August 14th Question of The Week

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August 14th Question of The Week

2017-08-14 16:41

Thanks to Sarah Leu for writing this week's question:

Tennis great Pete Sampras celebrated his 46th birthday on August 12th. He won his first professional singles title on February 25, 1990 at the age of 18 when he defeated Ecuadorian Andrés Gómez in three sets: 7-6, 7-5, 6-2.

What tournament did he win?

Answer:

The U.S. Pro Indoor was an annual men’s professional tournament that was held between 1968 and 1998 in Philadelphia, first at the Spectrum, and later at the CoreStates Center, also called the Spectrum II. The Pro Indoor was one of the earliest events on the men’s professional tennis calendar, and as such, a large number of international stars came to play in it each year. The matches were played on indoor carpeted courts (1968-1992, 1994-1996) and indoor hard courts (1993, 1997-1998).

The event traces its roots to the Philadelphia Invitational Indoor tournament, an eight-man, two-day event first held in January 1962 at St. Joseph’s Memorial Field House (54th and City Line Avenue). Leif Beck served as the tournament’s chairman from its inception until the mid-1960s, when Marilyn and Edward Fernberger, avid tennis fans who had been involved with the tournament from the beginning, assumed the co-chairmanship.

The Fernbergers remained co-chairs of the event until 1992. Under their leadership, the tournament grew in scope to a week-long, 64 player international draw that attracted nearly 100,000 spectators and included major tennis stars such as Rod Laver, Arthur Ashe, Bjorn Borg, Jimmy Connors, John McEnroe, Andre Agassi, and Pete Sampras. After Sampras’s victory at the 1990 Ebel U.S. Pro Indoor, he went on to win his first grand slam, the U.S. Open, in September.

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