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Thursday, Jan 17th

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Player Interviews

Interview with Marat Safin

marat_safin.jpgMarat Safin will kick off the 2009 LA Tennis Open with the "Millennium Challenge" against Pete Sampras on Monday, July 27. It will be a rematch of the 2000 US Open final, which the Russian won to claim the first of his two career Grand Slam titles.

A former World No. 1, Safin also claimed the 2005 Australian Open championship, and owns 15 titles in his career. In addition to playing the Monday night match against Sampras, Safin will make his sixth main draw appearance in the LA Tennis Open. He has a less than flattering 6-5 lifetime record in LA, including a pair of quarterfinal finishes, and has announced 2009 will be his final season on the ATP World Tour.

As a follow-up to our interaction with Pete Sampras last week, T

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Catching up with Pistol Pete

pete_sampras.jpgTennis legend Pete Sampras will be playing Marat Safin in an exhibition match to kick-off the 83rd edition of the LA Open next week. TheSportsCampus.com had the opportunity to participate in a joint press interview with Pete Sampras as he discussed life after tennis, his match with Safin, playing against Andre Agassi some time in the near future, Roger Federer's record against Rafael Nadal, and Sampras' recent trip to Wimbledon to watch Federer win a record 15th Grand Slam title.

For the uninitiated, in his career Sampras was 762-222, including 64 titles in 88 finals. He was ranked No. 1 for a record 286 weeks, and his 14 career Grand Slam titles record was just surpassed by Roger Federer at Wimbledon.

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Exclusive interview with Caroline Wozniacki

caroline_at_wimbledon.jpgName: Caroline Wozniacki

Date of Birth: July 11, 1990
Birthplace: Odense, Denmark
Current Residence: Monte Carlo, Monaco

Height: 5'9½" (1.77 m)
Weight: 128 lbs (58 kg)
Plays: Right-handed / Two-handed backhand
Status: Pro (2005)

Career
Current Ranking: 9
Prize Money: $ 1,844,792
Win Loss Record - Singles: 148-61
Win Loss Record - Doubles: 25-38

Born to Polish parents who were amazing professional athletes, it comes as little surprise that Caroline Wozniacki came up trumps in whichever sport she chose to turn into a passion. With a tennis racquet as her weapon of choice, she quickly rose to the top of the junior rankings, and fulfilled her potential by winning Junior WImbledon at age 16. Now ranked in the top 10 on the WTA Tour, this young sportstar has a career of greatness ahead of her.  TheSportsCampus.com had the privilege to catch up with her on the sidelines of Wimbledon:

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Exclusive interview with Victoria Azarenka

victoria_azarenka_miami.jpgName: Victoria Azarenka

Nickname: Vika

Date of Birth: July 31, 1989
Birthplace: Minsk, Belarus
Current Residence: Scottsdale, Arizona, USA

Height: 5'10" (1.80 m)
Weight: 130 lbs (60 kg)
Plays: Right-handed / Two-handed backhand
Status: Pro (2003)

Career
Current Ranking: 9
Prize Money: $ 2,649,023
Win Loss Record - Singles: 165-75
Win Loss Record - Doubles: 83-34

Azarenka broke into the top 10 by winning the Sony Ericsson WTA in 2009 and became only the second Belarussian ever to do so following Natasha Zvereva.  She became just the 6th teenage female singles champion in the history of this tournament.  She is also the first player in 2009 to debut in the Top 10. TheSportsCampus.com had a chance to interview her after her tremedous win - following are her answers.

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Meet the players: Marion Bartoli

marion_bartoli.jpg

Date of Birth: November 2nd, 1984
Place of Birth: Le Puy en Velay, France
Lives in: Geneva, Switzerland
Height: 1.70 m
Weight: 58 kg
Pro since: 2000
Plays: Right-handed, two-handers on both flanks
Career
WTA single Titles: 4
WTA double Titles: 3
Present Ranking: 13
Career Prize Money: 3,490,928 US-Dollar

Marion Bartoli has been ranked as high as nine in the world, and she earned a place in the 2007 Wimbledon final by beating world number one Justine Henin. But she only took up tennis because she was bored! The 24-year-old Frenchwoman, who in 2005 won the doubles title in Pattaya with Germany's Anna-Lena Groenefeld, never set out to be a tennis professional. She was very smart at school and succeeded in the game simply because she liked the challenge. School work came so easily to her than she felt she needed something else to stretch her, and tennis filled the role. Especially when some of those she knew told her she couldn't be any good at sports.

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