Tennis News Wire -
It's just like ATP tennis in the post-career eras for former Grand Slam winners Pete Sampras and Michael Chang. Called out of their leisurely and monied retirements by organizers at this week's WTA Bank of the West Classic desperate to inject some extra energy into an event short on star power, the 41-year-old Sampras has already been ruled out for a second appearance due to an injury he suffered in his first match.
The seven-time Wimbledon winner whose decade-old record was equaled at the weekend in London by Roger Federer, hurt himself in the first set of an exhibition with Chang at the WTA event headed by Wimbledon winner Serena Williams.
Sampras cited a left calf injury which forced him to quit against his fellow Californian in the second set. "I'm disappointed that I won't be able to play any more but unfortunately my calf injury won't allow it," said Sampras. "I was looking forward to taking on Jim (Courier), but I know that he and Michael (Chang) will put on a great match."
The Xhosa were needed to provide value for money to spectators who found their annual event being staged a fortnight earlier than usual due to the summer tennis schedule skewed by the London Olympics.
Courier and Chang will play a Friday mixed doubles exhibition match, with participants and format have yet to be determined as officials scratch together some entertainment.
A field which often includes the likes of both Williams sisters, Maria Sharapova and Victoria Azarenka among others has only Williams to count on this week, with France's Marion Bartoli playing a back-up role as second seed.