Professional tennis player Andre Agassi says he’s through with laying around the house, so to speak- he wants to get back on the tennis courts.
After retiring following the 2006 U.S. Open, Agassi says his back is fine and he really misses playing competitive tennis. Which is why, at age 39, the Las Vegan will return to the court this month and play a limited schedule in the World Team Tennis (WTT) league for the Philadelphia Freedoms.
“It’s been a few years since I retired, and that’s been a little unsettling for me,” Agassi said. “It took some time to try to figure out the best way to say connected to tennis, and that’s hasn’t been so easy.
“But before I got too far away, I wanted to re-engage, and World Team Tennis seemed like the perfect opportunity.”
Agassi is scheduled to play two matches for the Freedoms, the team owned by league founder and longtime friend Billie Jean King. The first match is July 10 vs. Boston in Philadelphia, followed by a July 17 match at Newport Beach, California.
Although his wife and former tennis star, Steffi Graf, will not play, several big-name tennis players have committed to playing in WTT this summer: Venus and Serena Williams, John McEnroe, Michael Chang, Anna Kournikova, Kim Clijsters, Sam Querrery, and Mike and Bob Brian.
The 400-seat Harmon Theater’s lounge, located behind Planet Hollywood’s Miracle Mile shops near the corner of Harmon and the Strip in Las Vegas, is just starting to get noticed big time by Las Vegas entertainers of all kinds. The quaint venue is meant to host live bands- yes, live bands, remember those? The lounge exudes a non-corporate cozy vibe, complete with red-velvet curtains and couches reminiscent of underground clubs in the hippest of the best music cities.
“This is like New York, Chicago, London and Paris,” says J. Hutchings, bass player in the late-‘90s funk-rock band The Watson Family. “This is a badass club. I can imagine a scene forming here.”
Equally significant, the Harmon Theater’s 1,3000-capacity main room- better known as the gay-themed nightclub Krave- has now been offered up for live acts Sunday through Thursday, which has Las Vegas-based promoter Brandy Provenzano dreaming big.
“I’m still booking at Wasted Space and Beauty Bar [in Las Vegas],” says Provenzna. “But I’m gonna start focusing my stuff here. It reminds me of the Troubadour and the Roxy [in Los Angeles]. This could be one of those rooms bands would seek out to play.”
The Harmon venues have hosted live music before, but during the bygone era of live music in Las Vegas. Their resurrection could just mark a new chapter for the stagnant live music scene in Las Vegas.