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Andre Agassi to play in Advanta WTT Pro League; WTT releases 2009 schedule

NEW YORK, N.Y. — Andre Agassi will return to professional team tennis competition this summer, playing two matches for the Philadelphia Freedoms of the Advanta World TeamTennis Pro League. League officials announced Agassi’s return when they released the 2009 schedule today.

The 2009Advanta WTT Pro League schedule includes 73 matches in 10 markets, beginning July 2 and running through July 26. The Eastern and Western Conference Champions will battle for the Advanta WTT Championship title on July 26.

Agassi, who previously played World TeamTennis from 2002 to 2004, will play for the Freedoms on July 10 in Philadelphia and one road match on July 17 in Newport Beach, Calif. “Playing World TeamTennis is a great experience,” said Agassi. “Team play is a terrific way to showcase tennis, especially for kids. WTT is competitive, it’s fun and there’s a really great energy from the fans. I’m looking forward to playing WTT again.”

Agassi, who won 60 career singles titles including eight Grand Slam singles championships, is the only man to win all four Grand Slam titles and an Olympic gold medal. One of tennis’ true superstars, Agassi is also widely respected for his philanthropy. In 1994, he established the Andre Agassi Foundation which is dedicated to transforming U.S. public education for underserved youth. Agassi opened a public charter school in Las Vegas in 2001, the Andre Agassi College Preparatory Academy, in one of the city’s most socio-economically disadvantaged neighborhoods to improve lives through education. The school will have its first senior graduating class this spring.

“It’s exciting to have Andre back in the Advanta World TeamTennis Pro League,” said WTT CEO/Commissioner Ilana Kloss. “Not only is he one of the game’s greatest ambassadors, but he has a unique connection with fans. He always brings something special to the court.”

Agassi joins previously announced marquee players including Serena Williams (Washington Kastles), Venus Williams (Philadelphia Freedoms), Martina Navratilova (Boston Lobsters), John McEnroe (New York Sportimes); Anna Kournikova (St. Louis Aces), Michael Chang (Sacramento Capitals) and Bob and Mike Bryan (Kansas City Explorers).

Serena Williams will play four times for her Washington Kastles this summer. The 2009 Australian Open champion begins her WTT season with three road matches- July 9 in Boston, July 10 in New York City and July 13 in Philadelphia. Williams makes her only home appearance in Washington, D.C., on July 14.

Kournikova returns for her seventh WTT season and her second with the St. Louis Aces. The former world no. 1 doubles star will play six matches for the Aces. Kournikova opens the season on the road with matches against Philadelphia on July 6, New York Sportimes on July 7, Washington Kastles on July 8, Springfield Lasers on July 10 and Sacramento Capitals on July 13. She makes her only home appearance on July 11 in St. Louis.

McEnroe will help his New York Sportimes break in their new Sportime Stadium on Randall’s Islandin New York City with two home matches - July 13 and July 15. The July 15 match will find two of the game’s greats facing off across the net as McEnroe and the Sportimes take on the Boston Lobsters led by Martina Navratilova. McEnroe will also play road matches on July 14 in Philadelphia; July 16 in Washington, D.C., and July 21 in Newport Beach, Calif.

Navratilova returns for a League-record 20th season, playing four matches for the Boston Lobsters - July 14 in Albany against the New York Buzz; July 15 against the New York Sportimes; July 16 in Boston; and July 20 on the road in Philadelphia.

Venus Williams will play three matches for the Philadelphia Freedoms, starting July 7 in Washington, D.C. She makes her 2009 home debut on July 8 at King of Prussia Mall then travels to Albany for a July 9 match against the New York Buzz.

Tennis Hall of Famer Michael Chang makes his Advanta WTT debut for the Sacramento Capitals on July 10 in Roseville, Calif., and also plays one match on the road on July 11 against the Newport Beach Breakers.

The world’s top doubles team of Bob and Mike Bryan will play four matches for the Kansas City Explorers - July 17 against the New York Sportimes; July 18 in Kansas City; July 19 in St. Louis and July 21 in Sacramento where they will face a Capitals’ team coached by their father Wayne Bryan.

The New York Buzz will start the defense of their 2008 title on a new home court at the University at Albany. The Buzz will make their home debut on July 3, hosting the Philadelphia Freedoms.

Team lineups will be finalized at the Advanta WTT Roster Draft on March 31 in Miami. Marquee players typically play a limited schedule while roster players play the full 3-week season.

Team | Venue | Match Start Time WESTERN CONFERENCE Kansas City Explorers………….M&I Bank Stadium at Barney Allis Plaza - Kansas City, Mo. | 7:35 CDT (expect 7/12 at 6:35 pm) Newport Beach Breakers……..Breakers Stadium at Newport Beach Country Club - Newport Beach, Calif. | 7:05 pm PDT Sacramento Capitals…………….Allstate Stadium at Westfield Galleria - Roseville, Calif. | 7:30 pm PDT St. Louis Aces………………………Dwight Davis Memorial Tennis Center - St. Louis, Mo. | 7:15 pm CDT Springfield Lasers………………..Mediacom Stadium at Cooper Tennis Complex - Springfield, Mo. | 7:05 pm CDT (except 7/10 at 7:30 pm)

