Chris Wettengel (Bentonville, Ark.) and Avery Ticer (Amarillo, Texas) will take on The Jensen Brothers, Luke and Murphy, Friday, Dec. 12, at 7 p.m., in the 2003 Minnesota Tennis Challenge at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minn. The Jensen Brothers were the 1993 French Open doubles champions. The doubles set will mark the second consecutive time a Minnesota doubles duo has taken on the Jensen Brothers. Last year, Thomas Haug and Aleksey Zharinov rallied from a 5-2 deficit to defeat the Jensens, 8-7.
The 2003 Minnesota Tennis Challenge will begin with the six-game doubles set. Following the Jensens vs. Golden Gophers set, the event will feature two "Battles of the Ages" as four-time U.S. Open Champion John McEnroe takes on U.S. Davis Cup Star James Blake in a six-game set and Mardy Fish faces fellow Minnesota-native David Wheaton. A six-game consolation set will then take place, followed by an eight-game championship set between the preliminary winners.
Senior Chris Wettengel was ranked as high as 84th in the nation at one point in the 2002-03 season, and finished with a career-best 30-13 singles mark. This season, Wettengel won the 2003 Big Ten Singles Championship with a 5-0 tournament record. Sophomore Avery Ticer won 12 of his last 13 singles matches in the 2002-03 season, went 8-1 in the Big Ten and was named to the Academic All-Big Ten Team. Both players contributed to the highest Intercollegiate Tennis Association ranking ever for the University of Minnesota tennis team, as the Golden Gophers finished the 2002-03 season ranked 10th in the nation.
This will mark the second consecutive year the Xcel Energy Center has hosted the Minnesota Tennis Challenge. Last year's event featured Anna Kournikova and Monica Seles and was the first major professional tennis event in the Twin Cities since the USA defeated Sweden in the 1992 Davis Cup in Minneapolis.
Tickets are available at the Xcel Energy Center Box Office, all area Ticketmaster locations, by calling 651-989-5151 or online at www.ticketmaster.com.