Tennis

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Andre Agassi to Join Safin in Exhibition

30 Jul, 2009


Tennis legend Andre Agassi has joined the Grand Slam Asheville lineup and will take on Marat Safin at this rare exhibition event, which is now scheduled for August 28 at the Asheville Civic Center. Agassi - who takes the place of the previously announced Novak Djokovic - and Safin, who are both former world #1's, will go head-to-head in a best-of-three-sets match. The date of the event has been moved from August 6 to August 28.

From 1987 until his retirement in 2006, Agassi amassed 60 singles career titles, and he won a gold medal at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta. He spent a total of 101 weeks at #1, including 52 consecutive weeks from September 1999 through September 2000. He won eight Grand Slam titles, becoming - in 1999 - only the fifth male player to win all four majors: Wimbledon (1992), the US Open (1994), the Australian Open (1995) and the French Open (1999). He is one of the most celebrated players in the history of tennis.

Safin won his first major title in 2000, beating Pete Sampras at the US Open in three sets. He won his second Grand Slam title in Australia in 2005 and holds a total of 15 career titles. Safin and Agassi have played each other six times and are tied at three matches each. His charisma and on-court antics have made him a fan favorite. The 6'4", big-serving Russian has announced that he will retire at the end of the 2009 season.

Tickets to see Grand Slam Asheville: Agassi vs. Safin are on sale now through Ticketmaster and at the Asheville Civic Center box office. Prices range from $49 to $200. A portion of proceeds will benefit Mission Children's Hospital.

For VIP ticket packages, contact Alicia Kramer at (404) 433-1088.

Tickets purchased for August 6 will be honored on August 28, or refunds can be obtained from the original point of purchase.

"We are honored to have such tennis greats as Andre and Marat play the very first Grand Slam Asheville," said Brian Woods, the event's promoter and a local sports agent. "This will be Andre's first exhibition match against an active player since his retirement and the biggest tennis exhibition of the year."

For more information on Grand Slam Asheville, visit: www.grandslamasheville.com.

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