Former tennis stars serve up a feast

PUBLISHED : Friday, 15 April, 2005, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 15 April, 2005, 12:00am

World-class tennis is being served up by former players at Victoria Park this week. The Chevalier ATP (Association of Tennis Professionals) Champions Tour event, which opened yesterday, continues tonight and over the weekend at the Causeway Bay venue.

Joining ex-Wimbledon singles champions Goran Ivanisevic and Pat Cash for the Centre Court showdown are French Open winner Thomas Muster, Henri Leconte, Anders Jarryd, Cedric Pioline - who currently tops the Champions Tour rankings after two tournaments - Mark Kratzmann and Jeremy Bates.

In order to be eligible for the Tour, a player must have been either a world number one during their careers, a Grand Slam singles finalist, or a singles player in a victorious Davis Cup team. And they must no longer be playing on the main ATP Circuit.

At the end of the season, the top eight players - from a list of 45 - will enter the Masters, where a US$100,000 purse is up for grabs.

'The competition on the Tour this year is certainly tougher than ever before, and everyone is aiming for the Masters at the end of the year,' said Australia's Cash.

The winner on Sunday will receive 400 points while the runner-up gets 250. No prize-money is on offer.

Local fans have a chance to see the legendary Ivanisevic in action. The Croatian, 33, who is just five points behind Cash in the rankings, was competing on the main ATP Tour last year, and his star quality continues to shine.

Each match in the round-robin competition will be best of three sets, with the decider taking the form of a Champions' Tie-break, where the first player to reach 10 points is the winner. If the score is 9-all, a two-point advantage is required.

Tickets are available at all Urbtix outlets or call 2111 5999