The International Tennis Hall Of Fame & Museum (ITHOF) announced today that their legends tournament during Hall of Fame Weekend will bring some big tennis talent to town with newly inducted Hall of Famer Yevgeny Kafelnikov, Hall of Famers Mats Wilander and Jim Courier, and ITHF CEO Todd Martin in action.
In a nod to their mission to celebrate tennis history, this won’t be a traditional legends match – they’ll be going way back, playing with wood & steel racquets, similar to those you might see in the museum! Should be a fun morning!
The Announcement via ITHOF
On the morning after his induction into the International Tennis Hall of Fame, Russian tennis great Yevgeny Kafelnikov will be back in action again when he hits the court for the Invesco Legends Newport, a one-day tournament with Hall of Famers Mats Wilander and Jim Courier, and International Tennis Hall of Fame CEO Todd Martin set to compete.
All four players were staples of the ATP Tour throughout the 1980s and 90s, frequently facing each other in matches on tennis’ biggest stages. When they meet again for this match, things might look a bit different on court though, as the players will be trading in their favorite racquets of today for wood and steel racquets, similar to those that would have been used by some of the sport’s early greats and that these player’s would have grown up with.
“Everything the International Tennis Hall of Fame does is meant to shine a light on tennis’ great history. By equipping ourselves with gear similar to what is showcased in our museum, we will indeed be doing so and will demonstrate just how much the sport has evolved these past four decades. Not to mention, it will be a lot of fun for us,” said Martin.
He continued, “It’s always a treat to welcome Hall of Famers back to Newport, and this group will surely deliver a great Sunday morning tournament for the fans. I’ve already booked my practice courts for this spring!”
The event is part of the Invesco Series QQQ, the North American tennis circuit for champion players over the age of 30. It will feature two one-set semifinal singles finals and a one-set final-round singles match.
Invesco Legends Newport will be held in conjunction with the Hall of Fame Open, an ATP Tour tournament and the 2019 Hall of Fame Enshrinement Weekend. Invesco Legends Newport will take place on Sunday, July 21 at 11 am, and it will be followed by the singles and doubles finals of the Hall of Fame Open, with one ticket covering all three events.
Kafelnikov, a former world No. 1, two-time major singles champion, and Olympic gold medalist, will receive tennis’ ultimate honor on the day prior when he is inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame on Saturday, July 20.
“I am of course really looking forward to the induction ceremony and celebrations that weekend, and it will be a lot of fun to get back on court and play a match or two with Jim, Mats, and Todd,” said Kafelnikov. “All these years later, I do still love to compete and to play in a stadium. It will be a great cap to a special weekend to play with these guys again.”
The tournament will mark Wilander’s first return to Newport in many years. The Swede was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2002 in recognition of a remarkable and lengthy career that included reaching the world No. 1 ranking and winning three singles titles at the Australian Open, three at the French Open, one at the US Open, and a doubles title at Wimbledon.
American tennis star Jim Courier, also a former world No. 1, won four major titles in his Hall of Fame career—two each at the Australian and French Opens. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2005.
International Tennis Hall of Fame CEO Todd Martin will be the fourth player to compete. Martin, who was a teammate of Courier’s on the 1995 Championship Davis Cup team is a former world No. 4 and a two-time major finalist. Since 2014, he has served as CEO of the Hall of Fame, leading the organization’s initiatives to preserve and promote tennis history, including museum programming locally and globally, special events with Hall of Famers, and youth tennis programming.
Tickets for Invesco Legends Newport are on sale now on halloffameopen.com. Tickets range from $109 – $164 and include access to the legends match, as well as the singles and doubles final of the Hall of Fame Open, the Hall of Fame’s annual ATP Tour event.