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Connors Ready for McEnroe in Ft. Lauderdale; USTA Husband-Wife in Ponte Vedra

September 16, 2011 10:54 AM
Connors Readies for McEnroe Showdown on Sept. 22 in Ft. Lauderdale

connors jimmy us openFive-time US Open champ Jimmy Connors will take on nemesis John McEnroe on Sept. 22, 2011, at the HSBC Tennis Cup, to be held at the Bank Atlantic Center in Ft. Lauderdale, also featuring fellow former No. 1s Jim Courier and Pete Sampras.
The HSBC Tennis Cup will showcase the four former Grand Slam champions facing off in one-set semifinals, leading to the final which will be contested in an eight-game pro set.

Connors was seen warming-up during the US Open on the indoor courts at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center with Jim Courier. The 59-year-old put his patented two-handed backhand on display, and afterwards told the Associated Press that he still gets nervous before tournaments.

"I haven't played in front of a crowd in 10 or 12 years," he said. "The tennis is OK. I can play. But playing in front of a crowd, what they expect, what I expect of myself. That's going to be interesting."

In Ft. Lauderdale Connors will face his old nemesis McEnroe, with the winner advancing to the final to play the Courier-Pete Sampras winner. The event will raise money for USTA Serves, the charitable arm of the USTA.

True to his old-school mentality, while the players grumbled about the rain-delayed scheduling during the US Open, Connors said to him the adversity added to the excitement.

"I like it because it's more than tennis now," Connors said during the rain-delay-compressed schedule in Flushing Meadows. "The tennis is primary, but how you deal with all the surroundings, the scheduling, the rain, on-and-off and things like that, this is old school. It's why they call it the toughest tennis in town...It's two weeks, three out of five sets, and now they're playing three or four days in a row. But at the end of the tunnel, someone's going to be $1.8 million richer and have a US Open title. So, isn't that worth working for?"

Connors will need to put on his workman's hardhat in Ft. Lauderdale for his battle against the 52-year-old McEnroe, who won 20 of their 34 career pro meetings on the ATP circuit. Connors won two of their final three meetings, at the Canadian Open in 1987 (ending a 10-match losing streak to McEnroe), at Toulouse in 1989, then losing to McEnroe in their final pro meeting at Basel in 1991.

To buy tickets to the Connors-McEnroe showdown in Ft. Lauderdale or for more info on the Champions Series go to www.ChampionsSeriesTennis.com.

USTA National Husband-Wife Clay Court Tennis at Ponte Vedra in Oct.

PGA Tour star Matt Kuchar and wife Sybi
Oct. 7, 2011, is the sign-up deadline for the USTA National Husband-Wife Clay Court Championships, held at the ATP Tour Tennis Club in Ponte Vedra, Fla.

The Oct. 14-16 tournament is one of only a handful of national tournaments offering husband-wife teams the chance to win a prestigious USTA gold ball. The entry fee for the tournament is $43.50 per player, and divisions include non-sanctioned social and senior play.

The First Coast Tennis Foundation is the host of the event, which last year featured competitors such as PGA Tour star Matt Kuchar and his wife Sybi, a former tennis standout at Georgia Tech; champions Frank and Trudy Vermeer of Jacksonville, Fla.; and Chris Pressley, who reached an ATP World Tour singles ranking of No. 336, playing with his wife Tara.    

For more information go to www.firstcoasttennis.com.






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