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Tennis Channel To Televise Los Angeles Tournament

Photo By Susan Mullane By Tennis Week

The Tennis Channel will offer an unprecedented 30-plus hours of live weekday coverage of the ATP Tour's Mercedes Benz Cup beginning Tuesday, July 29th, at 2 p.m. Eastern time from the Los Angeles Tennis Center on the campus of UCLA.

The Tennis Channel's coverage of the 77th annual Mercedes-Benz Cup includes the high-powered, pro-celebrity exhibition, "A Night at the Net", featuring top Hollywood stars, as well as former Wimbledon and U.S. Open champion Lleyton Hewitt and three-time French Open winner Gustavo Kuerten. The evening of tennis and entertainment, featuring Hall of Famer Pam Shriver as chair umpire, will be recorded July 28th and telecast on the network Tuesday, August 12th at 7 p.m. Eastern.

The storied Mercedes-Benz Cup, first held in 1925, is one of the most significant American hard court tennis tournaments, with past and present legends like Jack Kramer, Fred Perry, Donald Budge, Rod Laver, Arthur Ashe, Jimmy Connors, John McEnroe, Boris Becker, Pete Sampras and Andre Agassi all winning at least one title.

The 2003 edition is an ATP International Series event offering more than $1 million in total player compensation. Many of tennis's top players are again scheduled to participate in singles and doubles competition, including the fifth-ranked Hewitt, three-time French Open champion Kuerten and 200 U.S. Open champion Marat Safin, as well as two-time winner and tournament honoree Michael Chang, who is playing his 17th and final professional season.

This year's field also features young American stars Taylor Dent of Newport, Beach, California, Jan-Michael Gambill and Robby Ginepri, the latter claiming his first career ATP title July 13th by winning the Miller Lite Hall of Fame Tennis Championships in Newport, Rhode Island.

The Tennis Channel's Mercedes-Benz Cup telecast schedule heats up with action from the venue's premier Straus Stadium courts in both afternoon and evening sessions Tuesday, July 29th, through Friday, August. 1st. The network's coverage culminates with the telecast of the evening semifinal live on Saturday, August 2nd at 10:30 p.m. Eastern followed by the doubles championship final on Sunday, August. 3rd, at 8 p.m.

Veteran sportscaster Barry Tompkins will handle all the play-by-play duties for The Tennis Channel, while former touring professional Geoff Grant will provide analysis.

For more information on the availability of The Tennis Channel in your area, please call your local cable company or satellite system provider.
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