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

February 26, 2009

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.