The Norman Transcript

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January 21, 2013

Williams sisters pull double-duty

(Continued)

MELBOURNE, Australia —

Tennis greats are teaming up for a charity auction to raise money for retired player Andrew Florent, who was recently diagnosed with cancer.

Among the items being auctioned are a private tennis lesson with Jim Courier and a doubles match against Pat Rafter and Goran Ivanisevic, Tennis Australia said in a statement.

Fans can bid for two seats at the so-called Legends Lunch on the Saturday of the women’s final, which will be attended by Rod Laver and Andre Agassi.

Agassi, an eight-time Grand Slam winner who won his last major at Melbourne Park in 2003, will also be taking part in the men’s pre-final ceremony on Sunday, tournament organizers said.

Among other items on the block are a pair of tickets to both the men’s and women’s final as well as a photo opportunity beside the men’s winner on Sunday.

The 42-year-old Florent, the 1988 runner-up at the Australian Open junior singles tournament, turned pro in 1990 and became a doubles specialist who achieved a career high ranking of 13 in 2001.

The statement described him as “one of the most popular players on the tour.”

“This is terrible news, but what has heartened Florey and his family has been the outpouring of support from the entire tennis fraternity,” said friend and former Australian player Paul Kilderry.

The online auction at http://bit.ly/VQ3dBm. closes Thursday at 5:15 p.m. local time.

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Associated Press writer Jocelyn Gecker contributed to this report.

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