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Courier honored by Farmers Classic

LOS ANGELES — Jim Courier will be introduced as Tournament Honoree for the 2010 Farmers Classic, presented by Mercedes-Benz, during a special ceremony on opening night, Monday, July 26, of the Olympus US Open Series and ATP World Tour 250 tournament at the LA Tennis Center. Courier will also be participating in the Stars Under the Stars gala featuring Andre Agassi vs John McEnroe on Saturday, July 24 at UCLA.

The distinguished award of Tournament Honoree has been given annually since 1985 to a person who has greatly influenced the growth of tennis through their playing career and other contributions to the sport.

Courier, a 2005 inductee at the International Tennis Hall of Fame, spent 58 weeks ranked No. 1 on the ATP World Tour. He owns four career titles in Majors, winning the Australian Open in 1992 and 1993 and the French Open in 1991 and 1992. In addition, Courier was finalist at the French Open and Wimbledon in 1993 and at the US Open in 1991.

The champion of the 1997 Farmers Classic, presented by Mercedes-Benz, Courier is one of only three players to win the tournament title without dropping a set since 1995 (Juan Martin del Potro in 2008 and Andre Agassi in 1998 are the others). He was 7-3 in Los Angeles in his career.

“I have had the privilege of participating in the Farmers Classic for many years, and I am humbled to be this year’s Tournament Honoree,” Courier said. “I look forward to spending time with my many Southern California tennis friends and accepting this honor.”

Since retiring as a player, Courier has remained very active in the sport. He works as a promoter through Inside Out Sports & Entertainment producing tennis tournaments around the world featuring legendary players. This includes the creation and operation of the Champions Series.

“Jim was a true champion who had great success as a player,” said Tournament Director Bob Kramer. “His achievements did not end when his playing career did. Since retiring Jim has been among the most tireless promoters of tennis in the United States. His contributions to growing the game are as significant as his results as a player.”

The Farmers Classic, presented by Mercedes-Benz, has recognized a former champion every year since 1985. Below is a listing of the Tournament Honorees:

1985: Ellsworth Vines & Alice Marble; 1986: Don Budge; 1987: Fred Perry; 1988: Bobby Riggs; 1989: Frank Parker; 1990: Jack Kramer; 1991: Ted Schroeder; 1992: Pancho Gonzalez; 1993: Arthur Ashe; 1994: Vic Seixas; 1995: Tony Trabert; 1996: Stefan Edberg; 1997: Pancho Segura & Dodo Cheney; 1998: Boris Becker; 1999: Rod Laver; 2000: Alex Olmedo; 2001: Diamond Anniversary Championships; 2002: Allen Fox & Louise Brough; 2003: Michael Chang; 2004: Frank Sedgman; 2005: Barry MacKay; 2006: Dennis Ralston; 2007: Stan Smith; 2008: Roy Emerson; 2009: Pete Sampras; 2010: Jim Courier.

Five top 30 players, including two former champions, are among the 20 players who are on the initial acceptance list for the 2010 Farmers Classic, presented by Mercedes-Benz.

The projected top seed in the field is World No. 2 and Wimbledon semifinalist Novak Djokovic, the 2008 Australian Open champion. Former event champions Sam Querrey and Radek Stepanek are also due back, along with former finalist James Blake. Other players who have committed include Americans Robby Ginepri and Mardy Fish, Marcos Baghdatis, Ernests Gulbis and Feliciano Lopez.

In addition to these singles stars, the doubles field will be headlined by five-time Farmers Classic, presented by Mercedes-Benz, champions Bob and Mike Bryan. The Bryans are tied for the Open Era record with 61 career titles.

ESPN2 will broadcast eight hours of live coverage of this year’s Farmers Classic, presented by Mercedes-Benz, including singles quarterfinal, semifinal and championship matches. Tennis Channel will again provide significant additional broadcast coverage, including singles quarterfinal and doubles championship matches.

In addition to the 84th edition of the Farmers Classic, presented by Mercedes-Benz, the LA Tennis Center will be very busy this summer with a series of special events.

Keith Urban and the Avett Brothers will perform at the LA Tennis Center on Friday, July 23, as part of the Starry Night Benefit Concert Presented by the GRAMMY Foundation.

On Saturday, July 24, Andre Agassi and John McEnroe will return to the LA Tennis Center as part of Stars Under the Stars, an evening of tennis and entertainment to benefit the Andre Agassi Foundation for Education.

Following the completion of the tournament, on Monday, August 2, the LA Tennis Center will play host to KLOS Rocking the Net Starring Bret Michaels to benefit the Southern California Tennis Association. Tesla will also perform as part of the concert that evening.

Tickets for Farmers Classic, presented by Mercedes-Benz, Stars Under the Stars featuring Keith Urban, Starry Night with Andre Agassi and John McEnroe and KLOS Rocking the Net Starring Bret Michaels are on sale now through Ticketmaster. Additional ticket information can be found at FarmersClassic.com or by calling 310-824-1010, ext. 251.

ABOUT THE FARMERS CLASSIC PRESENTED BY MERCEDES-BENZ

The Farmers Classic, presented by Mercedes-Benz, has been played every year since 1927, making it the longest-running annual professional sporting event in Los Angeles. Played since 1984 at the LA Tennis Center on the campus of UCLA, the tournament is part of the Olympus US Open Series, the six-week summer tennis season linking 10 ATP World Tour and Sony Ericsson WTA Tour events to the US Open. Proceeds from the Farmers Classic Presented by Mercedes-Benz benefit the grassroots programs of the non-profit Southern California Tennis Association (SCTA) and UCLA. The SCTA offers programs, leagues, and tournaments involving 300,000 juniors and 50,000 adults and seniors. Information on tickets and the tournament can be found at FarmersClassic.com or by calling 310-824-1010.

 

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