US Open Notes: Sampras to Play ATP? Federer Faux Pas?
SAMPRAS ANNOUNCEMENT — Pete Sampras will hold a teleconference Thursday in regard to playing the Hennessey Funds Alumni Legends Cup exhibition Sept. 7-9, with organizers throwing out a tantalizing “Amidst rumors of a potential return to professional tennis.” Sampras will face Sam Querrey, while Roscoe Tanner, Justin Gimelstob, Rick Leach, Paul Goldstein, and Steve Devries compete along with fellow Pac-10 alumni at the Tiburon Peninsula Club in Santa Rosa, Calif. A portion of the proceeds from the event will go to the men’s tennis programs at Cal, Stanford, UCLA and USC, as well as Athletes for Life, a non-profit organization providing guidance and leadership programs to young athletes throughout California. With John Isner in the news as a collegiate player to make a successful transition to the pro tour, Steve Jackson, one of the Hennessy Funds Alumni Legends Cup three founders, said “This event is very special because it will serve as a showcase for the student-athlete and what these athletes can achieve both on and off the court.”
FEDERER FAUX PAS? — On the eve of the Althea Gibson tribute at the US Open, world No. 1 Roger Federer admitted to knowing nothing about Gibson’s accomplishments. Is it right to hold a Swiss citizen responsible for U.S. tennis history that occurred prior to the Open Era, prior to his birth? Tennis message boards in the U.S. have been aflame with criticism of Federer, shared by Serena Williams. “I can’t imagine he didn’t know who Althea Gibson was,” the younger Williams sister responded when told. “Which I think is the point. I think a lot of people don’t know who she is, and they always say Arthur Ashe, Arthur Ashe. People forget that Althea Gibson was actually years, decades before Arthur Ashe. I think it’s important to have nights like this so you can teach young people that don’t know who they are.” Well said by Serena, but give Federer a break. The recognition of Gibson’s accomplishments are long overdue (and news to many youngsters) in the U.S., but I’m sure U.S. players wouldn’t fare too well if grilled on Swiss tennis history at events in Gstaad or Basel…
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