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Swingin' Strings

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Germany's Tommy Haas will attempt to make Memphis tennis history at this year's Regions Morgan Keegan Championships, to be played at the Racquet Club of Memphis from February 22nd through March 2nd. Haas will aim to join Jimmy Connors as the only four-time Memphis champ and become the first to win three Memphis titles in a row. In his way will be James Blake (the second-ranked American player in the world) and Marat Safin (a former U.S. Open champion). Haas should be wary, though, if he enters play as the tournament's top seed. The last such player to win at the Racquet Club was Michael Chang way back in 1997.

On the women's side, Venus Williams (pictured) returns to defend her 2007 Cellular South Cup title, won merely four months before she raised the trophy at Wimbledon. Also in the women's field is Lindsay Davenport, a three-time Grand Slam champion who has returned to the pro circuit after giving birth to her first child last year.

Next year, the Regions Morgan Keegan Championships will be played as a "500-level" event. Merely a tier below the ATP tour's nine "1,000-level" events, Memphis should remain a highlight on the professional tennis calendar for years to come.

Regions Morgan Keegan Championships and the Cellular South Cup, February 22nd-March 2nd. For more information on times and tickets, go to rmkchampionships.com.

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