LOS ANGELES, August 25, 2003 —
The Tennis Channel will juggle its regularly scheduled programming beginning Aug. 26 in order to pay tribute to all-time Grand Slam men's singles champion Pete Sampras, who is expected to officially announce his retirement from professional tennis in a press conference, to be carried live on The Tennis Channel, Monday, Aug. 25 at 6 p.m. ET from the USTA National Tennis Center.
The Tennis Channel's tribute to Pete Sampras begins Tuesday, August 26 at 8 p.m. ET (5 p.m. PT). Programming will include classic Sampras victories in the 1995 and 1997 Davis Cup competitions, against Russia's Yevgeny Kafelnikov and Australia's Mark Philippoussis, respectively, as well as repeats of The Tennis Channel's signature series "Pete Sampras: No Strings," which looks at the top figures in tennis, both on and off the court.
"Although we are saddened that Pete Sampras has apparently decided to hang up his racquet, it's been a real blessing to have been around to witness this amazingly talented athlete evolve into the greatest Grand Slam champion the sport of tennis has ever known," says The Tennis Channel President and Founder Steve Bellamy. "He has given us all many extraordinary thrills during his unrivaled 15 years as a pro, and The Tennis Channel is honored to devote a portion of our upcoming schedule in recognition of Pete and his brilliant career."
Pete Sampras is widely recognized as one of the all-time greatest tennis players and was recently voted the greatest men's tennis player of all time in an ATP poll of current and former players and journalists. He set the all-time record by winning 14 Grand Slam Singles (seven Wimbledon, five U.S. Opens and two Australian Opens), he was the youngest male U.S. Open winner at 19 years old, maintained his No. 1 ranking in the world for six consecutive years, and has won the most prize money in the history of the sport.
The Tennis Channel ( www.thetennischannel.com ) is a 24-hour cable television network devoted to tennis and other racquet sports that provides unparalleled coverage of the game, its elite championships and superstar athletes. The network features comprehensive coverage of major tournaments including ATP, WTA Tour, World TeamTennis, Fed Cup, Davis Cup by BNP Paribas and Hyundai Hopman Cup competition and the European tournaments of the Tennis Masters Series. The network also showcases instruction from the finest teachers, legendary matches, in-depth profiles of the greatest players, analysis and news, the latest on equipment and tennis getaways.