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Tournament a hit on and off court

MON 1/31

Billed as the most globally recognized event in Palm Beach County (that was before Donald Trump's wedding last week), the Millennium International Tennis Championships start on Monday and run through February 6 at the Delray Beach Tennis Center (201 W. Atlantic Ave.). 2004 champion Ricardo Mello (pictured) has returned to defend his title, and the 32-man Association of Tennis Professionals field also includes Vince Spadea, James Blake, Jan Michael Gambil, Xavier Malisse, and Jiri Novak. Single-session tickets range from $10 to $75, and weeklong passes are also available. In addition to the great on-court tennis action all tournament long, special events include a Charity Tennis Ball and Casino Night prior to opening play, a Ladies Day Luncheon, a VIP Buffet Dinner, and both a Stadium Court Charity Pro-Am and a Publix Supermarkets Kid's Play Day. The Millennium's mingling of world-class, on-court tennis action along with the off-court social element and charity contribution has earned the ATP's award of excellence for site presentation. You will not want to miss this first-rate party. Admission to each special event is sold separately and includes one single-session ticket. Call 561-330-6000, or visit www.atptennis.com. -- Russ Evans

A Million Reasons

To come out and play

SAT 1/29

Now that the curtain on the winter meet at Gulfstream Park (901 S. Federal Hwy., Hallandale Beach) has been up for about three weeks, most of the kinks in the new format, necessitated by current on-site construction, have been worked out. That's good news for racing fans, and it comes just in time for Gulfstream's Third Annual Sunshine Millions Day this Saturday. The event pits Florida-bred horses against those from California in a series of races running simultaneously at Gulfstream and its sister track, Santa Anita. The afternoon's docket includes the $1 Million Sunshine Millions Classic, the $500,000 Filly and Mare Turf, the $300,000 Filly and Mare Sprint, and the $250,000 Sunshine Millions Dash. The sum of these stakes adds up to the richest day in Florida-bred history. No self-respecting pony fan will be absent. Park admission is $5, and parking is free. Post time for the first race is 12:45 p.m. Call 954-454-7000. -- Russ Evans


The Rockets come to town

SUN 1/30

Basketball fans have looked forward to this all season: the NBA' s two most popular centers -- make that two most popular players -- go head-to-head on the hardwood at American Airlines Arena (601 Biscayne Blvd., Miami) during a Houston Rockets-Miami Heat matchup. Yao Ming currently leads the voting for the All-Star Game in Denver on February 20, but Shaquille O'Neal is a close second. Here in Miami, Shaq might have the advantage of a good night's sleep at home; Yao, who's seven-foot-six, has to push two beds together when he stays in hotels. The game starts at 1 p.m. Tickets cost $10 to $220, or you can watch the game on ABC. Call 786-777-HOOP. -- Deirdra Funcheon

Before They Head to the Hall of Fame...

SAT 1/29

Fifty former Major League Baseball players, including Andre Dawson and Warren Cromartie (pictured with Chicago Bulls basketballer Ron Harper, who's at left), will team up for an exhibition game at Fort Lauderdale Stadium (5301 NW 12th Ave.) to benefit the Joe DiMaggio Children's Hospital in Hollywood. They'll be joined by Lefty Hohlmayer and Pepper Davis, two ballplayers who inspired the movie A League of Their Own. Tickets cost $3 to $5; call 954-985-3454. -- Deirdra Funcheon

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Russ Evans
Deirdra Funcheon

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