 Australian Open), and doubles twins Bob and Mike Bryan (2003 French Open, 2005 US Open, 2006 Wimbledon, 2006-07 Australian Open) as Tennis Channel Open players who have won at least one major tennis championship. Last year’s inaugural Tennis Channel Open included Hewitt and both Bryans, the latter of whom went on to win the first doubles title in Las Vegas.
“I am very happy to have received this wild card from Las Vegas,” said Kuerten. “I have never been to Las Vegas and it will be my first time playing this tournament. I am excited to see the city and play there too. For me it is a great opportunity to keep my goal of being able to play a
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full schedule this year, after being absent from the tour for a long time. Each match I play I am feeling better and better and I am looking forward to getting in Las Vegas and start playing in the U.S. again.”
Henman added, “I’m really looking forward to playing in Las Vegas. This tournament is one of the most talked-about events on the tour, and I look forward to competing in a place that’s such a well-known travel destination.”
Tennis Channel (www.thetennischannel.com) is the only 24-hour, television-based multimedia destination dedicated to both the professional sport and passionate lifestyle of tennis. A hybrid of comprehensive sports, health, fitness, pop culture, entertainment, lifestyle and travel programming, the network is home to every aspect of the wide-ranging, worldwide tennis community. It also has the most concentrated single-sport coverage in television, with telecast rights to Roland-Garros (the French Open), the Australian Open, US Open Series, ATP Masters Series, top-tier Sony Ericsson WTA Tour championship competitions, Davis Cup and Fed Cup by BNP Paribas, and Hyundai Hopman Cup.
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For further information:
Eric Abner, Tennis Channel, 310-314-9445, email@example.com