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Sports Then and Now



Classic Match: David Nalbandian Vs. Roger Federer at Tennis Masters Cup in 2005 5

Posted on November 05, 2010 by JA Allen

The top 8 qualifiers for the Tennis Masters Cup in Shanghai.

In 2005 the venue for the Tennis Masters Cup Final—the ATP’s year-end championship—moved to Shanghai from Houston.

Awarding China the honor of hosting the event was a coup—a great step forward in promoting professional tennis to millions of new tennis fans.

The Chinese, increasingly enamored of men’s professional tennis, especially the play of Roger Federer,  the current world No. 1, felt pride in providing the best possible environment for the players.

Problems, however, facing the ATP and the sponsors of the event to be held in Qi Zhong City Arena for the first time had nothing to do with the Arena or any physical accommodations.

As the tournament neared, No. 2 Rafael Nadal pulled out of the competition following the withdrawal of No. 3 Andy Roddick—both citing injuries.

Also sidelined for the event was No. 4 Lleyton Hewitt.  No. 5 Andre Agassi along with Marat Safin, winner of the 2005 Australian Open, also pulled out of the round robin competition.

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      Drew Pearson

      The Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month is a former NFL wide receiver know as “Mr. Clutch” for his penchant for making big receptions at crucial moments of the game. After waiting for more than 30 years, he is finally earning his rightful place in the Pro Football Hall of Fame as a member of the 2021 Hall of Fame Class.

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      The favorite target of Hall of Fame quarterback Roger Staubach, Pearson was widely recognized as one of the great receivers of his era. Though at the time of his retirement many expected Pearson to easily breeze into the Hall of Fame, his enshrinement was derailed by changes to the game which artificially inflated receiver stats and made the numbers he produced during a time when wide receivers weren’t catching 100 passes a season seem inferior.

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