from The Sports Campus.com
by Arjun Wadhwa
Three former LA Tennis Open champions - Stefan Edberg, Jim Courier and Michael Chang, will return to the LA Tennis Center to take part in featured legends matches at the 83rd annual tournament that begins July 27.
Edberg, who 25 years ago won a gold medal during the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics on the same UCLA courts that the LA Tennis Open is played, won the tournament in 1990. Chang is a two-time winner, claiming titles in 1996 and 2000, while Courier won in 1997.
These three renowned players (all members of the International Tennis Hall of Fame) combined to win 98 titles in their careers, including 11 Grand Slams. Courier and Edberg were ranked No. 1 for 58 and 72 weeks, respectively, while Chang reached a career high ranking of No. 2.
"These are three amazing champions of our tournament and throughout their heralded careers," Tournament Director Bob Kramer said. "Having these legends join us again provides exciting match-ups for our fans to see and interact with, while also helping us solidify our tennis legacy with our patrons, partners, and current players."
The trio of legends will play three matches during the week, starting on the afternoon of Wednesday, July 29 when Courier plays Edberg. Those two met three times in the finals of Grand Slam events. Edberg won the 1991 US Open over Courier, while the American exacted revenge by beating Edberg for the 1992 and 1993 Australian Open title. Courier owns a 6-4 edge in their head-to-head ATP meetings.
On Thursday evening, Edberg will battle Chang. The Swede owns a 12-9 edge in head to head meetings, including a three-set win over the American in the 1990 LA Tennis Open Presented by Farmers Insurance final. They also met in the 1989 French Open final with Chang earning his only career Grand Slam title with a five set win.
Finally, on Saturday night, following a main draw semifinal match, an all-American battle between Chang and Courier will take place. During their careers, they split 24 meetings, three of which came in tournament finals, and nine of which were in semifinals.
The final times for all of these legends matches will be determined the week of the event. These players are subject to change.
Pete Sampras, a two-time LA champion, will also take part in the LA Tennis Open this summer when battles Marat Safin in a special exhibition match on opening night, called the "Millennium Challenge." That is a rematch of the 2000 US Open that was won by the Russian, who is a two-time Grand Slam champion. Sampras' record of 14 career Grand Slam titles was tied earlier this month by Roger Federer after the Swiss won the French Open.
French Open semifinalist Fernando Gonzalez will join Safin in the 28-player field for the 2009 LA Tennis Open presented by Farmers Insurance. Joining them will be two former champions, Tommy Haas (2004 and 2006) and Radek Stepanek (2007), 2006 Australian Open finalist Marcos Baghdatis, and Americans Mardy Fish and Sam Querrey.
- Stefan Edberg, doublet in Seoul '88
- Edberg about technology in tennis at San Francisco summit
- How Stefan Edberg used his forehand to take the net
- Navratilova vs Courier on why Federer lost
- Courier: Becker and Edberg fresh air for Nole and Roger
- Stefan beats Muster again
- Stefan wins first match in Algarve
- Vale do Lobo: Edberg and Rios lead their groups
- Edberg loses to Chang in L. A.
- Courier defeats Edberg in L. A. match
- Vale do Lobo: Marcelo Rios to join Stefan Edberg
- McEnroe and Edberg in Zurich
- Stefan Edberg to play tournament in Vale do Lobo
- Edberg to take part in exhibition event in Wimbledon
- Becker came, but without stamina