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ATP CHAMPIONS TOUR COMPETITION TIED AT 1-1 USA Jumps Out To Lead But Internationals Rebound [column size="1-3" last="0" style="0"][frame align="none"][/frame][/column] [column size="1-3" last="0" style="0"][frame align="none"][/frame][/column] [column size="1-3" last="1" style="0"][frame align="none"][/frame][/column] DELRAY BEACH – Friday night’s opening rounds of the ATP Champions Tour featured two vastly different story lines. James Blake, representing Team USA and playing in his first ATP Champions Tour event, came from behind to win in a tiebreaker, while Team International’s Goran Ivanisevic won handily, reversing his fortunes from last year’s first round. In the 2015 opener, Blake defeated Mark Philippoussis of Australia 6-7, 6-3, 10-8 but Team USA’s lead was quickly erased when Ivanisevic defeated Brad Gilbert 6-2, 6-4 in the nightcap. The format for the Champions matches Team USA (Blake, Gilbert and Justin Gimelstob) against Team International (Philippoussis, Ivanisevic and Mikael Pernfors) in nine round-robin matches spanning three days, with each match counting a point. Though Blake...

ANDERSON AND ISNER TAKE TOP SEEDS Isner Plays Opening Match Tuesday Evening [column size="1-3" last="0" style="0"] [/column] [column size="1-3" last="0" style="0"] [/column] [column size="1-3" last="1" style="0"] [/column] Top 20 players Kevin Anderson (No. 15) and John Isner (No. 18) are the top two seeds in the 23rd annual Delray Beach Open By The Venetian® Las Vegas. Play gets underway on Monday (Feb. 16) . Anderson, a local resident who lives in Gulfstream next to Delray Beach, won the 2012 Delray Beach ATP event while Isner, the top-ranked American, is a three-time semi-finalist. Anderson drew a qualifier in the first round while Isner will play Marinko Matosevic, an Australian who was runner-up to Anderson in Delray Beach in 2012. That match is scheduled for Tuesday at 8:00 pm at the Delray Beach Stadium & Tennis Center. Overall, four of the five top-ranked Americans are in the draw. That includes No. 6 Sam Querrey, No. 7 seed Steve...

DEL POTRO WITHDRAWS WITH INJURY Wildcards Go To Americans Stefan Kozlov and Denis Kudla [frame align="left"][/frame][frame align="right"][/frame] DELRAY BEACH: Juan Martin del Potro has informed the Delray Beach Open By The Venetian® Las Vegas that he is unable to play in the tournament this week due to a recurring wrist injury. Del Potro, who had off-season wrist surgery, opened the season in Sydney, but then pulled out of the Australian Open. He has not played since."There are two things you can't control - the weather and the health of players," said tournament director Mark Baron. "That being said, we have a great field which includes four of the top five Americans, our 2012 returning champion in Kevin Anderson and the greatest doubles team in the history of the game - the Bryan Brothers." "We have two of the most fun players to watch in Ivo Karlovic and Alexandr Dolgopolov, and...

EVENT TO KICK OFF WITH ATP CHAMPIONS TOUR ACTION Gilbert and Pernfors Will Play In 6th Annual Event [frame align="left"][/frame][frame align="right"][/frame]Brad Gilbert and Mikael Pernfors are into the 2015 ATP Champions Tour event of the Delray Beach Open By The Venetian® Las Vegas, replacing Michael Chang and Emilio Sanchez. The ATP Champions Tour event kicks off the 10-day event on Friday (Feb. 13) with a pair of matches pitting James Blake vs Mark Philippoussis and Gilbert vs Goran Ivanisevic in the nightcap at the Delray Beach Stadium & Tennis Center. The ATP Champions Tour format of Team USA vs Team International is in its second year – and this is the sixth annual event overall. Last year an American team led by Andy Roddick captured the first competition, 8-1. Pernfors, the 1986 French Open finalist who also won back-to-back NCAA titles at Georgia in 1984 and 1985, will be playing...

[frame align="left"][/frame] World No. 9 Cilic Withdraws With Injury Becker Also Out of Delray Beach DELRAY BEACH, FL: World No. 9 Marin Cilic has informed the Delray Beach Open By The Venetian that he will be unable to play in the upcoming ATP World Tour event due to a right shoulder injury. Cilic has been sidelined with the injury since the season-ending ATP World Tour finals in December. Germany's Benjamin Becker (personal) also withdrew Wednesday, and Dustin Brown and Peter Gojowczyk, also of Germany, moved into the draw to replace Cilic and Becker....

