• Star-short San Jose to trot out Sampras in exho filler

    2/8/10 1:19 PM | Johan Lindahl
    Star-short San Jose to trot out Sampras in exho filler With top seed Andy Roddick looking delicate while nursing the remains of an Australian Open shoulder injury this week, the ATP San Jose tournament is taking no chances with their one draw card.

    With Roddick guaranteed a mid-week start, officials have lined up an exhibition with former great Pete Sampras against Spain's Fernando Verdasco to lure in crowds for the early days of the indoor event famed for its long days on court which can stretch past 12 hours.

    Like other post-Grand Slam tournaments, San Jose has been hit by lack of interest from major name players. Former champion Lleyton Hewitt had been entered until the Australian was forced to undergo another hip surgery last month.

    Andy Murray won the Californian event in 2006-2007, but the Scot is not playing this week, saving his energies for Marseille from next Monday. "Murray's sponsor, the Royal Bank of Scotland, wants him to play in Europe," said tournament boss Bill Rapp. "But we'll get him back here."

    Beverly Hills-based Sampras, who reportedly spends his idle days mainly on the golf course, was ready to step up for the exho.

    "I'm here to get people watching professional tennis," said Rapp. "Sampras is a past player, but he still can play with these guys, and he enjoys it. We should get 6,000-8,000 people coming (on a normally quiet early-week night."

    The tournament had been looking to score US Open winner Juan Martin Del Potro, but the Argentine No. 5 wanted more appearance money than Andre Agassi commanded just a few years ago prior to his retirement.

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Sampras always plays this exhibition. It doesn't matter what kind of field the tournament has. Actually this year's field is better than last's.

RickyDimon , 2/8/10 6:41 PM

I read it was an easy win for nando,pete was unable to make any inroads in to the nando serve and admitted he is 'old' now,and went on to praising nandio by sayiing 'he is the real deal and can win a major'

vamosrafa , 2/9/10 1:42 PM

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