Pete Sampras and Venus Williams return to Tennis Classic

Venus Williams
Pete Sampras

The Greenbrier Champions Tennis Classic is back, and the sixth edition will feature two days of tennis exhibitions with some of the top men’s and women’s stars in the game on display at America’s Resort, The Greenbrier.

Scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 16 and Sunday, Sept. 17, the annual celebration of The Greenbrier’s rich tennis history will feature The Greenbrier Tennis Professional Emeritus Pete Sampras, James Blake, Venus Williams and Ana Ivanovic. Saturday’s schedule will include a women’s singles match at noon and a men’s singles match at 2:30 p.m. The Sunday slate will feature mixed doubles, with Sampras and Williams taking on Blake and Ivanovic at 12:30 p.m.

All of the action will take place inside The Greenbrier’s Center Court at Creekside stadium.

“The Greenbrier Champions Tennis Classic is one of our premier events each year,” said Dr. Jill Justice, president, The Greenbrier. “We had great success with adding women’s matches last year, and we’re really excited about the lineup of players we have in place for 2017.”

Sampras, who became The Greenbrier Tennis Professional Emeritus in 2014, is widely considered one of the greatest American men to ever play the game. Over the course of his 15-year professional career, the California native won 64 singles titles, including 14 Grand Slam championships. Sampras won Wimbeldon seven times, the U.S. Open five times and the Australian Open twice. He helped lead the United States to Davis Cup championships in 1992 and 1995, and he ended the year ranked No. 1 in the world every year from 1993 through 1998.  Sampras officially retired in 2003 with 762 career singles victories, and he was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 2007.

Blake is a New York native, who played professionally from 1999 through 2013, winning 366 career singles matches and 10 singles titles. He reached No. 4 in the world in 2006 and twice found his way into the quarterfinals of the U.S. Open. Blake was a member of the United States Davis Cup team that won the championship in 2007. In 2005, Blake was named the Comeback Player of the Year for his remarkable return to the tour after breaking his neck in an on-court accident the previous year. He also earned honors as the Arthur Ashe Humanitarian of the Year in 2008. Blake is well known for his charitable efforts, raising funds for cancer research, among other causes.

One of the most successful women’s tennis players of all time, Venus Williams has been playing professionally since 1994 and is still racking up victories at the age of 36. Rising as high as No. 1 in the world, Williams has won 751 career singles matches and 49 titles. She’s claimed the championship at Wimbledon five times and has two U.S. Open trophies in her possession.  She’s also a successful doubles player, having reached No. 1 in the world status and winning 14 Grand Slam doubles titles, teaming with her sister Serena. Williams helped lead the United States to victory in the Federation Cup in 1999, and she’s won four Olympic Gold Medals – three in doubles and one singles medal in 2000. This year, Williams reached the finals of the Austrialian Open, falling to her younger sister in a tightly contested match.

“I had an amazing time participating in The Greenbrier Champions Tennis Classic last year, and I can’t wait to get back,” said Williams. “The resort is incredible, and the response from the fans was fantastic.”

Ivanovic retired at the end of 2016 after an accomplished professional career that spanned 13 years. She was at her peak in 2008 when she captured the French Open championship and rose to a No. 1 world ranking in singles.  She also reached the finals of the Australian Open that same year. Ivanovic competed in the 2012 Olympic Games and helped lead her country to the Federation Cup finals that same year. She finished her career with 480 professional tennis victories, including 15 WTA titles. The 29-year old was named one of the “30 Legends of Women’s Tennis:  Past Present and Future” by Time Magazine in 2011.

“I’ve heard so many great things about The Greenbrier and The Greenbrier Champions Tennis Classic, and I’m thrilled to be a part of it for the first time,” said Ivanovic. “Getting to play against Venus Williams is always fun, and I’m looking forward to the competition.”

Tickets for The Greenbrier Champions Tennis Classic are on sale now at www.greenbrier.com/tennisclassic. Ticketing options are available for upper and lower levels for each day or a weekend bundle. Children’s tickets can also be purchased at a reduced price. Upgraded experiences are available by purchasing autograph session tickets on Saturday.

more recommended stories