[frame align="left"][/frame] GILBERT REPLACES CHANG IN ATP CHAMPIONS TOUR EVENT Former French Open Champion Nursing Injury  DELRAY BEACH, FL: Former ATP pro, celebrated coach and television analyst Brad Gilbert will replace Michael Chang in the ATP Champions Tour event after Chang withdrew with a hamstring injury. [spacer size="10"] Gilbert won 20 ATP titles and a bronze medal at the 1988 Olympics, reached the quarterfinals of two Grand Slams, and was ranked as high as No. 4 in the world (1990) during his playing career. [spacer size="10"] Known as a brilliant strategist, Gilbert coached the last two Americans who have reached No. 1 in the world - Andre Agassi (1994-2002) and Andy Roddick (2003-2004). Gilbert coached Agassi for six of his eight Grand Slam wins, and was Roddick's coach when he won the 2003 US Open. Gilbert also coached Andy Murray to a world No. 8 ranking. [spacer size="10"] He will join former Top 10 James Blake...

2015 ATP WORLD TOUR  - SOCK & STEPANEK OUT Serbs Krajinovic and Troicki Into Draw [frame align="left"] Viktor Troicki [/frame] [frame align="right"] Filip Krajinovic [/frame] DELRAY BEACH, FL: Filip Krajinovic and Viktor Troicki, two stalwarts of Serbia's recent successful Davis Cup teams, have joined the 2015 Delray Beach draw. They replace two players still rehabbing injuries: American Jack Sock (strained abs) and Czech Republic veteran Radek Stepanek (back). Troicki has participated in 15 Davis Cup ties since 2008 and was a member of the 2010 world champion Serbian Davis Cup team, while Krajinovic played for his country for the first time in 2014. UPDATED 2015 Singles Entry List: Kevin Anderson (RSA), Dustin Brown (GER), Ivan Dodig (CRO), Alexandr Dolgopolov (UKR), Teymuraz Gabashvili (RUS), Alejandro Gonzalez (COL), Sam Groth (AUS), John Isner (USA), Malek Jaziri (TUN), Steve Johnson (USA), Ivo Karlovic (CRO), Filip Krajinovic (SRB), Mikhail Kukushkin (KAZ), Lukas Lacko (SVK), Yen-Hsun Lu (TPE), Adrian Mannarino (FRA), Marinko...

OFFICIAL ATP WORLD TOUR DRAW EVENT 2015 Delray Beach Open By The Venetian® Las Vegas WHAT:    Official Draw Party Join the Happy Hour crowd at one of Delray Beach's finest restaurants and night life spots - and participate in the formation of the 32-player "draw" for the 23rd annual ATP event. "Draw from a Hat" chance to participate, ticket giveaways, prizes and more are all part of the Draw Party on Atlantic Ave! SALT HAPPY HOUR - 3:00 - 7:00 pm, $5 well drinks, $4 wines and martinis, $3 drafts  & appetizers $3 - $7 WHEN:    Friday, February 13, 5:30 - 6:30 pm WHERE:  Salt 7, 32 SE 2nd Ave, Delray Beach, FL 33483 WHO: Justin Gimelstob, ATP Champions Tour - Team USA, Coaching John Isner Mark Baron, DBO Tournament Director Mark Darby, ATP World Tour Supervisor VolleyGirls Promotion Team ...

Getting To Know Justin Gimelstob By Cindy Shmerler [box title="Got a question for Justin Gimelstob?" color="#f41018"] He’ll be taking over USTA Florida’s Twitter account on February 16th at 10am. Submit your question via Twitter, using the hashtag #AskGimelstob, and follow @USTAFlorida on Twitter to connect with Justin on February 16th.[/box] [frame align="left"][/frame]Justin Gimelstob has beaten some of the best in the world—and not just on the tennis court. As a player, he was the No. 1-ranked junior in the country in the USTA boys’ 12, 14, 16 and 18 age divisions, winning the national championships in the 14, 16 and 18-and-unders. He was an NCAA doubles champion during a brief stint at UCLA, and also helped the Bruins to a runner-up finish to Stanford at the 1995 NCAA team championships. When he turned pro in ’95, Gimelstob quickly caught the attention of fans, the media and his fellow players...

“SURIVIVOR II” WINNER DACIEK REACHES FIRST ATP QUALIFER [frame align="left"][/frame] [frame align="right"] [/frame] DELRAY BEACH - Dropping only 11 games over five matches, former Virginia Tech player Patrick Daciek rolled over top-seeded 18-year-old Dennis Uspensky, 6-1, 6-0, to win the Delray Beach “Survivor II” pre-qualifying tournament. The win gives the No. 2-seeded Wesley Chapel resident a wild card into the Delray Beach Open By The Venetian® qualifying tournament which will take place February 14-16 at the Delray Beach Stadium and Tennis Center. Daciek joins Lance Cohen, December's “Survivor I” winner, in the 32-player qualifier. “I was happy with the way I played in the final,” said Daciek, 24, who will sandwich the ATP qualifier between a pair of Futures events in February. “I’m excited to be playing in my first qualifying tournament.” Following a junior career where he was ranked No. 1 in the Mid-Atlantic region in the 18-and-under division, Daciek put...