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ATP Champions Tour
The ATP Champions Tour brings together many of the greatest tennis players in history for nostalgic, competitive and entertaining tournaments in cities all around the world.
John McEnroe and Bjorn Borg - two of the most iconic athletes on the planet - enjoyed a rivalry that transcended sport. In 2008, almost three decades after their last Wimbledon final, the pair met three times on the ATP Champions Tour, thrilling packed crowds as they went toe-to-toe again.
They were joined on the circuit for the first time by seven-time Wimbledon champion Pete Sampras, two-time US Open winner Patrick Rafter, French Open titlist Michael Chang and former World No.1 Yevgeny Kafelnikov, strengthening a Tour which already featured other No.1 players Thomas Muster and Marcelo Rios, and popular Grand Slam champions such as Goran Ivanisevic, Sergi Bruguera and Pat Cash.
The champions still take great pride in their fitness, reputations and ability to perform, and so the competitiveness and standard of play is incredibly high. While winning is still a major motivation for players that lived off the feeling during their Grand Slam careers, maturity and a greater understanding of the importance of spectators, media and sponsors has meant that they are able to interact now in a way that they couldn't before. They effortlessly laugh with fans, hang out with sponsors and open up to the media wherever they go.
Events are typically played over four days with eight-man fields competing against each other in a round-robin format, ensuring that all players feature in at least three matches.
The players are split into two groups of four. The top player from each group contests the final, while the two players who finish second in each group play off for third and fourth places respectively.
Matches are contested over the best of three sets, with the deciding set taking the form of a Champions tie-break. The Champions tie-break is an expanded version of the conventional professional tennis tie-break, whereby the winner is the first player to reach 10 points and lead by a margin of 2.
To be eligible to compete on the ATP Champions Tour, players must have been either a World No. 1 during their competitive playing careers, a Grand Slam singles finalist, or a singles player in a victorious Davis Cup team; and they should have retired from the ATP circuit. Each event can also invite two players of its choice to take wild cards.
ATP Champions Tour point distribution
Winner: 400 / Runner-up: 300 / 3rd place: 200 / 4th place: 150 / No. 5-6: 80 / No. 7-8: 60 points.
The Tour Highlights 1997-1999
John McEnroe dominated the Tour’s early years, particularly in London where he won the title three times.
The Tour Highlights 2000-2002
Dublin called, Henri Leconte suffered a health scare and Guy Forget got angry with John McEnroe.
The Tour Highlights 2003-2005
Sergi Bruguera arrived with long hair, Thomas Muster returned to fitness and Goran Ivanisevic debuted.
The Tour Highlights 2006-2008
Bjorn Borg returned, Pete Sampras joined and Pat Rafter, Stefan Edberg and Michael Chang also arrived.
The Tour Highlights 2009-2012
Former World No.1’s Carlos Moya and Marat Safin, Tim Henman and Thomas Enqvist all began playing on the circuit for tennis greats.