Andre Agassi – Pete Sampras to Play in Costa Rica
|By Adam Williams
Tico Times Staff | [email protected]
|Tennis legends Andre Agassi and Pete Sampras are scheduled to face off Sept. 4 in Alajuela, northwest of San José, as part of the Andre Agassi Farewell Tour, which kicked off May 22 in Puerto Rico. The tour, which stops in seven Latin American countries, will raise money for international education charities, according to tour organizers.
Agassi and Sampras, who won a combined 22 Grand Slam titles in the ’90s and early ’00s, will play a three-set match at Alajuela’s Alejandro Morera Soto Stadium, which will be fitted with a synthetic-surface tennis court for the event. Women players Anna Kournikova and Ashley Harkleroad are also scheduled to play in a doubles match as part of the tour.
Agassi, who won eight Grand Slam titles and an Olympic gold medal for the United States in 1996, retired in 2006 after a 20-year professional career. Sampras, also from the U.S., won 14 Grand Slam titles in a 15-year career that ended in 2003. Sampras held the record for the most Grand Slam titles won until 2009, when the Swiss Roger Federer eclipsed that mark. Both Sampras and Agassi were ranked as the world’s top player during their careers.
The women’s match will feature Kournikova and Harkleroad as doubles partners against an unnamed duo. Both are known more for their extracurricular activities than their brief professional careers. Kournikova, who twice won the Australian Open doubles title with partner Martina Hingis, received more media attention for her relationship with pop singer Enrique Iglesias and her appearance in several men’s magazines, including the Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition in 2004, than for her tennis. Harkleroad, who is still playing professionally – though sparingly – is best known for posing nude for the August 2008 edition of Playboy magazine. Harkleroad was the first professional tennis player to appear in the magazine.