McEnroe's Last London Hurrah Headlines Champions Tennis
by ATP Staff|
The ATP Champions Tour is back in action from 6 -9 December, with some of tennis’ legendary figures returning to one of the Tour’s iconic venues: the Royal Albert Hall.
Former World No. 1 John McEnroe, competing for the final time at the London event, leads a tremendous field into the last stop of the 2018 season. Four of the singles players cracked the Top 2 of the ATP Rankings during their career.
“Champions Tennis is an extremely special and unique event. I consider it to be our Wimbledon of the ATP Champions Tour,” McEnroe said. “Nothing compares to playing in the Royal Albert Hall in front of great crowds. This year will be my last year as a participant so I am working hard to bring my best tennis.”
McEnroe first triumphed at the event in 1997, beginning a string of three consecutive wins at the prestigious tournament. And while the American will only be playing doubles this year, Legends Cup champion Tommy Haas will try to claim his second straight singles trophy on his debut at the Royal Albert Hall.
“I’m very excited. I’ve heard a lot of great things about the event and obviously about the Royal Albert Hall. My former colleagues that have played there many times already have said that it’s as good of a venue you can get. Seeing the pictures, it looks amazing,” Haas said. “I’m very much looking forward to going out and competing at as high of a level as I can.”
The German Haas will face a familiar foe in the event’s first match, as the former World No. 2 clashes against Belgian Xavier Malisse. Haas won nine of the pair’s 13 FedEx ATP Head2Head meetings, defeating Malisse in the championship match of the 2006 Delray Beach Open.
In Thursday’s second singles match, fans will need to buckle up, as two of the biggest servers in history meet. Goran Ivanisevic faces Mark Philippoussis. Ivanisevic won three of their five matches, while the Aussie defeated the Croat to triumph at Queen’s Club in 1997. Philippoussis was victorious at this year's Brodies Invitational.
The other singles legends who will be playing are Greg Rusedski and former World No. 1 Juan Carlos Ferrero. Three months ago in Mallorca, Ferrero lost against Haas in the semi-finals in a Champions Tie-break, and Haas came through to earn the title.
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Did You Know?
Four-time Nitto ATP Finals qualifier Jamie Murray will appear at the Royal Albert Hall once again, competing on 9 December.
Group A: Tommy Haas, Xavier Malisse, Greg Rusedski
Group B: Juan Carlos Ferrero, Goran Ivanisevic, Mark Philippoussis
Thursday, 6 December 2018
1:30 pm - Haas vs. Malisse
Mansour Bahrami/Ferrero vs. Henri Leconte/Mikael Pernfors
7:30 pm - Ivanisevic vs. Philippoussis
Thomas Enqvist/John McEnroe vs. Rusedski/Tim Henman
Friday, 7 December 2018
1:30 pm - Ferrero vs. Philippoussis
Bahrami/Enqvist vs. Haas/Pernfors
7:30 pm - Malisse vs. Rusedski
Saturday, 8 December 2018
1 pm - Ferrero vs. Ivanisevic
Bahrami/Henman vs. Pernfors/Philippoussis
6 pm - Haas vs. Rusedski
Enqvist/Leconte vs. Henman/Malisse
Sunday, 9 December 2018
12 pm - Singles 3rd-4th Play-off
Enqvist/Jamie Murray vs. Henman/3rd Group A
5 pm - Singles Final
Bahrami/Murray vs. Pernfors/3rd Group B