12 Feb EVENT TO KICK OFF WITH ATP CHAMPIONS TOUR ACTION
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 in his fourth ATP Champions event in Delray Beach. The Swede is a Vero Beach resident and also played in the 2014 tournament.
Gilbert will be making his inaugural appearance in the event. The Californian 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.
Gilbert also coached the last two Americans who have reached No. 1 in the world – Andre Agassi (1994-2002) and Andy Roddick (2003-2004). Gilbert was in the Agassi camp for six of his eight Grand Slam wins, was Roddick’s coach when he won the 2003 US Open, and also coached Andy Murray to a world No. 8 ranking.
Chang withdrew Tuesday with a hamstring injury and Sanchez pulled a groin during practice sessions on Wednesday.
Friday evening’s first round will also mark the first appearance for Blake in any ATP Champions Tour event. The former US Open semifinalist reached the finals here in Delray Beach at the 2007 and 2008 ATP World Tour events.
While Gimelstob is also playing in his first ATP World Tour event in Delray Beach, Ivanisevic is returning for a second consecutive, and Philippoussis , who won the event in 2011, is playing for a third time.
Blake, Gimelstob and Gilbert form Team USA and Ivanisevic, Philippoussis and Penfors present a formidable Team International.
Fans attending Friday evening’s matches can purchase $13 reserved tickets for a “Friday the 13th” special.
There’s also a “Sweetheart Special” Buy-On-Get-One-Free ticket offer for Valentine’s Day’s (Saturday) pair of daytime matches, and a Valentines Dinner Party package for the two Saturday evening ATP Champions Tour matches.
Here is the updated 2015 Champions Tour schedule.
- Friday, February 13, 6:00 pm, James Blake vs Mark Philippoussis
- Friday, February 13, 8:00 pm, Brad Gilbert vs Goran Ivanisevic
- Saturday, February 14, 12:00 noon, Justin Gimbelstob vs Mark Philippoussis
- Saturday, February 14, NB 2:00 pm, Brad Gilbert vs Mikael Pernfors
- Saturday, February 14, 6:00 pm, Justin Gimelstob vs Goran Ivanisevic
- Saturday, February 14, NB 8:00 pm, James Blake vs Mikael Pernfors
- Sunday, February 15, 12:00 noon, Brad Gilbert vs Mark Philippoussis
- Sunday, February 15, 12:30 pm, Justin Gimelstob vs Mikael Pernfors (Ct 1)
- Sunday, February 15, NB 2:00 pm, James Blake vs Goran Ivanisevic