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Tennis' "Big Shots" Ready For Sap Open

by Staff Writer / San Jose Sharks

While there is nothing wrong with a little “water cooler” chatter, for most professionals it is simply a moment away from the desk to catch up with colleagues on last night’s game. But when you are the athlete who is playing the game, gossip takes on a whole new meaning and often involves television cameras, a slew of reporters and photographers. With some of the world’s best tennis players preparing to duke it out at the SAP Open at HP Pavilion at San Jose from February 13 – 19th, here is some “water cooler” chatter from the guys:

James Blake
“I think American tennis is pretty darn good. We have Andy Roddick, who’s a contender for every Grand Slam he goes into, and if it wasn’t for Roger Federer being possibly the greatest of all time, Andy I think would have at least three Slams by now…And after that you’ve got Andre Agassi, who’s becoming a legend…He’s won (San Jose) so many times that I think he’ll be comfortable there and have some success…Whether they’re 10 or 50 in the world, I could lose to any one of them or beat any one of them.”

Lletyon Hewitt
Reminiscing about his last trip to the SAP Open in 2002 when he beat Andre Agassi [4-6, 7-6 (6), 7-6 (4)] to win the tournament, “I just had the chickenpox, so I’d had about three weeks off before coming to San Jose…I was a bit rusty at the start of the tournament but got better and better…The final was one of the greatest matches I’ve ever been a part of against Andre (Agassi). To come out and play a third-set tiebreaker, and stayed at such a high level for all three sets…it was a fantastic atmosphere out there. It was a real adrenaline rush…It will be nice to repeat that and hold the trophy up there in 2006.”

John McEnroe
In an attempt to win his 14th Bay Area title, the legend claims, “A hundred percent of me knows I can still compete against the people playing out there on the doubles court (at the SAP Open)…Compared to when I was at my peak, when I was No. 1 in the world, I’m probably 60, 70 percent…Given my age and the amount of time and effort I’ve put into it, I think I’m playing well enough to win the tournament.”

Andy Roddick
“I think you’ll see James (Blake)…have a career year this year. I see that happening…You want to play against guys who are playing well going into the Open… I want to get out there and compete.”

Between tennis legends, Davis Cup reps and Australia’s best, this is impressive water cooler chat. Here’s how it works for you: SAP Open action is at your fingertips from February 13 – 19 at HP Pavilion at San Jose. Not only will you see these top-seeded players, but also two-time SAP Open champion Mark Philippoussis, up-and-coming Brit Andy Murray, the Rock-n-Roll Jensen brothers, top-20 ranked Tommy Robredo and more. After experiencing one of the world’s best tournaments first-hand, you will have something to brag about at the water cooler.

Additional information about the SAP Open can be found at For information regarding ticket packages call (408) ACE-2121. Individual session tickets can be purchased at any Ticketmaster ticket center located in Wherehouse Music stores, Tower Records and Ritmo Latino throughout the Bay Area, online at, charge by phone at (408) 998-TIXS, (415) 421-TIXS or (510) 625-TIXS.

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