Tennis champions to strut their stuff at United Center in October

By Tina Akouris


Pro tennis is returning to Chicago with the revamped Champions Series, which will come to the United
Center in October.The Chicago stop Oct. 20 is part of a 12-city tour for pros older than 30 who have won Grand Slam titles. Those scheduled to participate in Chicago are Andre Agassi, John McEnroe, Jim Courier and Bjorn Borg. Pete Sampras, Michael Chang and Mats Wilander are also part of the tour, which starts Sept. 22 in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. ‘‘One of the things that makes tennis unique is you don’t have to be good, but you have to figure out how to be better than one other person,’’ Agassi said. ‘‘We’re all getting older, but we also have the experience and the ability to appreciate these moments and how important these fans are.’’Courier, who helped develop the Champions Series in 2005, said he is pleased that Chicago is on the tour.‘‘We’ve been scratching our heads for a way to bring pro tennis to Chicago, and we finally found [the right oppor-tunity],’’ Courier said. ‘‘It is shocking to see they don’t have a high-level pro event of any kind. [Chicagoans] like big entertainment, and there’s an audience for tennis there.’’Agassi said he is hoping he can set up some clinics for children when he comes to town, but he is looking forward to the Chicago stop for another reason.‘‘My father went to Chicago [after emigrating from Iran] and put himself through school by working at the Pump Room as a busboy,’’ Agassi said. ‘‘He always told me stories about that. My only history [in Chicago] was at the Midtown Tennis Club, where I won my first national junior title in doubles, not singles.’’

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