Laker Fan Sampras Headed To The Land Of The Celtics 2009: Boston February

Laker Fan Sampras Headed To The Land Of The Celtics

BOSTON, February 12, 2009 – Pete Sampras, a big fan of the NBA’s Los Angeles Lakers, will venture into the land of his team’s
top rival, the Boston Celtics, this weekend as the seven-time Wimbledon champion joins the field of champions at the Champions Cup Boston, the opening event on the 2009 Outback Champions Series, the global tennis circuit for champion players age 30 in over. Joining Sampras in the field at Boston University’s Agganis Arena are seven-time major singles champions John McEnroe and Mats Wilander, four-time major singles champion Jim Courier, two-time major singles finalist Todd Martin and 1986 French Open runner-up Mikael Pernfors. Sampras, a Los Angeles resident, is frequently seen sitting courtside at Laker games at the Staples Center, including last spring when the Lakers and the Celtics met in the NBA Finals. While Sampras will be rooting hard for the Lakers to return to the NBA Finals to try and avenge last year’s loss to Boston, he admits having great respect for the Celtics, their players and their franchise. “I’m a big Laker fan, but I am a (Kevin) Garnett fan. I like Ray Allen. I am a fan of these guys,” said Sampras earlier this week to WEEI Radio in Boston. “If they meet again, it would be great for the sport. Obviously, I will be rooting for the Lakers, but I have a lot of respect for Boston.” Sampras, the seven-time Wimbledon champion and the winner of more major singles titles (14) than any other man, will open up play on Saturday night in a semifinal match against the winner of Friday night’s match between Martin and Pernfors. Sampras has won three Outback Champions Series events in the last two years, including the 2007 title in Boston. Sampras said that he enjoys the high-level of friendly competition that the Outback Champions Series provides. “We all take it seriously and want to play well – it is not as cut throat as it used to be – I still think there is some good tennis that is being played,” said Sampras. “We all want to win, there is prize money involved. We take it seriously, but at the same time, we can go into the locker room and be ok about it. It’s fun.” Tickets for Champions Cup Boston are available now by logging onto or by calling Ticketmaster at (617) 931-2000. Boston will be the first tournament on the 2009 Outback Champions Series, a collection of men’s tennis events in the United States and abroad featuring some of the greatest names in the sport over the age of 30. McEnroe will defend his Champions Cup title where, one year ago, he defeated Aaron Krickstein in the final to earn his first-ever tournament victory at an Outback Champions Series event.
The Champions Cup Boston schedule will kick-off with two quarterfinal singles matches on Friday evening, Feb. 13 – Martin vs. Pernfors and McEnroe vs. Wilander. Both day and night sessions on Saturday, Feb. 14 will feature a singles semifinal match and a mixed doubles match featuring , while the Sunday, Feb. 15 session will feature the third-place play-off and the championship match.

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