Despite the heavy flooding sustained by The Greenbrier’s Center Court at Creekside, The Greenbrier Champions Tennis Classic, planned for Sept. 17-18, will be played as originally scheduled.
The year-old Center Court at Creekside, a 2,500-seat state-of-the-art tennis stadium, received heavy flooding during the June 23 flood that brought so much damage to Greenbrier County and throughout West Virginia. Crews have been working hard to repair the facility – which opened June 20, 2015, with an exhibition match between The Greenbrier Tennis Professional Emeritus Pete Sampras and longtime rival Andre Agassi – and it will be ready for play well in advance of The Greenbrier Champions Tennis Classic.
“We had a lot of water in the stadium and it was awful to see,” said Terry Deremer, The Greenbrier’s director of tennis. “But it looks so much better already, and it will be spectacular by the time The Greenbrier Champions Tennis Classic arrives. We’re excited to show it off once again.”
The fifth annual Greenbrier Champions Tennis Classic will feature four tennis greats, two from the men’s game and two from the women’s game.
On Saturday, Sept. 17, Venus Williams will take on Madison Keys at noon, followed by a singles match between Pete Sampras and John McEnroe at 2:30 p.m.
Doubles will be the order of the day on Sunday, Sept. 18, as Sampras and Williams will team together to play McEnroe and Keys at 12:30 p.m.
The 2016 Greenbrier Champions Tennis Classic will mark the first time women’s players will be included in the event, and two superstars will mark that occasion.
Williams, a former world No. 1, is currently ranked No. 7 in the world after her run to the Wimbledon semifinals earlier this month. She also teamed with her sister, Serena Williams, to win the Wimbledon women’s doubles championship for the sixth time, their 14th career Grand Slam Doubles title together.
Williams has won seven career Grand Slam titles, five at Wimbledon and two at the U.S. Open. Overall, she’s won 49 career titles and 78 percent of her matches.
Keys, currently ranked No. 9 in the world, recently advanced to the fourth round at Wimbledon. She’s made it as far as the quarterfinals there before and played in an Australian Open semifinal in 2015. The 21-year-old already has two career WTA titles under her belt.
“We’re really excited to include women’s players this time, and to have two that are currently ranked in the top 10 in the world is incredible,” said Deremer. “We expect this to be a very competitive match that the fans are really going to enjoy.”
Unlike their female counterparts, the two men’s participants aren’t currently active on the professional tour. They are, however, two of the top American players to ever play the game.
Sampras, who will turn 45 next month, won 14 Grand Slam titles before officially retiring in 2003. He was ranked No. 1 in the world at the year’s end for six straight years from 1993 through 1998. Sampras won 64 career titles and became an International Tennis Hall of Famer in 2007.
McEnroe, now a television commentator, won Seven Grand Slam singles titles from 1979 through 1984, as well as nine Grand Slam doubles titles from 1979 through 1992. The now 57-year-old was No. 1 in the world 14 times from 1980 through 1985 and entered the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1999.
“When you talk about American tennis, it doesn’t get much better than Pete Sampras and John McEnroe,” said Deremer. “They’ve both competed in The Greenbrier Champions Tennis Classic before, and the fans loved them. They’re not only terrific players, they’re also very good at entertaining the crowd. We’re so excited that they’re coming back.”
Tickets are available for Saturday only, Sunday only or both days. Meet and greet tickets are also available, as are one-night and two-night packages that include rooms and breakfast at The Greenbrier. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit Greenbrier.com/tennisclassic.