Sampras to return

The Newport Beach Breakers are bringing back one of the best players in tennis history this July.

The Breakers selected 14-time Grand Slam champion Pete Sampras with the first overall pick in the World Team Tennis Marquee Player Draft on Tuesday.

Sampras, 39, retired from the Assn. of Tennis Professionals Tour in 2003. He previously played for the Breakers in 2006 and 2007.

Sampras, the former world No. 1 who held the men's record for most Grand Slam singles titles before being surpassed by Roger Federer in 2009, still holds the record of being ranked at No. 1 for a total of 286 weeks.

He will play one home match for the Breakers this summer. World Team Tennis also announced Tuesday that Sam Querrey and the current world No. 1 doubles team of Mike and Bob Bryan will make marquee player visits to Newport Beach.

"Pete brings great leadership to our team," Breakers Coach Trevor Kronemann said in a release. "It's also great for fans to see the current generation of U.S. stars. It will be a very competitive and exciting season."

The Breakers had the No. 1 pick in the draft because they posted the worst record (5-9) of returning teams to the league. They hope Sampras, who lives in the Los Angeles area, can help them to a winning season.

Querrey, originally from Thousand Oaks, is ranked No. 18 in the world and is playing this summer for the Washington Kastles. The Bryan brothers, originally from Camarillo, have won 10 Grand Slam doubles titles together and are playing for the defending WTT champion Kansas City Explorers.

The Breakers will continue adding to their lineup when the WTT Roster Player Draft is conducted March 15. The 2011 WTT season runs July 4-24 and the schedule is scheduled to be released in early March.

The Breakers will play 14 regular-season matches, including seven at their home venue, The Tennis Club Newport Beach. Their primary beneficiary is the Hoag Hospital Foundation.

— Matt Szabo

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