Monday, June 22, 2009

Freedoms bring in big name talent including Agassi

The Philadelphia Freedoms announced today that six former number one ranked tennis players will compete at the Freedoms' Stadium at the King of Prussia Mall this July.

The Freedoms, of the Advanta World TeamTennis Pro League, will open their 2009 season on Monday, July 6 at 7:30 p.m.

The Freedoms' seven match home schedule includes some of the world's top professional tennis players and is highlighted by the return of Andre Agassi to professional tennis. Agassi, who retired from competition following the 2006 US Open, will make his return to professional tennis as a member of the Freedoms team on July 10th.

Agassi won 60 singles titles in his career including eight Grand Slam titles. He is ranked fourth place all time for overall singles record and is the only man to win all four Grand Slam titles and an Olympic gold medal in his career.

"Playing World TeamTennis is a great experience," said Agassi. "Team play is a terrific way to showcase tennis, especially for kids. WTT is competitive, fun and there is a really great energy from the fans. I'm looking forward to playing WTT again."

Venus Williams, currently the fifth ranked player in the world, will be returning for her fifth year on the Freedoms squad for the 2009 season. Venus has won a combined 18 Grand Slam singles, doubles and mixed doubles titles in her career, including last year's Wimbledon singles crown. In addition, Venus represented the U.S. in the past three summer Olympics and captured two gold medals. She won her 40th WTA singles title this month upon claiming the Barclays Dubai Tennis Championship title, and will be playing at home on July 8th.

Venus' sister, Serena, will be making her first WTT appearance against the Freedoms when she plays on July 13th for the Washington Kastles. Serena regained her No. 1 ranking by winning the 2009 Australian Open singles and doubles titles, bringing her Grand Slam win count to 10 singles and 8 doubles. She holds at least one singles title from each Grand Slam event, and has won two Olympic gold medals with her sister Venus.

Besides being remembered for his audience-capturing antics, John McEnroe is also known as one of the greatest players in tennis history. McEnroe captured 155 singles and doubles titles during his career – 77 singles and 78 doubles – an Open Era record. His 17 Grand Slam crowns include seven singles, nine doubles and one mixed doubles titles. He was ranked No. 1 in singles for 170 weeks, fifth best in history, and No. 1 in doubles at 270 weeks, an all time record. McEnroe will visit King of Prussia when his team, the New York Sportimes, meet the Freedoms on July 14th.

Anna Kournikova and the St. Louis Aces will be playing opposite the Freedoms on July 6th. Kournikova has 16 career doubles titles including two Grand Slam titles and was ranked as high as No. 8 in singles. Kournikova was a member of the Russian Olympic team in 1996 and in 1997 became the second woman in the Open era to reach the semifinals of Wimbledon in her debut appearance. This will be Kournikova's first visit to Freedoms territory since 2003.

No man or woman has won more singles and doubles titles than Martina Navratilova's record 344 titles. She finished the year ranked #1 in the world in singles and doubles a record seven times and is only the third player in tennis history to have won singles, doubles and mixed doubles at all four Grand Slam events. Navratilova and her team, the Boston Lobsters, will visit King of Prussia and the Freedoms on July 20th.

"Never in the history of pro tennis in Philadelphia has there been a line-up like this, this many champions in one series of events," said Barbara Perry, VP/General Manager of the Freedoms. "We are family affordable entertainment in a very intimate setting. What better way to enjoy tennis than with 3,000 fans in an outdoor setting under the stars."

Each night of Philadelphia Freedoms WTT will begin with exciting Block Parties produced by Comcast Spectacor and featuring music, inflatables, games, kids' activities and much more.

The Freedoms will play in the 3,000-seat Freedoms' Stadium at the King of Prussia Mall. Season tickets are on sale now and available by calling 866-WTT-TIXS or visiting www.philadelphiafreedoms.com.

PHILADELPHIA FREEDOMS 2009 HOME SCHEDULE

Monday, July 6
St. Louis Aces (Kournikova) at Philadelphia Freedoms

Wed, July 8
Sacramento Capitals at Philadelphia Freedoms (V.Williams)

Friday, July 10
Boston Lobsters at Philadelphia Freedoms (Agassi)

Monday, July 13
Washington Kastles (S. Williams) at Philadelphia Freedoms

Tuesday, July 14
New York Sportimes (McEnroe) at Philadelphia Freedoms

Monday, July 20
Boston Lobsters (Navratilova) at Philadelphia Freedoms

Wed, July 22
St. Louis Aces at Philadelphia Freedoms

All Matches Begin at 7:30 p.m.

The Philadelphia Freedoms are presented by Advanta and hosted by Abington Health.

Tune in to CBS 3 on Sunday, July 19th, 12:30 pm to watch the Freedoms with Venus Williams take on the Sacramento Capitals.
Post a Comment