Champions of Tennis Edinburgh (20 - 23 June 2013)
If you're a tennis fan who yearns for the heroes of the past like Lendl, Borg, Leconte, Becker, this event is big news for you. Even if you only have a passing interest in the sport, it's hard to ignore the excitement surrounding this event. The ATP Champions Tour is coming to Edinburgh, and the line-up is like a five-set showcase finished off with one outrageous winning smash.
To give you a hint at the calibre of the payers involved, look at the eligibility criteria. Players have to be retired from the ATP circuit and to have achieved one of the following during their career:
ranked as World No. 1
reached a Grand Slam singles final
been a singles player in a winning Davis Cup team.
Or, if they're really lucky, there are two wild card places for others invited by the host tournatment or qualifying players. The level of talent is almost intimidating.
So who can we look forward to in Edinburgh?
Not just much loved Goran Ivenisevic, who famously won Wimbledon as a wildcard in 2001
after suffering a reputation as nearly-man of Wimbledon after reaching the semifinals in 1992, 1994 and 1998. He's joined by Wimbledon and US Open finalist Mark Philippoussis, nicknamed "The Scud" after his thundering serve.
It gets better. The Brits are are coming: Greg Rusedski and Tim Henman, who reignited the nation's hope for a British Wimbledon champion. Rusedski's last match at a Major was actually a defeat at Henman's hands; imagine the possibility of a rematch in Edinburgh.
Even with this major British interest, for many fans one competitor's name will stand out: John McEnroe.
McEnroe's rivalry with Bjorn Borg is legendary. It was inevitable they'd keep it going after retiring from competition and in the 2008 ATP Champions Tour they finally met again. The tour has seen most of the big names in tennis toe the baseline after retirement, and while the competitive instinct never goes away, there's a noticeably warmer and easier atmosphere about the tournament which the players and fans enjoy equally. The chance to see McEnroe and friends amicably slugging it out in Edinburgh is a rare treat.
More player announcements are expected, but with such big names already confirmed tickets will sell out soon.
Find out more and buy tickets at www.championsoftennis.com.
Venue: Edinburgh Academicals FC, Portgower Place, Edinburgh, EH4 1HQ.