LOS ANGELES, August 19, 2003 —
The Tennis Channel will premiere the newest edition of its original series - "Center Court with Chris Myers" - on Sunday, Aug. 24, at 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT, with legendary tennis coach Robert Lansdorp sharing his incredible life story with broadcast veteran and series host Chris Myers. Lansdorp explains how he went from being a young child growing up in a Japanese concentration camp in Indonesia, to eventually immigrating to America and becoming one of the most renowned instructors in tennis. The half-hour episode will be repeated later that evening at midnight ET/9 p.m. PT.
Lansdorp is the world-renowned Southern California coach who has developed dozens of world class junior and professional players, including three juniors who started with him and went on to become ranked No. 1 in the world: Tracy Austin, Lindsay Davenport and Pete Sampras. Lansdorp's current crop of budding young tennis stars includes Russian talents Maria Sharapova and Anastasia Myskina.
Lansdorp recalls with Myers how he rebounded from the depths of an upbringing in Indonesia that began in a Japanese concentration camp, including the torture and near death of his Danish parents, and his family's eventual escape to Holland when he was eight years old. He picked up the game of tennis at age 14 and eight years later emigrated with his family to United States, where he earned a scholarship at Pepperdine University and became an All-American for its men's tennis squad in 1962.
He embarked on his coaching career in San Diego in 1967, and three years later became head pro at the Jack Kramer Club in Rolling Hills Estates, Calif. He started instructing the unusually gifted Austin when she was just seven years old, and coached her throughout much of her career that led to her becoming the youngest No. 1-ranked player in the Open Era (as of 1980).
"Many people know Robert Lansdorp as a great tennis coach, but to learn everything he faced in life makes his accomplishments seem all the more incredible," says Myers. "He shares with us these amazing stories about his own background, as well as the game of tennis and the athletes who have changed his life and the sport.
"He has his fingers on the pulse of tennis unlike anyone else, having coached many of today's top stars and several of the names we'll hear more from in the coming years," Myers adds. "Viewers should enjoy getting to know more about just who this extraordinary personality and contributor to tennis really is."
A former host of ESPN's "SportsCenter" and "Up Close" programs, Myers now holds the reigns of The Tennis Channel's signature interview series. Each half-hour "Center Court" episode showcases Myers in exclusive conversations with the tennis world's leading players, coaches, legends, luminaries and newsmakers.
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.