Adelaide, Australia, 9 January 2012 | Matt Trollope
The World Tennis Challenge (WTC) kicks off in Adelaide tomorrow, with some of the game’s biggest names from both past and present doing battle in an exciting team competition.
Played at the historic Memorial Drive tennis complex, Team Australasia – represented by local favourite Pat Rafter and the explosive Ukrainian talent Alexandr Dolgopolov – will kick off the event against Team Europe, made up of Frenchmen Michael Llodra and Henri Laconte.
Also up on Tuesday night will be Team America taking on Team International, pitting once-bitter rivals John McEnroe (America) and Brad Gilbert (International) against one another.
Event co-director Darren Cahill said this particular encounter would be a highlight of the first night’s play.
“They weren’t the greatest of friends. Jumping back on the court now, I think it is really something to look forward to,” Cahill said.
“John will be keen for a win.”
Team America will also be represented by naturalised US citizen Tommy Haas, while joining Gilbert on Team International will be Swiss Stanislas Wawrinka.
Joining the action will be wildcard and crowd favourite Mansour Bahrami, who can be substituted on for any player during doubles matches.
The event operates in a round robin format, with each team taking on all others over the course of three nights. Ties will feature two singles rubbers – current players will face off before past stars do battle – and will conclude with a doubles rubber.
Team America is the defending champion at the event, which will take place on 10-12 January.