We hear all the rumors: South Florida is a sports vortex, sucking the life out of any sporting team or event that foolishly wanders into its pull. Poppycock! Sure, our team sports are sucking worse than an episode of Keeping Up with the Kardashians, but at least weve got the Delray Beach International Tennis Championships! The annual hard-court tournament pits up-and-coming American competitors against top international talent, often serving as an entry point for South Florida players (the event catapulted Andy Roddick into the upper ranks in 2000). This year, the championship will be headlined by an all-star cast: James Blake, ranked ninth in the world by the Association of Tennis Professionals, returning to Delray after getting edged out of the 2007 ITC finals (and succumbing to Roger Federer Australian Open quarterfinals last month); Xavier Malisse, last years champ; German-born Tommy Haas, looking to crack back into the Top 10 after losing to Blake in last years U.S. Open; and doubles pair Bob and Mike Bryan, wholl defend their the number one world doubles ranking. Therell be plenty of tennis to see as the ITC runs February 11 through 17 at the Delray Beach Stadium (201 W. Atlantic Ave., Delray Beach). Tickets range from $15 to $300. Call 561-330-6000, or visit www.yellowtennisball.com.
Wed., Feb. 13, 2008