EASTERN CONFERENCE Boston Lobsters……………………Ferncroft Country Club - Middleton, Mass. | 7 pm EDT (except 7/18 at 4 pm) New York Buzz……………………SEFCU Arena at University at Albany-Albany, N.Y. | 7:30 pm EDT New York Sportimes…………….Sportime Stadiumat Randall’s Island -New York, N.Y. | 7 pm EDT Philadelphia Freedoms…………Freedoms Stadium at King of Prussia Mall -King of Prussia, Pa. | 7:30 pm EDT Washington Kastles……………..Kastles Stadium- Washington D.C. | 7 pm EDT (except 7/12 at 5 pm EDT)

2009 SCHEDULE -Advanta WTT Pro League Thursday, July 2 Philadelphia Freedoms @ Springfield Lasers
Boston Lobsters @ St. Louis Aces
NY Sportimes @ Kansas City Explorers
Washington Kastles @ Newport Beach Breakers

Friday, July 3 Philadelphia Freedoms @ New York Buzz
Washington Kastles @ Sacramento Capitals

Saturday, July 4 NY Sportimes @ St. Louis Aces

Sunday, July 5 Boston Lobsters @ New York Buzz
Kansas City Explorers @ Springfield Lasers
Newport Beach Breakers @ Sacramento Capitals

Monday, July 6 Kansas City Explorers @ Boston Lobsters
NY Sportimes @ New York Buzz
St. Louis Aces(Anna Kournikova) @ Philadelphia Freedoms Newport Beach Breakers @ Springfield Lasers

Tuesday, July 7 Sacramento Capitals @ Boston Lobsters
St. Louis Aces(Anna Kournikova) @ NY Sportimes Philadelphia Freedoms(Venus Williams) @ Washington Kastles Newport Beach Breakers @ Kansas City Explorers

Wednesday, July 8 New York Buzz @ NY Sportimes
Sacramento Capitals @ Philadelphia Freedoms (Venus Williams) St. Louis Aces(Anna Kournikova) @ Washington Kastles Springfield Lasers @ Newport Beach Breakers

Thursday, July 9 Washington Kastles(Serena Williams) @ Boston Lobsters Philadelphia Freedoms(Venus Williams) @ New York Buzz

Friday, July 10 Washington Kastles(Serena Williams) @ NY Sportimes Boston Lobsters @ Philadelphia Freedoms (Andre Agassi) St. Louis Aces (Anna Kournikova) @ Springfield Lasers New York Buzz @ Kansas City Explorers
Newport Beach Breakers @ Sacramento Capitals (Michael Chang)

Saturday, July 11 Springfield Lasers @ St. Louis Aces (Anna Kournikova) Boston Lobsters @ Kansas City Explorers
Sacramento Capitals (Michael Chang) @ Newport Beach Breakers

Sunday, July 12 Philadelphia Freedoms @ Boston Lobsters
New York Buzz @ Washington Kastles
Springfield Lasers @ Kansas City Explorers

Monday, July 13 Newport Beach Breakers@ NY Sportimes (John McEnroe) Washington Kastles(Serena Williams) @ Philadelphia Freedoms St. Louis Aces(Anna Kournikova) @ Sacramento Capitals

Tuesday, July 14 Boston Lobsters (Martina Navratilova) @ New York Buzz NY Sportimes(John McEnroe) @ Philadelphia Freedoms Newport Beach Breakers @ Washington Kastles (Serena Williams) Sacramento Capitals @ Kansas City Explorers

Wednesday, July 15 Boston Lobsters (Martina Navratilova) @ NY Sportimes (John McEnroe) Sacramento Capitals @ Springfield Lasers
Newport Beach Breakers @ St. Louis Aces

Thursday, July 16 Springfield Lasers @ Boston Lobsters (Martina Navratilova) Kansas City Explorers @ New York Buzz
NY Sportimes(John McEnroe) @ Washington Kastles

Friday, July 17 Springfield Lasers @ New York Buzz
Kansas City Explorers (Bob & Mike Bryan)@ NY Sportimes Sacramento Capitals @ St. Louis Aces
Philadelphia Freedoms (Andre Agassi) @ Newport Beach Breakers

Saturday, July 18 New York Buzz @ Boston Lobsters St. Louis Aces @ Springfield Lasers
Washington Kastles @ Kansas City Explorers(Bob & Mike Bryan) Philadelphia Freedoms @ Sacramento Capitals

Sunday, July 19 New York Buzz @ NY Sportimes
Kansas City Explorers(Bob & Mike Bryan)@ St. Louis Aces Sacramento Capitals @ Newport Beach Breakers

Monday, July 20 Boston Lobsters (Martina Navratilova) @ Philadelphia Freedoms Washington Kastles @ Springfield Lasers

Tuesday, July 21 New York Buzz @ Washington Kastles
Springfield Lasers @ St. Louis Aces
NY Sportimes(John McEnroe) @ Newport Beach Breakers Kansas City Explorers(Bob & Mike Bryan)@ Sacramento Capitals

Wednesday, July 22 New York Buzz @ Boston Lobsters
St. Louis Aces @ Philadelphia Freedoms
Springfield Lasers @ Washington Kastles
Kansas City Explorers @ Newport Beach Breakers NY Sportimes @ Sacramento Capitals

Friday, July 24 Conference Championships - location TBD Western #1 vs. Western #2 Eastern #1 vs. Eastern #2

Sunday, July 26 Advanta WTT Championship Finals- location TBD

 

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