TORONTO â€“ They’re back.
Earlier today, Tennis Canada announced the addition of â€˜Tennis Legends’ to the annual Rogers Cup tournament in Toronto. The special event will feature a return to the courts for tennis greats John McEnroe, Jim Courier, Anna Kournikova and Carling Bassett-Seguso who will play in a series of exhibition matches on August 13, 2007. The announcement was made a media conference held at the Hard Rock CafÃ© inside the Rogers Centre.
The August 13 schedule will feature a one-on-one competitive match between McEnroe and Courier as well as a mixed doubles match that will include all four superstars. In the singles match, the male players will be wearing microphones during play allowing attendees to listen in on every grunt, ball smack and McEnroe tantrum. The irony was not lost on new tournament director Karl Hale.
â€œJohn McEnroe will be live, unplugged and unfiltered,â€ Hale said. â€œWe are thrilled to welcome back four of the most recognized names in tennis for a fun-filled, interactive tennis experience.â€
Hale was flanked by Jim Courier who was flown in for the announcement. The 29-time champion was equally excited about the announcement.
â€œThis is a place that I first played when I was just 17,â€ Courier said. â€œIt’s a thrill to be coming back.â€
The International Tennis Hall of Fame inductee joked that McEnroe still â€œhasn’t mellowed,â€ and said that he would encourage him to bring back the heralded red headband. Courier said that he appreciated how the live mics can really add a new element for the crowd.
â€œThis can bring the fans even a step closer into the game,â€ he said.
The Rogers Cup takes place April 11-19 at the Rexall Centre in Toronto. Last year’s event set an attendance record of 155, 290. For more details on Tennis Legends including ticket information, please visit RogersCup.com
Murtz Jaffer will be at the 2007 Rogers Cup and the only thing bigger than today’s Tennis Legends announcement is the fact that it is happening on his birthday. Maybe he will get to meet Anna Kournikova. Maybe.