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A day of tennis for the Penske boys

February 26, 2003

Marlboro Team Penske drivers Gil de Ferran and Helio Castroneves, who will be competing in Sunday's Indy Racing League (IRL) IndyCar Series season-opening Toyota Indy 300 at Homestead-Miami Speedway, participated in an exhibition tennis match for the media this afternoon with professional tennis stars Anna Kournikova and Jan-Michael Gambill at the Tennis Center at Crandon Park in Key Biscayne, FL. Kournikova and Gambill are in Florida preparing for next month's NASDAQ-100. The doubles team of Castroneves and Kournikova dominated partners de Ferran and Gambill winning four of the five games played.

After the match, it was Castroneves and de Ferran's turn to teach Kournikova and Gambill about IndyCars. The Homestead-Miami Speedway show car was at the Tennis Center and the Marlboro Team Penske drivers were able to give the tennis players a brief introduction to IndyCars.

"I had a great time this afternoon," said Castroneves. "Anna was a fantastic partner. I've been playing tennis since I was young and I really enjoy the sport. I try and play as much as I can and I play every off-weekend I get. It was really fun to get out here with the pros."

"Well it's been awhile since I played tennis and I guess it showed today, Helio and Anna were certainly picking on me - I think I was just out there for decoration," joked de Ferran after the match. "I had a good time though, and it was fun to play with Jan-Michael. He's a great player and I really enjoyed getting out there on the court. After my performance today, I think I'll have to start playing more often."


PHOTO CREDIT: Denis Bancroft, Homestead-Miami Speedway

Photos left to right

CAPTION  1: Tennis stars Anna Kournikova and Jan-Michael Gambill (seated in car) are shown an IRL IndyCar Series racecar by drivers Helio Castroneves and Gil de Ferran (right) of Marlboro Team Penske following an exhibition tennis match on Wednesday, February 26 at the Tennis Center at Crandon Park in Key Biscayne. The four athletes were in Key Biscayne to promote the Toyota Indy 300, February 28 - March 2 at Homestead-Miami Speedway and the NASDAQ-100 Open, March 19-30 at the Tennis Center at Crandon Park.


CAPTION 2: Two-time defending Indianapolis 500 champion Helio Castroneves of Marlboro Team Penske hits a backhand while WTA tennis star Anna Kournikova looks on during an exhibition tennis match on Wednesday, February 26 at the Tennis Center at Crandon Park in Key Biscayne. Castroneves and Kournikova took on Gil de Ferran of Marlboro Team Penske and ATP tennis star Jan-Michael Gambill in an exhibition match to promote the Toyota Indy 300, February 28 - March 2 at Homestead-Miami Speedway and the NASDAQ-100 Open, March 19-30 at the Tennis Center at Crandon Park.


CAPTION 3: Two-time defending Indianapolis 500 champion Helio Castroneves of Marlboro Team Penske and WTA tennis star Anna Kournikova at an exhibition tennis match on Wednesday, February 26 at the Tennis Center at Crandon Park in Key Biscayne. Castroneves and Kournikova took on IndyCar Series driver Gil de Ferran and ATP tennis star Jan-Michael Gambill in an exhibition match to promote the Toyota Indy 300, February 28 - March 2 at Homestead-Miami Speedway and the NASDAQ-100 Open, March 19-30 at the Tennis Center at Crandon Park.


CAPTION 4: Two-time National Champion Gil de Ferran of Marlboro Team Penske (right) and ATP tennis star Jan-Michael Gambill discuss strategy during an exhibition tennis match on Wednesday, February 26 at the Tennis Center at Crandon Park in Key Biscayne. De Ferran and Gambill took on WTA tennis star Anna Kournikova and IndyCar Series driver Helio Castroneves of Marlboro Team Penske in the exhibition to promote the Toyota Indy 300, February 28 - March 2 at Homestead-Miami Speedway and the NASDAQ-100 Open, March 19 - 30 at the Tennis Center at Crandon Park.  

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