McEnroe To Lead Event In Brussels
by Press Release|
At the end of May, tennis fans will have the opportunity to see John McEnroe serve, volley and have a blast on a Belgian tennis court. “You cannot be serious?”
Yes, we are! The American legend will headline the BNP Paribas Fortis Champions, an official ATP Champions Tour event, from 24-26 May 2018 at the David Lloyd Club in Brussels. The ATP Champions Tour travels the world showcasing some of the best players in the history of the ATP World Tour. Spectators at the BNP Paribas Fortis Champions can expect some great tennis combined with a dose of entertainment and nostalgia, guaranteed by John McEnroe himself.
‘Johnny Mac’ is one of the most exciting players in the history of the sport. The winner of seven Grand Slam titles and a former No. 1 in both the ATP Rankings and ATP Doubles Rankings still loves the game, even at the age of 59.
“I have enjoyed competing on the ATP Champions Tour for more than twenty years,” McEnroe said. “Training hard and competing still keeps me in shape, so I can take on my old rivals and some of the younger stars on the Tour. I get to travel the world to promote our game and it gives me the opportunity to show tennis fans all over the world that the old guys can still play some great tennis. I’m looking forward to playing again in Belgium, a country that has achieved great tennis success in recent years and is known for fantastic tennis fans.”
McEnroe’s opponents at the BNP Paribas Fortis Champions will be announced later, but there is no doubt that fans will be thrilled when those names are revealed. Only players who have been No. 1 in the world, reached a Grand Slam singles final or have won the Davis Cup are allowed in this tournament. Besides those legends, each host city on the ATP Champions Tour can invite two more players via a wild card.
Max Jadot, CEO of BNP Paribas Fortis said, “With We Are Tennis, BNP Paribas Fortis has been showing its engagement towards numerous tennis fans since 1973 by supporting professional tennis, junior and amateur tournaments and many local initiatives. I am delighted to add the ATP Champions Tour to our list and I hope that Belgian fans will enjoy the competition, the entertainment and the pure nostalgia as much as I do.”
Jan Felgate, CEO of the ATP Champions Tour said, “We welcome the BNP Paribas Fortis Champions in our family with open arms. Everything in the ATP Champions Tour is about legendary players at special locations. This new event in Belgium fits perfectly into that picture.”
Set next to the Forêt de Soignes in Brussels, the David Lloyd Club makes the perfect location for this tournament. To guarantee all visitors a warm welcome, there will be a village surrounding the outdoor courts. The village is not only great for fans, but it is also an excellent opportunity for companies to meet clients and strengthen business relations.
On 3 April, the tournament announced three more players who will be joining McEnroe in Brussels this May. Home favourite Xavier Malisse, the always-popular Henri Leconte and former World No. 4 Thomas Enqvist have confirmed their participation in the event.
Malisse, who reached the Wimbledon semi-finals in 2002 and won the 2004 Roland Garros doubles title with Olivier Rochus, ended his very successful 16-year career in 2013. The Belgian won three ATP World Tour singles titles, climbing as high as No. 19 in the ATP Rankings, and he was a regular member of Belgium’s Davis Cup team.
Leconte, known as an entertainer both on and off the court, won the doubles title alongside French compatriot Yannick Noah in 1984. In the singles event at Roland Garros in 1988, Leconte reached the final. He won nine ATP World Tour titles and reached as high as No. 5 in the ATP Rankings in 1986.
Enqvist was No. 4 in the world in 1999, the year in which he advanced to the final of the Australian Open. The Swede collected 19 ATP World Tour titles.