I waited for this event for a year and it is finally here: SAP Open 2011
I was never a Pete Sampras fan just because I was a BIG Andre Agassi fan, still am…with that said, it was just so-so to me that Pete Sampras plays an exhibition match at the SAP Open almost yearly. Last year, he played Fernando Verdasco, which he lost to the hot Spaniard. Last night, he played Frenchman, Gael Monfils, which he lost (7,6-6,4). But this retired tennis pro, dad of two, and winner of 14 Grand Slams, still got game! He made Monfils run around the court proving age was not at all a factor and if he were to compete today, he can still kick butts! But does that make me a fan of him now? Sure, why not!
The match was fun to watch because the players were having a great time and not pressured in moving up to the next round. Monfils, quite an entertainer himself, responded to Pete Sampras’s playful antics by borrowing one of the professional photographer’s camera, walking up to Sampras’s side of the court, and began taking pictures of him. Pete stood there, hands on hips.
In an interview after winning the match, Gael praised Pete, grateful for the opportunity of playing him tonight. This is Gael’s first appearance at the SAP Open.
Above are all the SAP Open 2011 players. It was so exciting to see them all in one night even for just a moment. I got to see Sam Querry, Juan Martin del Potro, blushing…Fernando Verdasco (swooning).
Lleyton Hewitt played Bjorn Phau of Germany (top right) after Pete and Gael’s exhibition match. We didn’t stick around as it was getting late. The picture on the lower right is James Blake. He played an earlier match, which he won.